Are you running into a talent shortage?

If you’ve been trying to hire (or retain) talented  employees in this labor market, we don’t have to tell you it’s been a bumpy ride. Human resources teams and recruiters, already squeezed from various workplace and economic pressures, may come head-to-head with a talent shortage. Is this still happening in 2023? Let’s take a closer look.

What’s happening in the labor market so far in 2023

Since the pandemic hit three years ago, many industries have scrambled to find qualified employees to fill vacant rolls. Over that time, employees have resigned in droves and re-prioritized where and how they work. There have been many shifts in our workforce.

Since then, we’ve faced inflation, talks of recession, and big layoffs. What’s going on? Is there such a gap between available talent and qualified workers? Let’s break it down a bit:

  • Layoffs: Yes, layoffs are taking place in 2023, but mostly in tech and large companies, including Meta, Amazon, Dell, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, and others
  • More Jobs: Meanwhile, the US added over 500,000 non farm jobs in January of 2023
  • Low Unemployment: The unemployment rate remains extremely low, just 3.4%

Altogether, that means that despite layoffs, talk of recession, or anything else happening in headlines, employers are still struggling to find talent. This has led to a hiring situation that can feel frustrating, exhausting, and sometimes baffling. 

We offer good news to weary hiring managers: the right candidates are out there. Even in a tight labor market in unprecedented times, it is possible to find qualified, talented people to fill those new or vacant positions. You just need to know where (and how) to look for them.

In this article, we give you a few tips to help you increase your candidate search. (And a few good reasons why you should.)

Benefits of looking beyond your network (and not just during a talent shortage)

First, why is it that we can’t seem to find the right candidates to fill roles? It might be because we’re stuck looking in a place that’s a little too narrow: our own network.

Networking is a powerful tool–for job searchers and also hiring managers. So, it makes logical sense that most companies start within their own networks when wanting to fill a vacant position. As a first step, hiring managers look to colleagues, college classmates, local connections, and friends of friends to fill positions. 

This tactic becomes problematic, however, for a couple of reasons. First, consistently drawing candidates from the same pools is going to build an organization that lacks diversity. And second, in a tight labor market, those pools quickly dry up. 

That’s why it’s so important to cast a wider net in your searches–beyond your own network. Here are a few benefits of widening our networks in candidate searches:

  • Searching outside our own networks vastly increases the qualified candidate pool
  • You’re likely to find candidates with different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas to draw from, which will help you build a more diverse and dynamic team
  • The combination of more qualified candidates and more diverse perspectives will lead you to a much more competitive search, ensuring you’re able to hire the best person for the job

Of course, casting a wider net takes some creativity and diligence. Here are some good places to get started: 

How to Cast a Wider Net

  • Reach out to universities beyond your own alma mater. Include large and small colleges, local and out of state, public and private, HBCUs, graduate programs, or trade schools. Look online to find a career services center, and ask to be actively involved. Many schools host career fairs or post jobs and internships. 
  • Look outside your geographic area. Whether you’re open to hiring a remote employee or helping a candidate relocate, it helps to extend your search beyond your own city. If you use LinkedIn, you can search by city to get started.
  • Connect with local networking organizations. You might already be involved in some industry-specific or interest-based organizations—that’s probably led to some great connections. Now, reach beyond your own network to expand your connections. A simple Google search for “Networking Events Near Me” can help you reach new candidates. Reach out to leaders of networking groups serving different demographics in your area to connect with qualified candidates.
  • Consider candidates with transferable skills, experiences, and industries. Now that you’re looking beyond your network, it’s also important not to limit your search with narrow parameters that may not have an impact on an individual’s ability to do the job well. There are many qualified candidates who may lack experience in your industry, but bring a stellar skillset from a similar one. Don’t discount them in your search if they’re an otherwise great fit.

Find the Right Talent with Risch Results

Talent shortage? Layoffs? Hundreds of applicants? No matter what the labor market looks like, we can create a custom search to help you find your next hire. If you’re ready to hire, contact us here to get started.

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