3 Labor Realities & How to Thrive in the Midst of Them

Rich Oakes | Nov 07, 2019

Hiring is tough, especially today. Businesses across America are experiencing challenges sourcing labor across many industries and skill sets. There is a war for talent taking place today. Let’s talk about three reasons why:

  1. Low Unemployment: While a low unemployment rate is good news for job seekers, it can spell trouble for employers. The competition to hire and retain the best talent is tough. The current market empowers workers to consider other career opportunities, which in this fierce labor market puts a real strain on talent retention.
  2. Skills Gap: Recently, Wiley Education Services teamed up with human resources research firm Future Workplace to gain some insight into the “skills gap” — the difference between what skills employers are seeking and what skills job applicants have. The survey found that employers are having an increasingly difficult time finding the talent they need, increasing the “skills gap” 12% YOY.
  3. More Workers Choosing Independent Work over Traditional Employment: A recent study by Edelman Intelligence stated that 47% of millennials already freelance, more than any prior generation. Think of all of the current traditional W2 employment jobs available today going unfilled. In the midst of this robust inventory of jobs, more workers YOY are choosing independent work. The freelance workforce has grown faster than the U.S workforce overall since 2014 according to this same study.

The Punchline:

As companies, we have traditional W2 employee positions at all levels of our organization that need to be filled, and today, we have a smaller pool of workers who have the skill set to effectively complete those jobs, and a smaller pool of workers interested in those permanent roles.

These trends are real and, from a sourcing talent perspective, create real challenges that can adversely impact our business unless we can come up with strategies that help us thrive in the midst of the headwinds.

In our best attempt at a Sopranos’ voice, we have to ask ourselves, “What are we gonna do about it?”

Enter the Gig Economy. Dictionary.com defines the Gig Economy as “a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.” Instead of fighting the headwinds outlined above, more companies every day are choosing to embrace these trends by incorporating an agile or flex worker component into their staffing strategy.

The days of a 100% traditional W2 employment hiring strategy are long gone. Whether it be a relationship with an agency, a digital platform, or an outsourced third-party solution, more companies are utilizing workers that aren’t traditional employees across disciplines within their organization. This strategy allows companies to flex up and down quickly to ensure spikes in business, key projects, tasks, or duties associated with unfilled positions are handled in a timely fashion by skilled workers.

The, “How do we get here?” or, “How do we implement this strategy?” questions are for another time. The big step today is to recognize that today’s labor pool is not the labor pool of 10, 15, or 20 years ago. The staffing strategies of today need to be in alignment with today’s trends. Companies who are incorporating an agile or flex worker strategy into their corporate staffing plan will significantly increase their chances of getting the work done today versus missing deadlines and disappointing customers due to staffing struggles.

If you’re interested in testing out agile hiring methodologies for your business, GigSmart provides a fast, effective, and affordable solution. Download our mobile hiring app to get instant access to hundreds of Workers across 3,000 skills. The Get Workers app is available in the App Store and Google Play store.

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