Three strategic measures to handle the shortage of skilled workers
In the coming years, the shortage of skilled workers will be one of the key challenges facing medium-sized companies. Many companies are already feeling the effects of this; filling demanding positions has become much more difficult and the expectations of candidates have changed. This is the conclusion of the SME survey conducted by K'UP.
We find that medium-sized companies are not taking sufficient measures to assert themselves on the labor market. Many of the companies we surveyed would like to invest in employer branding and personnel marketing measures to cope with the shortage of skilled workers. But this alone will not solve the problem.
We therefore recommend action in three areas:
1. Investing in the attractiveness of the workplace:
It is not enough to invest only in the attractiveness of the employer to the outside world, because ever since Kununu and Glasdoor came into existence, candidates have been able to find out how things really are at the company. It is now common practice among graduates to approach employees directly and ask them for information about their potential employer. Only those who invest in an attractive employee experience have an advantage on the job market. In the past, mid-sized companies scored points with a secure job, a competitive salary package, canteen and pension plan; today, much more is required.
In addition to a meaningful corporate purpose and lived values, employees expect above all professional and personal development. They want to work together to achieve motivating goals and be supported by their managers in doing so. HR and management improve their employer attractiveness by developing the corporate culture along corporate values, introducing relevant HR tools and establishing coaching as a management tool.
2. Align HR policy with workforce planning:
Even well-positioned employers must learn to adapt to the dynamic conditions of the labor market. Their HR policies must deal with higher turnover, shorter retention periods and flexible staffing options (including freelance, external employees if necessary). Personnel processes, especially in recruiting, talent management and onboarding, must be geared to this. Companies that are resistant to the crisis in skilled labor will on the one hand target suitable candidates. At the same time, they also make the most of increased fluctuation, for example by generating external knowledge.
3. Shaping the future through education initiatives:
Medium-sized companies should not rely solely on government measures to identify and promote talent. They must identify talent themselves at an early stage and actively close widespread gaps in education. They can do this, for example, by supporting (non-profit) education initiatives. In the process, they also become better acquainted with the local labor market and its players. Scholarships, internships and other activities simultaneously attract talent to the company.
We would be happy to discuss the findings of this article in more detail in a personal meeting. Please contact our resilience expert Juliane.