As the talent landscape continues to evolve, recruitment agencies face the challenge of talent shortages in various industries. Recent statistics indicate that 75% of organisations still struggle to find suitable candidates for their open positions, highlighting the urgency for agencies to take proactive measures. Whilst it might seem like the challenging times are behind us, experts predict that talent shortages caused by generational shifts will persist even up to the 2030s. But fear not – we’ve got some great tips on exploring innovative sourcing techniques, strategic partnerships, and talent development initiatives that empower large recruitment agencies to stay ahead of the curve and deliver exceptional results amidst talent shortages.
Build strong talent pipelines – by thinking outside the box
Sounds obvious, right? Even so, a lot of recruiters, probably even some in your agency, slow down when the market does – whether it’s an ongoing market situation or just a less busy time during the year, we tend to take our foot off the gas. After all, ‘nobody’s picking up the phone in the summer’ anyway, right? Well, that’s an easy way to be left behind by your competitors.
The best way to combat talent shortages is by building robust talent pipelines. Larger recruitment agencies can establish relationships with various places, such as educational institutions, industry associations, and professional networks to identify and nurture potential candidates. Think outside the box here – don’t just search for candidates where everyone else is already digging. By actively engaging with individuals who show promise and interest in relevant fields, you can develop a steady flow of qualified talent ready to fill positions as they become available. The key here is not just adding potential candidates to your pipeline, but actually engaging with them and keeping them warm – that’s what makes a difference between a useless pipeline and a winning one, no matter the market situation. If you have a roaster of candidates who trust you, you’re already a winner.
Introduce upskilling and retraining programs
In times of talent shortages, it’s time you can invest in upskilling and retraining programs to bridge the skill gaps within your existing workforce. You might want to retrain your staff internally to expand into a new sector – if the one you’ve specialised in so far is currently dry. This approach not only allows you to retain valuable employees but also helps them adapt to changing market demands.
But there’s also another side to this – offering retraining or upskilling programs to your prospective candidates. You might want to partner up with some of your clients and identify the skills gaps they’re trying to currently fill or the struggles they’re facing. Opening up a program that allows you to bring candidates over from a different sector that already have some transferable skills and just need a bit more push might just be the golden ticket out of dry-ville for your agency!
Embrace employer branding
Oh yes, another thing that a lot of agency owners don’t spend too much time on – and it is the golden ticket to talent attraction, especially when the market is drier. An attractive employer brand can make a significant difference in the number of candidates that your agency gets – after all, the way you present yourself to the world is how you stand out. It’s your chance to showcase your unique culture, the benefits of working with your agency, and the fun spirit nobody from outside of your business would normally know about. In the social media era, over 82% of people explore an employer’s brand before applying, so a solid online presence should be one of your main focuses.
Think about the type of talent you want to attract, depending on your recruitment niche, and then research where your target audience spends their online hours. What do they search for, what makes them laugh, what are they interested in? Consider top platforms to build your brand on and adjust your content to the target audience. Recruiting in the Gen Z market? TikTok is your place to start. Professional, high-end positions? Probably better to share expertise and knowledge on LinkedIn. Whatever you do, it’s crucial that you are honest and show all the amazing sides of your agency that would appeal to your target audience, as well as stay aware of industry social media trends and follow the crowd.
Engage your passive candidates
Did you know that 70% of the global workforce is passive talent? In a talent shortage scenario, it's crucial for you to tap into the pool of those passive candidates, who may not be actively seeking new opportunities but possess desirable skills. Adopting proactive sourcing techniques, such as leveraging online platforms we talked about before, and attending industry events will allow your agency to identify and engage with these hidden gems. By building relationships and showcasing the agency's value proposition, your recruiters can persuade passive candidates to consider new career opportunities.
Collaborate with clients and industry partners
Building strong relationships with clients and industry partners can be mutually beneficial in overcoming talent shortages. You can collaborate with clients to gain insights into their long-term talent needs, enabling proactive talent acquisition efforts. Additionally, partnering with industry associations and professional networks provides access to a wider talent pool and facilitates knowledge-sharing opportunities, as well as puts your name out there.
Leverage technology and data
Ah, the favourite part of a solid recruitment strategy – data. Did you know that 64% of recruiters believe they don’t have the right tools at work? Automation and technology play a vital role in streamlining recruitment processes, especially for large agencies. Make sure you and your team have a great tech stack in place and are continuously tracking your data, so you can easily adjust strategies to the market and ensure agency growth. By investing in a good CRM and data analytics platform, you can then leverage data to enhance your efficiency, reduce time-to-hire, and identify potential candidates more effectively. Leveraging technology also allows recruiters to focus their efforts on building relationships and providing personalised experiences to candidates.
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As Director of Growth and Partnerships, I will be heading up the Growth function within the business while helping the team secure more business with larger recruitment agencies. I will also be responsible for building a marketplace of industry suppliers to enhance our offering and increase revenue.