How The Employment Shortage is Hurting the C-Suite

With the general unemployment rate dropping to 3.5% this past September and the rate for managers sitting even lower at 2%, there are currently more jobs available than there are people to fill them. While this may sound like a good thing on the surface, many companies are struggling as they compete for top talent.

In fact, one study from 2018 found that failure to attract and retain high-quality employees is now the number one issue on the minds of CEOs. As organizations face shortages of employees, managers are now working harder than ever to compensate.

The Growing Labor Shortage

Although there are an abundance jobs available in areas such as software, sales, engineering, design, healthcare, analytics, and management, unfortunately, we lack the skilled workers necessary to fill them all. To illustrate this point, only 35% of employers feel that college graduates possess the hard and soft skills necessary to succeed at work.

This lack of skills in young people only exacerbated by the fact that nearly 10,000 baby boomers retire every day. As they leave the workforce, they’re taking their skills with them.

What’s more, the candidates who are qualified are now pickier than ever, leading employers on through multiple interviews before ultimately deciding to work for a different company. This choosy attitude among employees contributes to the fact that the average time it takes to fill a position has increased by ten days since 2010.

Executives are Picking up the Slack

Due to their inability to fill their teams, both mid-level and upper management need to pick up the slack themselves. Beyond covering for the vacancies on their teams, C-level managers are taking on the unfilled duties of their peers as well; when C-suite positions aren’t filled, executives must divide up the remaining work between themselves. As such, it’s now quite common for a CEO to be taking on the responsibilities of a CFO or CMO if none is present.

In both these ways, managers are being spread thin, ultimately leading to stress, burn out, and less productivity.

Refining Recruiting to Acquire and Retain Top Talent

While this employment shortage can seem like a daunting issue, by refocusing the hiring processes, implementing training programs, and incentivizing new hires, your company can attract top talent even in this competitive market.

When it comes to hiring, most organizations only consider candidates who already possess the skills necessary for the job. Although this can be efficient in theory, when labor markets are competitive it can be helpful to expand your scope to include workers who are younger and less experienced, yet open and enthusiastic. Young workers often learn quickly and bring fresh energy to their organizations, ultimately pushing them forward in the long run.

After onboarding newer employees, investing in training programs to teach them the necessary skills can lead to great returns. This can include creating in-house training programs or sponsoring your employees as they receive education elsewhere. By doing so, you’ll attract the most ambitious upcoming workers who are eager to improve themselves and your organization as well.

Beyond this, incentivizing new employees with a great corporate culture and solid benefits, including health and wellness programs, will increase the loyalty of your existing employees while simultaneously attracting new, top-level recruits.

By following these tips, your organization can thrive even when the competition is tough. As you attract all the right people, rather than feeling bogged-down, your C-level executives will finally get some room to breathe. Once they do, they’ll be far more free to focus on what they do best, taking your organization towards new heights.

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