Hiring in 2014: Big Challenges, Real Solutions

484560171Hiring qualified talent is expensive. It requires specialized expertise. It’s time-consuming.

And it is extremely challenging, even under the best of circumstances

And for most employers, our research shows that current economic and employment conditions are decidedly not the best of circumstances.

In May, PrideStaff conducted an online survey to gauge workforce and hiring trends across the U.S. The survey was completed by nearly 1,000 individuals, representing a wide range of industries and company sizes. Today, I’m presenting key insights to help you better understand the hiring challenges today’s employers face – and ways your staffing or recruiting firm can help organizations overcome them.

The Big Picture
Overall, the survey shows that business growth and increased demand has breathed new life into hiring. Positive economic conditions and growing consumer demand have created a “trickle-down effect,” resulting in a greater need for full-time employees.

At the same time, unemployment has continued to decline. Fewer qualified candidates are actively looking for work. As a result, hiring managers are faced with very real, and very painful, hiring challenges. Here is an overview of four of the biggest obstacles our nation’s employers are facing:

Shortage of qualified talent. Over half of all respondents (56.2 percent) cited this as their biggest challenge. Talent gaps are hampering employers’ ability to fill open jobs, and this is stifling growth for many organizations.

Who’s felt the pain the most? The areas reporting the largest skills gap included skilled workers and general labor. With recent increases in offshore labor costs, more manufacturers have moved operations back to U.S. soil. This shift, coupled with rising consumer confidence, has increased hiring demand for skilled labor such as CNC machinists, welders, machine operators, forklift drivers and general laborers.

Staffing and recruiting firms play a vital role in helping employers overcome talent shortages, offering more proactive and comprehensive recruitment solutions. By sourcing talent well in advance of organizations’ actual needs, agencies can ensure timely access to qualified individuals.

Furthermore, staffing services offer flexible workforce solutions, in which temporary staff is used to meet demand fluctuations without adding to permanent headcount. Here again, a staffing firm’s assistance in planning and recruiting is essential to helping employers meet their demand for talent.

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Budget and payroll constraints. Over a third (35.4 percent) of respondents reported that financial issues – internal budget restrictions and the cost of hiring – are the biggest hiring challenges they face.Despite economic growth and growing consumer demand, hiring managers still deal with significant financial constraints when attempting to fill open jobs.

Staffing and recruiting services effectively address these challenges. By leveraging recruiting technology, industry expertise, candidate networks and economies of scale, our services can provide cost-effective hiring alternatives for employers. Direct placement services shorten time-to-hire, minimize the disruption to an employer’s business and ultimately lower the average cost-per-hire. Satisfaction guarantees further reduce costs, by eliminating the risks and expense of bad hires.

If budgetary constraints preclude direct hiring, a staffing partner can offer two other alternatives to provide access to the talent employers need:

  • Qualified contingent workers can be used to help complete projects, meet deadlines and alleviate stress on direct employees.
  • Payroll administration services may allow an employer to retain qualified workers they recruit until they can hire them directly.

Lack of time to hire. Last, but certainly not least, 8.4% of respondents cited time constraints as their biggest hiring challenge. Today’s candidate shortages aren’t merely inconvenient; they’ve significantly increased the time and effort required to recruit qualified talent. In fact, 28.4% said that time-to-hire has increased dramatically.

These days, it takes more time and money to fill positions with the right people.As you know, posting jobs, screening résumés, scheduling and conducting initial interviews, testing and reference-checking is time-consuming and costly activities.

Staffing services give employers back the valuable time that they’d otherwise be forced to spend on recruiting activities like these. That’s time employers can better spend on other important HR, talent management or business activities. Similarly, because staffing firms maintain such robust candidate databases, we can dramatically reduce the time it takes for employers to find the right people on their own.

The bottom line? Today’s hiring challenges present fresh opportunities for your staffing or recruiting firm. By helping employers find qualified talent more quickly, cost-effectively and with less disruption, you can solve real business problems for employers in your market – and become true partners in their businesses.

Now is the time to counsel your clients on staffing their businesses more strategically – especially if they plan to hire skilled and general labor. Looking ahead, the companies that thrive will be the ones that:

  • Develop a long-term recruitment strategy, instead of merely reacting to job openings.
  • Begin sourcing talent well in advance of actual needs.
  • Partner with a proven staffing firm to fill positions quickly, accurately and cost-effectively.

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Tammi Heaton

Tammi Heaton
Tammi Heaton is COO of PrideStaff. She can be reached at theaton (at) pridestaff (dot) com.

Tammi Heaton

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