Feeling The Pressure of the Skill Gaps? 5 Ways to Fix It FAST

The skills gap is something that many industries, including the manufacturing industry, are all too familiar with. There seems to be more and more open jobs and less and less qualified talent to fill them. Anyone in HR would be happy to tell you about the stress, time, and resources it takes to find talent in such a competitive market and what all goes into getting that talent to stay. To sum it up, it’s a hefty undertaking. 

Gambling on talent is risky business. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a bad hire can cost a company around 30% of the employee’s annual salary. And that’s just the monetary aspect. It doesn’t include morale, liability, or lack of production output just to name a few.

Dialing in on a skills gap, creating effective hiring practices, and strategically retaining employees can be pivotal in the long-term success of a company. 

Here are five things you should take into consideration when responding to a talent gap inside your organization. 

Nail down your job posting 

The first and typically only piece of information a candidate sees when applying for a position is the job description. It is the bread and butter of what the role is going to be like, the target audience, desired skill set, and benefits gained by joining the company. 

All too often companies skimp on this part and leave it to HR to throw together without really assessing the finer details. The oversight can cost talent and more importantly, time.

Management should work closely with HR to paint an accurate picture of who they need and what that person will be doing in the role. This is the perfect time to evaluate a skills gap in departments and positions. 

If you are growing a team, try to foresee what a new hire can bring to compliment current talent and fill in any cracks. If it is a new position or replacement, make a list of non-negotiables and try not to budge until you have found that person. 

Clear guidelines are key and the job description should be edited accordingly. Once established, add flair, make the process easy, and sell your company to not only attract the right talent, but convince them to apply. 

a person in an orange construction helmet welding in a darkly lit room

Research market value

Companies all over are stepping up their game to entice candidates with more money, better benefits, additional time off, and unique perks. The tougher the market, the easier it will be for an offer to make or break a candidate’s interest in the role and company. 

This is especially true with top talent. When an offer is declined it is more than likely because the offer was not competitive and did not meet the market value for what a candidate’s education, skills, and tenure is worth. Your competitors know their worth, make sure you do too

Hiring is a marathon, not a sprint. Success relies on tedious preparation and research. The perfect candidate declining an offer can be heartbreaking. Don’t take offense and see if you can gather feedback. Use the rejection as a learning opportunity to understand changes that need to be made. 

Get proactive by hopping on sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor or talking to a recruiting agency to make sure that what you are offering for pay, bonus, and benefits is on par. Staying competitive not only wins candidates, but can help prevent them from looking elsewhere when the market gets hot. 

guy in warehouse observing his surroundings while holding a clipboard

Encourage life-long learning 

Build a culture that values learning, mentorship, and continued education. Placing emphasis on personal and professional development can transform your organization and empower your employees. It can also close a skills gap or drastically improve it. 

Create a mentorship program to connect less tenured employees to ones that are in management or highly experienced in the field. Match two professionals that might not get to interact on a day to day basis so that the employee (and mentor) can gain a new perspective and network outside of their immediate bubble. They might learn something that wouldn’t occur naturally on the job and the takeaway can be highly beneficial for all parties involved. 

Make learning easy. There are tons of industry specific classes, training, and education materials to enhance skills and continue the habit of learning. Market these classes to employees, pay for them, and above all else, encourage them. The knowledge gained will be worth the short loss of productivity. 

smiling man in a warehouse isle holding a cardboard box surrounded by other boxes on shelves

Get creative about your hiring process

If you aren’t coming up with the right talent by posting a job and hoping for the best, it might be time to mix it up. Your current employees can be a wonderful resource to showcase what your company has to offer. 

Create an employee referral program to pay for that effort. It is a win-win all around. The company will organically receive talent and the employee earns additional income with the potential to work with a friend. In fact, referred employees historically stay longer than non-referred employees. 

Working with a recruiting agency can open up a network of people already on hand that meet the skills your company desires. They can be a solid resource if other recruiting efforts are coming up short. Also, if they don’t have that perfect person, it is their full-time job to search for them which saves you time and effort. 

Partnering with schools is another way to find top talent outside of the norm. Catching fresh graduates can be a good option if on-site training is available for more specific job-related duties. This group is typically eager to jump in and gain experience for their career. Effective on the job training might even bypass a skills gap altogether. 

Once you have talent on the hook, make sure your hiring process is streamlined and that interviews are few and effective. The longer the process, the higher percentage that top talent will drop off on their own.

african american woman in a bright colored vest standing in a warehouse smiling

Let the people know

Get talking. The more that highly qualified candidates see manufacturing as a possibility on career websites, social media, and at job fairs, the more interested they will become. People don’t know what they don’t know. 

While other industries are slapping candidates across the face with information, manufacturing has sometimes struggled to make the same impact. But that is changing for the better! 

Manufacturing companies are starting to get more creative about their social presence and getting louder about what they have to offer, which is a lot. Make sure your HR team, social media team, or management is showcasing why it is so great to work in the industry and what top tier candidates will gain by joining in on the fun. 

Leave it to the experts. 

Pinpointing the skills gap at your company is only step one. You need a comprehensive recruiting strategy to uncover the right talent and fill in the missing links. It can be a daunting task so why not leave it to the experts? At GTR, we know that time is money so we don’t want you wasting yours by spinning your recruiting and hiring wheels without reward. We are industry experts, in business for 17 years, who are ready to help you recruit and hire qualified candidates to fill your open roles.

It’s overwhelming to consider all the moving pieces that go into recruiting and hiring and we want to help. Contact us today to learn more about how GTR can help you Build a Workforce That Works.