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6 Underused Ways to Combat the Talent Shortage

Forty percent of global employers report talent shortages. Great recruiters know they have to proactively source candidates to build a strong team, but the reality is that they may still come up short. To combat this issue, it's important to begin thinking about different ways to find and engage the talent you need.

Stay in contact with your company alumni

Ex-employees can be strong candidates to consider if they've performed well at your company in the past and left on good terms. You already know some of their key skills, and whether they're a good culture-fit. Utilize social media to keep tabs on what they're doing professionally, and to keep in touch. When a relevant position opens up, either you or a former colleague can reach out to see if there's any interest in coming back. With each 'boomerang hire,' you benefit from hiring someone you already know—while also benefitting from the experience they've gained while being away.

Nurture candidates who decline your offers

When a great candidate rejects your offer, don't take it personally. Oftentimes, the candidate is not ready to leave their current position, or they may see a better opportunity elsewhere. Learn what you can about why the candidate rejected your offer, and stay in touch. A different opportunity at your organization, at the right time, may be just the ticket to winning a great candidate who once turned you down.

Lever customers: Take a look at Nurture Recommendations to automatically and intelligently resurface past candidates who fit open jobs.

Tap into the gig economy

More than 16 million Americans are working at least 15 hours per week in the gig economy. While you can certainly engage them in that capacity, you may also be able to tempt them into a permanent role at your organization. As a matter of fact, 19 percent of gig-only workers have a strong interest in moving to traditional work. A major upside to this tactic is that you can get to know the candidate through a freelance project before you decide to engage them in a formal recruitment process. When that time comes, try to learn about their motivations for working in the gig economy, and for considering your opportunity. For instance, they may enjoy the remote nature of freelance work, but miss income stability and benefits. If your workplace offer the best of both worlds, you will be better equipped to sell these candidates on your opportunity.

Consider less traditional candidates

Some candidates may have the ability to excel in your role, but are not being engaged because they're 'less traditional.' For example, they may not have industry experience or the right degree. Unless absolutely necessary (a medical doctor, for instance), consider re-thinking your idea of the ideal candidate. Considering self-taught professionals or bootcamp students, for example, can open up an entirely new—and larger— talent pool that your competitors may not be considering.

Offer more involved college recruiting strategies

You can attract entry-level talent now, and build your pipeline for the future, with strong college recruiting strategies. Keep in mind that the most effective strategies are the most involved: training programs, apprenticeships, internships, and mentoring. These strategies will help you directly shape the future workforce, while building strong relationships, so you can win more top-tier talent for your team.

Build a more inclusive company culture and workplace

Finally, build an inclusive company culture and workplace. While your competitors are dealing with the talent shortage, you will be able to attract and retain a diverse set of employees. Build employee resource groups for underrepresented communities to come together. Allow flexible work arrangements that appeal to parents and disabled professionals. Offer part-time work to benefit from the experience of semi-retired professionals. There is certainly no shortage of ideas to build a more inclusive workplace, so consider this a work in progress as you continue to learn about your employees' and candidates' needs.

Final thoughts

The unemployment rate is low, and the competition for great talent is high. It's more important than ever to proactively source the talent you need to build a strong team. If you want to rise above your competition to reach new talent pools, consider some of these underused ways to combat the talent shortage. 

For more tips on proactive candidate sourcing, download our ebook The Definitive, No Frills Guide to Sourcing and Nurturing Candidates.

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