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Candidate Skills Shortage Changing The Role Of HR

Clare Hopping

Job skillsHR leaders must expand their role in order to address the worldwide skills shortage, according to a report.

According to ManpowerGroup’s Annual Talent Shortage Survey, around 36 per cent of employers report difficulties of filling jobs because candidates lack the required skills. The study said that in order to combat this shortage, HR departments must change their roles to attract and retain talent.

The study found that over half (54 per cent) of worldwide employers said the skills shortage problem has a "medium or high impact" on their ability to meet client needs.

It also exposed that the HR profession is undergoing rapid change and expanding its remit into new expertise areas. The survey outlined the three key areas where HR departments need to help companies flourish.

According to ManpowerGroup, human resources practitioners not only have to be aware of supply and demand issues but also must now become experts in understanding how to match up the right talent with the demand for their firm’s products in order to meet business goals.

HR leaders are also expected to provide market intelligence backed by data as well as how the supply of talent from inside and outside the company is affecting the availability of required skills. This means if there is a gap between workforce capabilities and business objectives, plans must be in place to bridge these gaps faster.

The research said that HR practitioners must also market their organisations to talent in a similar way to how the organisation’s products and services are marketed to consumers. In other words, HR has to consider how branding, messaging and image can help identify and promote their strengths to get talented people to work for their organisations and help their businesses succeed.

HR leaders must also act as designers in structuring work within an organisation in order to allow workers, whether they are full-time, freelance or consultants, to carry out work and projects in a way that suits them best. The survey said that communities of work needed to be cultivated so that the employment mix covered a wide range of people including temporary, outsourced and partially retired workers.

Manpower UK managing director Mark Cahill said the organisations getting it right were ones that understand that they must expand their remit beyond what is traditionally thought of as ‘HR’s role’ and develop expertise in whole new areas.

“Successful HR leaders are increasingly efficient in recruiting talent exactly where it is needed, marketing their organisation’s strengths to attract the best candidates and shaping the work model to suit their goals and employees, “ he said.

However, the survey of over 37,000 employers in 42 countries found that in the UK, the percentage of employers reporting a skills shortage decreased by one per cent to 12 per cent in 2014, showing that the British jobs market is strengthening.

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.