HRM Five: Manoeuvring talent shortages

With talent shortages looming, here are a few tips for businesses that want to stay ahead of the hiring game.
By: | February 11, 2018

Yamini Chinnuswamy offers five important points on everything you wanted to know about HR practices today, but were too afraid to ask. Check out previous editions of HRM Five here.


A report last year by staffing firm KellyOCG found that more than 6 out of 10 C-suite level executives across the Asia Pacific (APAC) expect talent shortages over the next few years to adversely affect their businesses.

Fellow recruitment experts Robert Half echoed these sentiments, with senior executive director Paul McDonald noting that “hiring strategies that worked well a few years ago may no longer be effective. Smart businesses are retooling their recruiting practices to feed the talent pipeline.”

Here are a few ways to retool those hiring practices, and keep your talent pipeline flowing:

  1. Re-examine your hiring criteria.
    Unless you’re hiring for professional roles like accountancy or law, don’t get too caught up in what the candidate studied in school. Likewise, be open-minded about the specifics of a job candidate’s experience. Identify must-have attributes and skills that can be taught on the job. Develop a strong onboarding program to help new employees get up to speed quickly and learn your company’s systems and processes.
  2. Ramp up active recruitment.
    Long gone are the days when you can advertise a job opening and wait for skilled professionals to apply. Keep your eyes and ears open. No matter what type of event you are at, be ready to describe your company’s exciting job opportunities. Leverage social media and your existing employee base to build up your employer brand.
  3. Open your mind to new ways of working.
    The gig economy is here, and with it, and new open-mindedness from candidates towards contract, freelance and project work. This flexibility enables you to tap into a broader employee base (especially if you’re also open to remote workers from othe countries), and also means your organisation can be more agile in responding to market changes.
  4. Encourage employee referrals.
    Ask employees if they know people who would be good additions to the team, as your staff are more likely to refer candidates who they think will be a good fit. Implementing an employee referral program can also be a powerful recruiting tool.
  5. Look to the future.
    Consider working with schools and higher education institutions to institute training programs, work shadowing initiatives, and internships. These are the young people who will be joining the workforce in a few years, and if they find the experience with your company and industry to be positive and productive, they will very likely look to jon up once they’re out of school.