Can’t Find Workers? Maybe You’re Not Looking in the Right Places

Finding employees in 2022 is a challenge, but you can learn the strategies employers are using to attract candidates and fill job openings.

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Can't Find Workers? Maybe You Aren't Looking in the Right Place

Nearly half of employees are actively looking for a new job according to Gallup. Yet many companies are struggling to find them or attract them.

With so many people in the market for something different, why is so difficult to find workers? It could be that employers aren’t looking in the right places. Let’s look at the problem a little more closely.

Why employers are struggling to find employees

One of the big takeaways from the Gallup study is that the pandemic fundamentally changed how many people think about work. Wages are playing a significant role in entry-level, retail, and restaurant staffing. However, for most businesses it’s not so much about the salary or job; it’s about the workplace.

There is significant employee turnover these days, so much so that organizational psychologist Anthony Klotz dubbed it “The Great Resignation.” For many employees, however, it might be called the great reevaluation as the pandemic led to more introspection and workers examining what is really important in their lives and work.

Many employers are struggling with how to find employees because what they offer no longer matches up with what workers want. More than three-quarters of job seekers say they are prioritizing family over work. This equates to asking for flexible hours, remote work, or even 4-day workweeks. In short, they want greater flexibility and control of when, how, and where they work.

There’s another reason many employers are still struggling to find talent. They are still operating under the old rules and hiring the same way they have for years. For example, they’re rejecting candidates who don’t quite fit the job description. Many hiring experts agree that job fit is a bigger factor in determining success than skills or experience, yet some companies stay focused on trying to find workers with the exact list of requirements in a job description.

Many hiring experts agree that job fit is a bigger factor in determining success than skills or experience, yet some companies stay focused on trying to find workers with the exact list of requirements in a job description.

How to find top employees in 2022

Even employers who are adjusting may find it difficult to find new hires. If that’s you, then it might be time to reconsider where you’re looking. Here are a few tips to help.

Look internally

Whenever you are onboarding someone new, you’re always taking some risk. You don’t have enough experience with a new hire to know how they work and whether they will fit your culture.

With internal candidates, you have a track record and know how they perform. Look inside your organization first. You may already have the right candidate. They may need some coaching or upskilling to work at the next level, but one of the best ways to find employees is to look first at your own talent pool.

Update your job descriptions

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to update your job descriptions. Too many companies are still listing dozens of skills and requirements. If you have a laundry list of a dozen must-haves, many job seekers who would be a perfect fit may not apply because they don’t meet every single item on your list. Pare your list down to the must-have items.

Retune your ATS

If you are using an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen candidates, it’s time to revisit your settings. Loosening your requirements may help you surface more applicants.

Do you really need someone with 10 years of experience or a bachelor’s degree? If you’re hiring for a software developer, for instance, and requiring a degree in computer science, you may be missing out on the majority of skilled workers. Two-thirds of software engineers are self-taught.

Remember it’s a buyer’s market

Shift your focus from what you want to what job seekers want. In a buyer’s market, the best talent will have multiple opportunities, so you need to think about what would make your job opening right for them.

You should also examine your hiring practice. If you’re taking too long, making employees go through too many interviews, or responding slowly, you risk missing potential hires.

Stop looking for perfect. Look for great. And, when you find a great candidate, don’t drag your feet.

Where to find high-quality talent in 2022

Look at the sources you’re using in recruiting. Blanket job ads across generic job boards aren’t working as well for anyone these days.

Besides retuning your ATS, you should also take a look at the sources you’re using in recruiting. Blanket job ads across generic job boards aren’t working as well for anyone these days. You either don’t get any response or you get flooded with dozens (or hundreds) of applicants who don’t have even the basic skills you need.

The days of putting out an ad and waiting for great candidates to apply are over. Instead, look at aggressive outreach programs. Here are a few of the best ways to find employees in 2022.

Social media

Social media has become a significant recruiting tool, both for placing ads and targeting candidates. While Facebook and Instagram play their part, LinkedIn is where it’s at when it comes to professionals. Nearly 50 million people use LinkedIn weekly in their job searches, and 6 people get hired every minute on average.

You can also use your company’s pages to post about your workplace, opportunities, and culture to spur interest. The platform also allows you to target qualified candidates within your geographical region or industry and do specific outreach — whether they are actively searching or not.

Industry-specific job boards

Rather than generic job boards, focus efforts on highly specific niche job sites in your industry. This narrows your focus and avoids applicants who aren’t qualified.

Your employees’ networks

Many of your employees have industry connections. Ask them to be part of your recruiting efforts and leverage these connections. For instance:

  • Ask employees to share job openings with their contacts or on social media.
  • Offer referral bonuses for employees that help you find new hires.
  • Feature current employees in outreach messaging.

Former employees

Many of your former employees probably left on good terms. Some may be interested in coming back or know others at their current company looking for a new opportunity.

The best way to find employees

Finding high-quality employees isn’t getting any easier. Job seekers have more options and are getting pickier about what jobs they’re willing to take. It’s no longer business as usual. To find the best job candidates, you’ll need to revisit how and where you’re searching and consider more flexible arrangements.

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