Tackling the big talent shortage of 2015

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Seventy per cent of Canadian executives say they’re struggling to find employees with the required skills and one industry leader told HRM that we shouldn’t expect the situation to improve any time soon – but could employee referrals help your company cope? HRM investigates.
 
“The market for talent will get more and more competitive [over the next five years],” predicts Adrianne Sullivan-Campeau.
 
Why? Because the “employee demographic is shifting,” she explains. “People are looking for more career opportunities and development.”
 
According to Sullivan-Campeau, the increased demand for development will force HR departments to seek more creative ways of attracting and retaining employees.

Sullivan-Campeau is the VP of HR at Allstate Insurance Canada – she says recruitment is the biggest challenge facing the industry right now and could be for years to come. If professionals fail to prepare, that is.
 
“Practitioners in this industry need to ensure their organizations can secure a fully capable talent pipeline at all levels in their organization,” Sullivan-Campeau told HRM, “including at the leadership team level.”
 
Finding a solution
 
So how can employers find capable talent for all levels of an organization? By turning to current employees on all levels of the organization.
 
Sullivan-Campeau revealed Allstate Canada’s tactic to overcoming talent shortage lay in its “robust employee referral program.”
 
“Some of our most successful employees were referred here by someone else,” she said. “We encourage all employees to act as ’recruiters‘ in terms of identifying talent in the external marketplace.”
 
HR expert Liz Ryan agrees that employee referral programs are an invaluable tool for employers.
 
“Employee referral is the best recruiting channel I know,” said Ryan. “It is certainly not the only one, but it’s the only one that reinforces and celebrates your employees in a tangible way for contributing to your company’s success.”
 
Your current employees aren’t going to recommend someone who would reflect badly on them at a later date, explains Ryan, so that’s already one form of screening process. Not only that, but you’ll also be shelling out significantly less cash when it comes to recruitment costs.
 
“If you’re getting less than a quarter of your new hires through employee referrals right now, you’re wasting time or money or both,” scolded Ryan. “You’re cutting off the energy supply that is nearest at hand and the most renewable.”

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