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How to Deal with the Workforce Crisis

Ed Sattar August 6, 2015 0

People. Skilled, talented workers make your business what it is.

You wouldn’t think it with the sluggish economic recovery, but there’s a workforce shortage coming our way, and no one is immune. Add to that a lack of skilled workers, and you have a big headache for HR folks.

Where Have All the Workers Gone?

It won’t be long before you’ll see labor shortages on a global scale, as the Boston Consulting Group detailed in July 2014. For Germany, it’s a projected 10 million dollar shortage by 2030, and Italy, Russia, Poland, Brazil, and South Korea will have similar issues.

The incredibly shrinking workforce can be blamed on:

  • Declining birth rates
  • Increasing retirement
  • Immigration policies
  • Yearly working hours
  • Worker productivity/skill levels

Where are the Skills?

Another big issue, especially with expertise and qualification, is the looming skills mismatch. At the same time we’re grappling with workforce shortages, there’s going to be a lack of highly skilled job applicants.

What about technology?

We’ve all heard the stories about robots taking jobs away from real, breathing humans, but we’re always going to need more jobs and more people. And technology is great for boosting efficiency with automation, robots, and artificial intelligence. The real question is: Can technology solve this workforce crisis? The answer: yes and no. Or more accurately “it depends.”

As technology replaces humans, we create new jobs and new must-have skills, which is not good for our skill mismatch problem. Next big trend: highly skilled people.

The numbers don’t lie: We’ll have major workforce challenges before you know it. Right now, we’re at the turning point. What you are going to do about it?

What about Workforce Compliance?

The People Strategy

What’s the solution? Planning, planning, and more planning.

With the worker shortage and skills drought, now’s the time to create the strategy to help you ride out the storm. Basically it’s about pinpointing what you need, finding those great employees, and making them never want to leave. To do that, implement this four part plan:

  • Assessment: What are you going to need in the future? This is workforce planning. Think about competencies, roles, and functions.
  • Recruitment: You’ve got to attract those highly skilled workers that will be in demand. Remember: not just women and Generation Y, but also retirees.
  • Upskill: Boost the skills of the people you already have. Create a training plan and identify the resources and technology needed to make it happen.
  • Retention: You’ve recruited them, hired them, and upskilled them. Now you’ve got to keep them. Make your people excited to get to work each day with stuff like:
  • Great, employee-centered culture
  • Jobs that match their skills
  • Clear message
  • Rewards
  • Fun, learning-focused environment

Now what? Well, ask yourself:

  • Is this going to be a problem for me?
  • What am I going to do about it?
  • Got a learning culture?
  • Need a Learning and Talent Management System?

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