As per data from the U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics, while there are 7.2 million state job openings, only 6 million people continue to look for work. This is for the first time such a situation has existed since the Department of Labor started tracking job turnover rates.

FREMONT, CA: There is an abundance of candidates in the job market today, and yet it is hard to find a candidate with the required qualifications for a job. Labor shortage, as an issue, has been existing since 2018. As per data from the U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics, while there are 7.2 million state job openings, only 6 million people continue to look for work. This is for the first time such a situation has existed since the Department of Labor started tracking job turnover rates. Labor shortage is likely to be a significant problem in 2020, and the growing skills gap is going to make it very challenging for human resource professionals.

Labor shortage need not necessarily mean a lack of available workers. It could also refer to a situation where workers voluntarily remain unemployed. The shortage of labor is a problem that both white-collar and blue-collar employers are facing equally. Experts believe this to be the result of a lack of skilled workers, which ultimately comes down to education. In the long run, this can be a reason to worry for blue-collar employers, especially in labor intensive sector like manufacturing.

Here are five tips HR professionals can use to combat Labor Shortage.

Workforce Planning

Workforce planning should be conducted regularly, and HR professionals must have good knowledge of talent supply and demand to implement it successfully. The focus should be on what is happening in the labor market and how it relates to the company's business goals. At the same time, HR professionals must keep an eye on what products and services the company plans to provide or currently provides and how the competition fares in contrast.

Improving the Candidate Pool

While looking to fill a vacancy, in most cases, the lack of a proper candidate pool leads to HR professionals missing out on the best candidates. A majority of a candidate pool consists of passive candidates, or those who are already employed elsewhere and may not actively be on the job hunt. HR professionals, as an alternative, can get in touch with universities, recruiters, and search firms to expand the candidate pool. Allowing existing employees to participate in external professional activities can also attract new talent to the organization.

Employer Branding

To become an employer of choice, HR professionals need to take a look at the company's employee practices. This provides useful insights into retention, accountability, motivation, reward, recognition, promotion, flexibility in work-life balance, and involvement. By succeeding in these practices, current employees tend to speak highly of the organization and the kind of work culture. This in turn increases the odds of candidates searching out for the company.

Focusing on Candidate Experience

It is essential to respect the potential of a future candidate, and this process starts within the organization. By assessing the atmosphere experienced by employees, HR professionals can improve the overall candidate experience in the organization. Transparency is a prerequisite to improving candidate experience. Being honest and open, and continually communicating with the employees makes way for a better experience.

Using Modern Recruiting Tools

There is an abundance of tools that HR professionals can leverage to enhance the recruitment process. Smart recruitment tools like AI-equipped recruiting technology help in improving effectiveness and enable faster screening. This instills a more fair recruitment process and eliminates recruitment bias.