The headlines are ever-present. Every day you see a story about how hard it is to find employees. For a while many thought it was the fault of the stimulus checks or people not wanting to work. Some leaders in certain industries, point to the slow downs in immigration and access to those who work in professions which are woefully short-handed.
The biggest contributor to this problem is retiring Baby Boomers, some of whom do so earlier than expected, way out number the next few generations. Due to small numbers of Gen Xers, Gen Yers, Millennials, and the generations that follow, there are simply not enough people to fill those open positions. It’s a math problem, compounded by other circumstances.
While all of this makes sense, it doesn’t help you replace or expand your staff, if that’s a priority for you.
We work with many small and mid-sized businesses. Often, our meetings and discussions focus on their recruiting needs and the problems unfilled positions create for them and their overworked employees. It’s a challenge we see across all categories of business and industry.
Typically, we have a group of potential employees from which to draw when we have an opening, which helps when faced with job openings. There isn’t a perfect system for this, but there are a few initial steps any hiring manager can take.
One of the reasons I don’t have talent anxiety in my business life is that I will regularly meet with interesting people who are looking for work opportunities. Even when we are fully staffed, I’ll often meet with people who are new to Roanoke, interested in working at our company, or who need some career guidance or feedback.
I genuinely desire to help people. For one reason; twice in my life, people have done the same for me. It’s my way of giving back. It’s also a great way to discover highly talented people. Many times, over the past decade, I’ve added a person because I thought they would contribute to helping us improve or expand our business. On the other hand, some of these meetings lead to introductions for the job seeker to others who can use their talents.
Here is the radical idea for you. No matter how busy your managers and leaders are, encourage them to make time to meet with potential employees or those who are (or may be) looking for work. Meeting people before you have a critical need is usually an effective method to identify someone who might be a good fit for your company.
At the same time, it will reduce that open-job anxiety.
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