Piecing Together the Talent Shortage Puzzle

talent shortage signThis week at Brandon Hall Group, we’re taking the first step in researching one of the most fundamental problems facing hiring organizations today. Talent shortage, skills gap, skills shortage – call it what you will, there are a lot of hiring organizations struggling to find qualified candidates for their open jobs.

My question (simplified for the sake of this post) is “Why?” Our latest research survey – which you can participate in right here – undertakes some serious data gathering in order to get to the bottom of this.

It’s no secret that competition for talent is high – and has been for years. And while there is ample evidence supporting the existence of skills gaps in certain industries and regions, our research indicates these gaps may not be as pervasive as some recruiters seem to believe.

According to Brandon Hall Group’s 2014 State of Talent Acquisition Report, 78% of organizations rated their talent acquisition efforts and capabilities as less than highly effective. Many reported a lack of maturity in their existing talent acquisition process, with 64% relying on reactionary recruiting process and operating without even a high-level strategy in place to support hiring initiatives in the near- or long-term. This does not bode well for organizations competing in today’s talent-driven hiring climates.

Some organizations – including many participants in our HCM Excellence Awards – are taking action to combat real talent shortages and skills gaps. They’re overhauling sourcing and assessment practices, investing in modern talent acquisition technology, improving planning capabilities, and investing resources in employer branding and candidate experience. As a result of their efforts, they’re making gains on all fronts. They’re attracting more high-quality candidates, they’re retaining more new hires, and they’re closing their skills gaps one step at a time.

But for every one organization taking action, many more are still stuck in the endless cycle of source-assess-hire-repeat – and hemorrhaging talent. It’s far more than a talent acquisition issue, which is why this survey is the beginning of a massive undertaking.

In order to understand the root causes and contributing factors, I’ve already begun discussing this issue (as well as my hypotheses) with industry leaders, technology providers, economics professors, and even labor lawyers. Already, my head is spinning with all of the dots that need to be connected before I can present something coherent – and something useful.

But first things first, right? I’d love to know what you think. Is there a worldwide talent shortage? If not, why are recruiters struggling to find qualified candidates in a global talent economy? How does a reactionary recruiting model impair an organization’s ability to find, engage, and hire quality candidates?

Take 15 minutes, and share with us your experience – what are your pain points and how is your organization tackling them? In return for your completed survey, we will make a summary of results available to you, invite you to a brief webcast during which we will review the results summary, and offer you a piece of research from our existing library.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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