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Close the Talent Gap These 6 Ways
Posted By David Anderson On March 21, 2013 @ 5:03 am In Advice and How-Tos | 12 Comments
CEOs are frustrated. According to a ManpowerGroup survey,  34% of companies are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions. Paradoxically, the Department of Labor reports that 12.3 million people are still unemployed . And so here we sit, asking ourselves, why are we struggling to find the talent?
In an article for Inc.com, Keith Cline  wrote, “The demand for top-tier engineering talent sharply outweighs the supply in almost every market, especially in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. This is a major, major pain point and problem that almost every company is facing, regardless of the technology ‘stack’ their engineers are working on.”
If you’re a hiring manager or a recruiter in the trenches, you’re not seeing a way out of it any time soon You may need a production manager who knows calculus, or an experienced software developer, or a technology strategist with cloud-based computing experience; and you need them yesterday. Oh and, by the way, you need them at a “competitive salary” (i.e., the lowest wage possible).
To begin to close the gap, we first need to recognize that the talent gap of the 21st century is made up of smaller fissures. Second, we need to understand the interrelated economic and organizational forces which formed these cracks. And lastly, we need to get started now.
Average hourly earnings for all private workers only increased by 1.3% as measured at the end of 2012. However, when factoring in inflation at 2.2%, real wage “growth” is at 0.9% . But here’s the big gap, according to Bloomberg TV : Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are at all-time highs of 12%, whereas wages as a percent of GDP at all-time lows of 2%. And according to Bloomberg contributor Gina Martin Adams of Wells Fargo, companies (in the S&P 500) are sitting on nearly four trillion dollars in cash playing it safe in these uncertain economic times.
Here’s what you can do:
Not enough college grads are going into STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to meet the ever-increasing demand. According to Code.org , by 2020 there will be one million more U.S. jobs than students learning how to code. Start closing this gap by:
Technological change continues to outpace individual knowledge and skills improvement. It is encouraging to see that companies on average are getting the message and investing more in learning. A Deloitte  study reports that U.S. training organizations grew their spending by 12% in 2012.
Recruiters and hiring managers continue to rely on mediocre and/or inflexible position descriptions which focus too heavily on skills and experiences (requirements) and not enough on applicant performance and potential. Here’s how to fill the gap:
Recruiters and hiring managers have relied extensively on the crutch of traditional online job boards and post-and-pray methods to source talent. Bridging this talent gap starts at the crossroads of in-person and online networks.
Organizations (especially legacy businesses) have been slow to embrace flexible work arrangements and the technologies to support a mobile workforce. Bridging this gap starts with assessing management and employee readiness and, if ready, it evolves toward workforce management training, coaching, and continued monitoring of the program, making adjustments along the way.
You can use surveys for new hires and hiring managers about their experience during the recruiting process. You can also review sourcing metrics to see how many new hires and applicants came to you through your website or other means versus you reaching out to them. How many were referred to you by employees or outside referrals? Is the number going up? Are fewer employees turning over?
As you begin to fill one or more of these gaps, you’ll find that improvement in one area will support progress in another.
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.ere.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/bigstock-Jump-7475814.jpg
 ManpowerGroup survey,: http://us.manpower.com/us/en/multimedia/2011-Talent-Shortage-Survey.pdf
 12.3 million people are still unemployed: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
 Inc.com, Keith Cline: http://www.inc.com/keith-cline/talent-shortages-in-2012.html
 real wage “growth” is at 0.9%: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-10/mysterious-case-americas-negative-real-wage-growth
 Bloomberg TV: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/are-we-facing-a-permanent-decline-in-real-wages-rskODOU8Tzm4u811JZzHQg.html
 STEM: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2074024,00.html
 Code.org: http://www.code.org/
 STEM Challenge: http://stemchallenge.org/
 Deloitte: http://marketing.bersin.com/corporate-learning-factbook-2013-us.html
 Hire with Your Head: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0470128356?tag=adlerconcom-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0470128356&adid=1Q3DQB032ANV4WJFNZYJ&
 Hiring and Getting Hired: http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Guide-Hiring-Getting-ebook/dp/B00B9JZMKE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359787741&sr=1-1&keywords=essential+guide+for+hiring+%26+getting+hired
 Yahoo: http://allthingsd.com/20130222/physically-together-heres-the-internal-yahoo-no-work-from-home-memo-which-extends-beyond-remote-workers/
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