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Some call it “The Great Resignation.” Others call it a “workforce crisis.” Nicknames aside, the skilled labor shortage that dominated an employment landscape ravaged by COVID in 2021 has rolled on into 2022, and there are no signs of it slowing down. Consider these statistics from the United States Chamber of Commerce: 

  • There were 10.6 million vacant job openings in the U.S — a record high — at the end of November 2021. That means that if every single unemployed worker started a job tomorrow, there would still be more than 2.5 million unfilled openings. 
  • That’s because there is less than one available worker for every job opening. The ratio of 0.76 available workers per opening is the lowest it has ever been. The historical average, for context, is 2.7 workers/opening. 
  • An overwhelming number (94%) of state and local chambers say businesses in their area are finding it difficult or very difficult to find workers.

How can your business cope? Here are four strategies you need to implement immediately if you haven’t already  

Recognize Candidates as ‘Works in Progress’ 

In an environment where finding skilled workers is difficult, trying to find a candidate that meets 100% of the position’s qualifications can be close to impossible. With that in mind, broaden your pool to include workers who may not have all the experience you’re seeking but who demonstrate trainability in their resumés and interviews. 

Launch a Referral Program 

If you haven’t already, you absolutely must start a program that rewards current employees for referring candidates who are hired and who stay with the company for a specified period. Not only will it motivate your employees, but it will elevate the quality of your candidates. 

Go Skill-Mining Within Your Organization 

Speaking of your current employees, they can play another role in helping you deal with the skill shortage. If you’re having trouble finding qualified external candidates, cross-train your employees to get them the skills you need. This approach can also strengthen your retention, as employees are more likely to stay with a company that will help them grow professionally. 

Get Help with Hiring 

If timing is crucial in filling open positions, use a staffing agency. It can cut down on your hiring time because outsourcing some of your recruiting duties reduces your workload. Mega Force helps employers in Fayetteville and the rest of North Carolina connect with dependable candidates. Whether you have a time-sensitive need, or you’re just wanting to give your current recruiting efforts a boost, start here to learn how we can help. 

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