Many companies are asking their Talent Acquisition and Human Resource professionals what can be done differently to attract more talent. Anyone who is keeping their pulse on the job market right now, knows that the common messaging is there are “too many jobs, and not enough people.” According to a SHRM article posted in mid-July, “available jobs declined by 427,000 to 11.3 million in May, according to the monthly JOLTS report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).” (Maurer, 2022). Another SHRM article written around the same time noted, “states reported that 235,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending July 2, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits–1.3 million–is well below the pre-pandemic average of 1.7 million.” (Maurer, 2022). These numbers do represent a talent shortage. However, maybe not every unemployed individual is collecting unemployment. But with five generations of people available in the workforce, everyone seems to be looking for an “out-of-the-box” solution to resolve this labor shortage issue. We don’t think a Hail Mary plan is what any of these companies need.
Anyone who has seen a Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) commercial, has heard President Paul LeBlanc say: “The world in which we live equally distributes talent. But it doesn’t equally distribute opportunity.” (SNHU, 2017). Preceding that statement LeBlanc asks different groups of people to stand to demonstrate the diversity in the room. We could not agree more with President LeBlanc. We believe that his profound statement is one that can help companies to overcome their talent “shortages.”
Our recommendation to all those looking to understand what they can do to secure more talent is: envelope yourself in the community! This means more than attending the networking events or involving yourself in the associations. This means more than buying ads or going to career fairs. This will require you to visit with people from the local schools, colleges, adult education centers, boys and girls clubs, work readiness programs, homework centers, etc. Your visit should be with intention and purpose. Do not go just to educate them on your business and the job openings you have available. Make them remember YOU!
Some ideas to help you include:
- Conducting a resume workshop.
- Holding mock interview sessions that includes honest and genuine feedback.
- Providing technology and other resources that may not be available to those individuals.
- Offering training on the technology and systems companies like yours require.
Think about the statement from President LeBlanc. People within your community may not have ever received support in building a resume or had any experience with interviewing. They may not have ever had the chance to enhance their soft skills. Additionally, they may not have the same opportunity or advantage to technology. Beyond having the access to the technology, they may not have the resources to train and enhance their knowledge of the systems available. Not only will going into the community help citizens improve in these areas, but so will taking a look at your job descriptions. When identifying requirements for your role, ask yourself if the next candidate NEEDS a bachelor’s or advanced degree to do this role. Consider determining if they have to know specific systems or practices or if they can that be taught those things. Keep in mind President LeBlanc’s statement and remember not everyone has the opportunity or means to go to college. Not everyone has the desire, confidence, finances or family support to attend higher education.
So rather than blaming political or government figures for the reason why people aren’t working or asking your HR and talent teams to develop an intricate plan, start by implementing a boots on the ground, supportive approach. This will not only help your company, but improve all of those living in the communities that make up our world.
Famous poet, Maya Angelou once said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Gallo, 2014). Leave a lasting impression on all the people you support so that they will not only remember your efforts and the company you work for, but they will seek you and the company out for opportunities and guidance in the future!
Gallo, Carmine. (2014, May 31). The Maya Angelou quote that will radically improve your business. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/05/31/the-maya-angelou-quote-that-will-radically-improve-your-business/?sh=5664da6118be
Maurer, R. (2022, July 6). Job Openings, Quits Start to Fall. SHRM. Retrieved from: https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/Pages/Jobless-Claims-July-7-Unemployment.aspx?utm_source=marketo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial~HR%20Daily~NL_2022-07-07_Breaking_News-JoblessClaims&linktext=READ-MORE&mktoid=49763891&mkt_tok=ODIzLVRXUy05ODQAAAGFd7Dm_GHVWt08BR7esJLj6Wskf11FA0607vGflgcc71gcolguKGy9aYLO7ycQcg2tf5nYCdlXmp8f8VX-BAOZ-LcK91yIKWhCOIzvy_dl83gSQw
Maurer, R. (2022, July 7). Unemployment Claims Edge Up Slightly. SHRM. Retrieved from: https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/Pages/JOLTS-Quits-Rate-Great-Resignation-Turnover-May-2022.aspx?utm_source=marketo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial~HR%20Daily~NL_2022-07-06_Breaking_News-JOLTSReport&linktext=READ-MORE&mktoid=49763891&mkt_tok=ODIzLVRXUy05ODQAAAGFct_HUyiH6ICph7J9fyPW6f7BNqWhotJuOVb0DTIyyGNVZ378EcWRG0v5LyATyw7Mrytk4E5o9p_nAL8QevwB2nRvsJH3RzTLsHfrCZ1wOQE14g
Southern New Hampshire University. (2017, December 11). Stand up: Set your own course at SNHU (:30). YouTube. https://youtu.be/sfHYnKMVrfw
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021, November 12). Economic News Release. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm