If you are an employer, you’re most likely feeling the pinch of the skills gap. According to ManpowerGroup’s 2015 Talent Shortage Survey, 32 percent of employers in the United States reported trouble filling jobs last year. And the news from the U.S Department of Labor is not encouraging either: It predicts a shortage of more than 35 million skilled and educated workers over the next 30 years.
However, this is great news for job seekers with the skills that companies need. It’s a candidate’s market and the best talent out there knows it. Those who have the most to offer employers fully understand their value in a depleted workforce, and because of that, they are going to shop for the best opportunities and career paths.
So how can you create demand for open positions? Here are some tips for putting your company’s best foot forward when trying to attract candidates.
Be Specific on Required Tasks
Generalities are out; specifics are in. Job seekers today want to know the exact nature of a job—what functions are to be performed, what tools or equipment are to be utilized and what the expected outcome is to be. When writing a job description, be specific on the required tasks. Create a task statement that clearly defines the position and does not leave anything open to interpretation. Allow the job seeker to form a clear picture of what the job entails and what it might be like to work at your company.
List the Nice-to-Haves
With the complexity of some jobs and the need for multi-tasking, many employers have a Nice-to-Have section in their job postings—a wish list of abilities desirable but not critical to performing the functions of the job. This list can help you find the top-level talent out there. When listing your nice-to-haves, put them in the order of importance to your needs, and be sure to let the job seeker know that not having these skills will not be an impediment in the application process.
A job posting can provide you with a cost-effective means of advertising your business and its advantages over the competition. And a great job description can create demand. Remember that in this digital age, many of today’s job seekers are utilizing the Internet and mobile technologies to find jobs. According to a November 2015 report by the Pew Research Center, in the past two years 79 percent of Americans used the Internet for job searches, with 45 percent applying online. In addition, 94 percent of job seekers used their smartphones to review job openings. That means that a job posting has the ability to go viral very quickly. Leverage the ability of today’s communication to advertise a few points that differentiates your opening and company from the competition.
Encourage Dialog between Applicants and Employees
It’s important to remember that interviews are a two-way street. While your candidate is seeking employment they also want to work for a company that’s a fit for them. In industries where there’s high competition for skilled labor, this puts the opportunity in the favor of job seekers. Making a good impression is just as important for the potential employer as it is for the candidate.
Today’s job applicants want more than a paycheck. They want a company that respects its employees and has a collaborative environment that fosters creativity. They want a company with a diverse pool of talent that can enrich the work experience. The best first impression you can make to a candidate is your people. Share the best aspect of your company by making your employees available to speak with candidates during on-site interviews.
The competition is tough out there, and it will only get tougher due to the shortage of talent available. Make sure you do everything you can to create demand for your open positions and to hire and retain the best talent available.