Right now, over 5 million jobs are not being filled in the United States alone because organizations can’t find the necessary talent they need to fill these openings. Why is that?
• Could it be that there is just too much job demand and not enough talent to go around?
• Are we trying to fill such unique jobs that require such specialized talent that only a very few candidates are truly qualified?
• Have Google and Apple and a handful of “Best Places to Work” companies absorbed all the best and the brightest?
• Have the 5% unemployed just stopped looking for work and, like Cousin Eddie, holding out for management roles?
I suggest the answers are “no” to all of the above questions.
The current 5 million jobs are not getting filled because there aren’t enough talented people out there. Most (75-80%) of the qualified candidates simply aren’t aware these positions are even open and available. Companies do not have the time nor dedicated resources to do anything more than “post and pray” with their open positions today. Most HR functions today are in such reactive mode, they simply don’t have time to reach the huge and talented passive candidate talent market. Plus, the pressures from the business demand candidates, not necessarily the best candidates. But, if hiring managers hold out for quality (like they should), jobs continue to go unfilled and time-to-fill metrics rise proportionally.
Secondly, the job market is not suddenly being filled with unique roles that only a handful of super humans can fill. The knowledge economy is here, for sure, but most of these openings are not of the “purple squirrel” variety. Most are just regular jobs that can be filled with real, hard-working folks if these folks only knew they were available. In an age when virtually everyone is accessible, organizations don’t or can’t seem to access the people they need to run their businesses effectively. Again, the talent needed is out there, just not effectively accessed and courted. Lots of these basic roles companies crave are where they need a “quantity of quality” recruiting strategy. They don’t need just one position filled, they need many, many qualified people for the same role, many times in the very same location. There recruiting approach simply doesn’t pull in enough talent to fill all their openings.
And, no, Google, Apple and all the talent magnets haven’t stockpiled all the best talent, at least not all of it. Great and talented people are everywhere doing great work. They’re just not working for your company. Yet. But, if they are made aware of your opening and enticed by a compelling employer value proposition (why your people joined your organization and why they stay) they just might be interested. But, if you don’t reach out to these top performers, who never look at postings, you’ll never have a chance with them. But, it’s certainly not that highly qualified and capable talent isn’t available. It’s just that posting your job does not give you access to this vibrant river of talent that flow by your every day. This is that “move the needle” talent we all crave and know will make our companies better.
Finally, the majority of the 5% of the population counted as unemployed, are stereotypically not your best performers or your target group. Sure, there are very talented people out of work for a time due to mergers and acquisitions, unwanted relocations or redundancies of new corporate structures. However, unless their skillset is very unique, the better performers and also highly self-motivated and find work pretty quickly.
So, bottom line, there is plenty of talent for all your open roles. They just happen to be working for other employers at the present time. And the sad thing is, unless you choose to develop and implement a more aggressive and creative recruiting strategy, the best talent will not be joining your firm any time soon. And, you will continue to hold more than your share of that 5 million open jobs not getting filled.