Widening your talent pool: A solution to candidate shortages

Opublikowany przez w

Many sectors are facing candidate shortages. If you’re struggling to fill vacancies, it’s worth taking a fresh look at your recruiting strategy.

The nationwide labour shortage applies to both permanent and temporary roles. And more jobs are being left vacant for longer in many sectors. So it’s wise to think about widening your talent pool. We make the case for attracting different types of workers that you may have overlooked in the past.

Recruiting a diverse workforce benefits your company. It brings different dynamics, perspectives and lived experiences to a team. We’d also add that employing staff from underrepresented groups is positive in terms of corporate social responsibility.

Facing candidate shortages? Hire older workers

People over 65 are now continuing to work longer than their parents or grandparents did with the the state pension age now at 66.

And at HR GO, we’ve recently heard from some of our clients that older workers are now applying in larger numbers for their roles. This includes both permanent and temporary.

Some may have already retired but have returned to work for financial reasons. Some have chosen to get back to the workplace because they’ve missed being part of a team. Or it may be their preferred way to contribute their knowledge and abilities to the community

Mature workers can bring great value to organisations, and multi-generational teams can be an advantage for modern businesses. Read our advice on how to get the most out of an age-diverse team.

Recruiting workers with disabilities

Many people with disabilities have a lot to offer the workforce. But a huge number feel excluded from even temporary work. When you’re suffering candidate shortages, this underemployed group should be high on your list.

Unfortunately, some employers have a negative attitude towards employing someone with a disability. In fact, we conducted a poll on our LinkedIn page this month. We asked how likely employers were to consider hiring employees with disabilities. We received an 82% lower response rate than average for our polls in the last 12 months.

Could this be because employers are reluctant to admit they wouldn’t consider employing people with disabilities? And why might this be? Well, some believe that a disabled candidate will struggle to do the work. Others may be worried about the perceived cost of making any necessary adjustments to the workplace.

It’s crucial to see beyond the stereotypes and take each application on a case-by-case basis. And in fact any concerns you may have could well be overblown. Studies like this one from 2007 show that in contrast to common misperceptions:

‘persons with disabilities have high performance ratings and retention rates, as well as better attendance records than their colleagues without disabilities’

Think about some of the unfair barriers that might be preventing disabled people from working for you and aim to remove them.

Workers with disabilities won’t just be contributing to your company’s success. If you’re recruiting for temporary contracts, bear in mind that it may also be a way for a person with disabilities to enter the workforce, leading to future permanent work.

The government provides a comprehensive guide to employing disabled people on their website. In addition, Mencap has their own useful guide to employing people with disabilities.

Recruiting workers with criminal convictions

Let’s be very clear here that we’re not equating people who have criminal convictions with older workers and people with disabilities. This is an entirely different under-recruited group that has its own unique set of challenges. 

For instance, employing ex-offenders may seem like a risky proposition. But according to last year's government poll it has worked for over 90% of businesses who employed them. In fact, businesses stated that ex-offenders are: 

'reliable, good at their job, punctual and trustworthy.' 

Giving ex-offenders a opportunity to prove themselves through work could be a good way to fill your shortages. Your organisation would also be helping to reduce their chances of re-offending. And you could feel good about helping them get their life back on track.

The high street shoe repair company Timpsons has successfully run an ex-offender employment programme since 2002. As of August 2021 it had employed over 1,500 ex-prisoners. And only four of those had re-offended and returned to prison.

The charity, Unlock, is dedicated to ‘building a fairer future for people with criminal convictions’. You can find recruitment guidance and other employment resources on their website.

Solve candidate shortages with positive action

As a business interested in attracting different talent, it’s crucial that your job adverts are as inclusive as possible. For example, from a disabled candidate’s perspective it’s good to state that ‘Candidates with disabilities are welcome to apply’.

And don’t discourage mature workers by describing your ideal candidate in ways that could be considered ageist. Look over your job description for adjectives that imply younger workers and remove them when appropriate.

Recruiting from under-represented groups means inclusive hiring practices for every role from the start. As candidate shortages are set to last, savvy companies see diversifying their workforce as a no-brainer.

Recent insights