The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) spells out the problem: The United States has a huge skills gap. We simply do not have enough skilled workers to fill some of our most high-skill positions. Business productivity is predicted to decline as a result, which has and will have a direct impact on the bottom line of companies in almost every industry. We must work smarter and take steps now to improve access to skilled workers. But what can be done? Here’s what you need to know to be better prepared for this workforce issue.

Start with Overlooked Talent Funnels

Companies must diversify beyond their existing candidate funnels to tap into non-traditional talent pools. This could include:

  • Formerly incarcerated individuals. This process is called “second-chance hiring,” and there is evidence that it is gaining ground in the U.S. The idea is that, once reparation has been completed, there is a growing pool of labor that has skills you can use in your company. 
  • According to SHRM, incorporating people with disabilities into your workforce increases productivity and lowers turnover.
  • Look globally for talent by hiring from the foreign-born workforce. This may be a particularly good option if you’re seeking specific specialized skills that would normally take months or years to fill.
  • Veterans are excellent job candidates. According to SHRM, they often outperform other employees and also stay longer in companies over time.

Reskill Existing Workers 

Reskilling your existing workforce will not only fill new seats on your corporate bus, but you will also increase engagement and retention by investing in your workforce. Companies can and should partner with local educational institutions to upskill workers who have been on the job for a time. This investment in your existing workforce, instead of bringing in new talent, will build loyalty and ultimately cost less than recruiting and hiring new talent with the skills you need. 

The Balance Careers points out, “Upskilling employees can be critical to the future of work—not just for employers who will need to train employees in new and different approaches and technologies, but for their workers who are eager to learn, adapt, and continue playing a valuable role.” Look internally at your existing talent. There’s a ready-made pool of workers that have a wealth of institutional knowledge that makes them good at their job. Instead of looking elsewhere to fill the skills gap in your company, why not focus on upskilling your existing loyal workforce?

Leverage a World-Class ATS to Automate Candidate Selection

In the search for top talent, there is not a moment to lose. Increasingly thin labor pools make a clear case for higher efficiencies in your hiring teams. Fortunately, software exists that can automate basic workflows to speed up the candidate selection process. Exelare offers our clients a world-class applicant tracking system to improve communication and speed up time to hire. Easy dashboards and intuitive workflows make Exelare the clear choice for many companies in every industry. Talk with our team today about how this is the number one tool you’ll need to overcome the growing worker skills gap.