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by Stephen Bruce| BLR
The issue of unfilled positions is a major problem that affects the entire economy. It makes it difficult for small businesses to grow if they cannot adequately and quickly staff key positions. But what can employers do? Some of the solutions that organizations have turned to include:
- Evaluate your pay and benefits for positions that are hard to fill. Are you leading or lagging in the market? You may have to bite the bullet and offer more, especially if you have been relatively stagnant with your annual increases in rate ranges.
- Offer training programs to existing employees or candidates. Many employers are finding success by instituting their own training programs in order to get the skills they need when candidates don’t already have them. Pay will be lower than for fully trained individuals, and you get to train people in your specific systems and to your specific standards.
- Work with local education and/or training institutions. Perhaps they will be able to offer the type of training you need candidates to have.
- Send employees to school. Similarly, some employers are opting to pay for the education that their existing employees need in order to advance into new positions.
- Widen the recruiting parameters. Maybe you need to recruit from an expanded geographical area and commit to paying relocation expenses.
- Consider telecommuting. Many employers don’t like telecommuting but have found that that’s the only way they can attract the candidates they want.
- Change too-specific experience requirements to be broader. Sometimes industry-specific experience is a nice-to-have but not a must-have requirement to find a well-qualified candidate, and some employers have recognized this and revised their requirements accordingly.
- Provide customized assistance. When you run into a situation like a dual-career couple, or someone whose home is “underwater,” figure out what sort of package you can put together to solve the candidate’s problem—and yours.
- Consider outsourcing the function. Is this a task that can be performed by contracting it out?
- Work on building your employment brand. Employers that have a reputation as a “great place to work” have an easier time with recruiting.