Labour shortage has spiked all over the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the lockdown, many workers have chosen to quit and pursue different careers. While for some this presents new opportunities, others such as service providers and manufacturing companies have suffered a lot.
Labour shortage has affected Australia as well as other developed countries. “There’s never been a better time to be applying for a job,” said Dylan Broomfield, manager of policy and advocacy at the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his interview with the Guardian. And this was said with respect to last year. Due to Omicron things have gotten even worse especially for the supply chain. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the industries with the highest reported vacancies include:
- Administrative and Support Services
- Wholesale and Retail Trade
- Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
While Omicron and the ongoing pandemic is responsible for some of the reasons behind labour shortage, it can be argued that the cause of the problem is poor corporate culture. It is clear that companies need to have more tools for handling worker shortages. In this article, we will share ultimate tips for handling a labour shortage.
Short-term solutions for labour shortage
Labour shortage is a big issue that requires a well-developed and consistent approach. Unfortunately, a lot of companies do not have that luxury at this moment. So, here are some of the quick ways to overcome labour shortage. Remember, these methods will not solve the whole problem. However, they will provide means of hiring people so your business can continue its operations.
1. Improve recruiting process
This tip works as a short-term as well as a long-term solution. For a quick solution you can try several things to improve the recruitment process:
- Actively advertise your vacancies on social media
- Partner up with local organizations to target different segments of potential workers
- Offer an employee referral bonus
Try to target the segments you have not communicated with before. Moreover, use the magic of Instagram and Tik-Tok to share information with younger generations who might be looking for job opportunities.
2. Implement Flexible Working Hours/Schedules
Flexible working hours can be hard to implement because it requires a change of processes. On the other hand, flexible working hours are quite appealing. If you shorten the shifts, you could attract more students who are not able to work full-time jobs. It will not be easy, and you will have to keep up operations to support unorthodox schedules, but it will be effective. Currently, potential employees are looking for flexibility, so you should consider delivering it through flexible schedules and liberal time-off protocols.
3. Short-term workers/Freelancers
Hiring short-term workers is not a new concept, but a lot of businesses are hesitant. However, in this situation being picky might not be the best policy. So, consider hiring short-term workers and create packages specially created for the temporary workforce. They are your chance of survival in this uncertain time.
If the work can be done remotely, outsource it to freelancers. You could hire people from all over the world. It comes with a variety of rewards:
- No major responsibilities towards freelancers
- Hiring freelancers is cheaper
- You can find professionals that are willing to match their schedule to yours
Additionally, hiring a freelancer does not need a lengthy recruitment process. You could hire someone in literally 20 minutes. While most of the open positions require physical presence, some of the openings can be filled in by freelancers.
Do not overlook the temporary workers or freelancers, they might be the solution you have been looking for all this time.
4. Offer training
Hiring an experienced person is a genuinely nice thing, but at this point, it is a luxury. Do not ignore inexperienced candidates. That is one of the major things during the hiring process. Amateur employees indeed require a lot of teaching and energy in the beginning, but it does not mean the investment is unjustified. A lot of workers make up for their inexperience with the right attitude and willingness to learn. You would be surprised how much can be done with determination.
Our advice is to improve your training process, make it more efficient and think about offering value to your future employees. You are not the only one choosing them, they are choosing you. You need to stand out and offer something worth their time and effort. In this case, providing good training and offering education is the best policy.
Long-term Strategies for Overcoming Labour Shortage
For most companies, labour shortage has been coming for a long. The pandemic just changed everything swiftly, so it is easy to overlook the trend before and think that the issue started just 2 years ago. The core reasons for labour shortage have been developing over the years. Therefore, your company will need to implement major changes to handle this issue. Here are four major strategies you can try:
1. Invest in Talent Development and Acquisition
Often the issue with labour concerns 2 areas:
- Hiring the wrong people
- Not allowing talents to develop and improve
If you hire the wrong person for the job, it affects the quality of the work done, employee’s satisfaction and the company’s stability. The recruitment process should focus on choosing the right people and not the ones that just match the required skills. Moreover, the HR department of the company should ensure the development of employees and allow them to flourish. To achieve this and solve the issues mentioned above, you must invest in talent development and acquisition.
2. Improve the communication process between employees and supervisors
Managers often discover the issues employees had been experiencing only after they quit. This has been a quite common problem. People quit because they were unhappy with their jobs. This could have been avoided if communication were more efficient within the company. Communication improvement should be one of the main points of focus in your company.
3. Prioritize the corporate culture
Do not overlook workplace culture and use it only when you want to seem like a good employer. Make it a priority every single day. People who are happy at work contribute more. Workplace culture could have a positive influence on a company’s financial performance as well as the overall environment.
4. Be flexible
For decades workers had to be flexible for jobs, but the trend has changed. Now companies need to exercise flexibility in various areas. More specifically try to implement the following things:
- Implement Flexible and worker-oriented Scheduling System
- Offer more benefits such as more day-offs, increased vacation time, better health insurance
- Make operations more versatile
- Invest in new technologies