Lack of competent staff on the increase – get ready

Economic growth is advancing at different rates in various European countries, but all the markets have one thing in common. Way of working and expectations of working life are changing so rapidly that it is best to provide for the future now.

The recruitment market is being shaken by a number of pressures and trends. The concept of work and ways of working are changing dramatically, and there is intense rivalry for competent staff. At the same time there are jobseekers whose education or competence will not meet the needs of the market.

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Marja Pylkkänen, Alma Career

Finding competent staff is already a problem in a number of trades. In the Czech Republic, for example, the shortage of competent staff is estimated to be about 500,000 people in the next ten years. And in Slovakia, more than 103,800 job advertisements were published from January to May in the Profesia.sk service owned by Alma Media – an increase of nearly 25 percent to previous year.

“Rivalry over competent staff is becoming more intense. In addition to recruitment channels and messages, employers should now study the necessary job performances as wholes and think of ways to share and perform work,” says Marja Pylkkänen from Alma Career Oy.

Reorganisation of work

One of the most significant matters in the tightening competition is the organisation of work. Milan Jasny from LMC, the local company in the Czech Republic, says that as many as 60 percent of employees expect flexibility from their employers in matters such as working hours. Yet only ten percent of companies advertising openings offer flexibility in their recruitment.

The same trend is apparent in Finland as well. 

 

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Milan Jasny, LMC

“Companies should think what tasks they absolutely want to perform themselves. Would it be possible to divide work into smaller wholes, purchase services, outsource or have it done completely outside the company?” Pylkkänen asks.

The concepts of working hours and workplace need to be shaken.

“For a company specialising in knowledge work, what does it matter where the work is physically done? In the United States companies are aware of this, which is why they are now interested in European competence,” Pylkkänen says.

Flexibility and perks as competitive tools

“Due to competition and rapid employee turnover, companies are forced to develop their working environments and offer new benefits for their staff,” says Managing Director Ivana Molnárová of Profesia. Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are examples of growing markets where the rivalry over good employees is intense. Many companies have tried out new methods to find the best staff. Flexibility or training offered to employees can be efficient competitive tools. What is more, through training the company will get more competence and grateful employees.

“The best way to meet the future needs for competence and recruitment is to actively follow the development of labour market, train existing staff in a proactive manner and collaborate with schools and universities,” Pylkkänen says.

By diving work into smaller wholes companies can also employ valuable and competent people, such as experienced workers in their 50s or 60s or parents of young children who wish to work part-time.

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Ivana Molnárová, Profesia

In the Czech Republic, the working conditions and equality of women working in the retail trade are being studied in a research project called Women behind the Counter. The project also surveys the role and job opportunities of immigrant workers. The research project is led by Multicultural Centre Prague, and results are expected by the end of this year. The purpose of the research project is to find tools to increase the availability of labour in an ethically sustainable way.

Recruitment becoming employee-oriented

Lack of competent people will also mean major changes for recruitment. How existing employees talk about their employer, for example, will be all the more important. They can well be the best possible recruiters of the company.

“You should encourage your staff to talk about their jobs and recommend their employer in social media and various occasions,” Marja Pylkkänen says.

“Your existing employees usually have wide networks of colleagues who can form excellent target groups for recruitment. Occasions such as trade fairs and seminars will provide recruitment opportunities, and you should create your recruitment messages with your employees well in advance”, she adds.

According to a research conducted by LinkedIn and TNS Research, people usually want to recommend their employers when they trust the management, feel valued and agree with the company values, such as responsibility. It was also discovered that one of the most significant factors leading to recommendations was a distinguished brand and its successful communication to the employees.

Recruitment can also be boosted by using data produced by online recruitment services and company HR systems. These data can help to analyse employees’ choices and identify things that matter to them. What was it that finally made them choose the job, what made the applicant choose another employer, what has kept the existing staff in the company? By studying these factors, a company can find new strengths that can be exploited in future recruitments.

Date: June 3, 2016 
Theme: Alma Today
Text: Johanna Hytönen
Photos: Ville Rinne, LMC, Profesia, iStock