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What to Do When You Can’t Fill That Open Position

The hiring environment continues to be challenging as COVID restrictions end, and many businesses find themselves in need of more help. Continuing the federal unemployment boost until September has led to many laid-off workers being content to stay home for a while longer even though the CDC says it’s safe to return to work, especially for vaccinated workers.

As a result, employers are having a difficult time filling many of their open positions, particularly those that don’t require high levels of skill. What are employers to do when they have an increasing demand for their goods and services but can’t find people to do the work required to provide them?

Here are some steps proactive employers are taking to find the talent they need.

Offer a signing bonus. When demand for workers is high, and supply is low (even if artificially), compensation usually rises to entice workers to apply. Offering a bonus to new employees after a period of successful employment (usually 3-6 months) can be a way to offer more compensation without a permanent increase in wages. 

Offer bigger referral bonuses. Your existing employees are often the best source of new talent, but they may not be sufficiently motivated to mine their contacts for your benefit if the rewards for doing so are small. Make referrals worth their while, and you may find yourself able to fill positions easier with their help.

Make the position more flexible. Today’s employees, especially those in Generation Z, value work-life balance. A flexible schedule or hybrid jobs where some work is performed remotely can make your opportunity stand out from the crowd as more attractive than more traditional work arrangements. 

Ramp up training. If you can’t find applicants with the skills you need, one possibility is to hire employees who you determine to have the potential to develop those skills and then train them in the position you need filled. Looking at soft skills that would benefit the job will be the best way to determine hiring preferences in this scenario, as well as universal skills like adaptability and the willingness to learn new things. 

Hire from within. If you find applicants for a position you already have filled, consider moving your personnel around within the company so that you have everything covered. You may have to do more training to teach new skills and procedures to your existing employees, but that may be easier than training someone who has not already been in the organization for a while. 

Get help. Chances are, you have department managers or HR staff trying to hire workers on top of an already full workload. Having expert recruiting help could be the step your company needs to get the competitive edge on hiring and beat out the competition.

GDH offers recruitment help to companies to find them the talent they need. Contact us for information on what we do to score hard-to-find talent.

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