An employer’s guide to overcoming skill and staff shortages

Don’t get short-changed! Get practical tips for hiring and upskilling your current team in a skill-short market. Plus, learn how to cultivate a more engaged and skilled workforce…

Friday, Jan 12, 2024
3 min read

Skills shortage. It’s been the phrase on hiring manager's lips across all industries, and in recent times, usually preceded by the word digital.

In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, (we see you, AI…) the digital skills shortage has become a pressing concern for businesses everywhere.

In fact, 70% of IT professional's occupations in Australia are buckling under a shortage, which makes the competition for talent fierce.

But the question is: just how can employers remain competitive and maximise productivity and efficiency?

Let’s dive in.

Identify the skills your team needs and may not have

Understanding the gaps is the first step. Even better if you can match up the missing skills with the areas for growth needed in your business.

For example, if you’re having trouble hitting targets, quotas, deadlines, or customer demands—your team might need upskilling in skills like better time management. And by upskilling your team in this area, you’re benefiting both their personal development and your business.

Train your existing staff to fill those gaps

Sometimes it’s easy to jump immediately into thinking, “We need some fresh perspective and new talent to overcome our skill shortages.” But don’t underestimate your current workforce and their ability to learn. Plus, you might find there are benefits to offering more personal development opportunities, including boosting your team morale and raising your retention rates.

Platforms like a learning management system can help empower your employees to upskill on the latest topics and enhance the digital skills that are required for their role without you having to look elsewhere.

Having said that, it’s also important to diversify your talent pool every now and then. This brings us nicely to our next point…

Hire new staff members with the necessary skills

You might have an HR team that’s extremely proficient at engaging employees once they’re in your company, but are struggling to attract new hires.

It’s a job market led by the job seeker, so offering an enticing package is one way to help solve this problem.

Salary will always be one of the most—if not the most—important aspects of a role, with 57% of job seekers looking for higher wages.

But perks such as access to learning opportunities, discount platforms, flexible working arrangements, enhanced holiday entitlements and dedicated mental health days, for example, go a long way in appealing to would-be or existing staff.

Any one of these benefits could help get those more experienced, more skilled candidates over the line—so take note!

Offer ongoing training to keep your team's skills up to date

One of the biggest challenges employers face when it comes to training and upskilling their team is staying up to date. Training can quickly become outdated in the fast-paced world we live in, so it’s important to find a low-cost online learning platform that constantly refreshes and adds courses to help keep your staff learning.

Especially when it comes to riskier topics like workplace health & safety. So, keeping staff aware and up to date with a wide range of e-learning courses is key.

The future of HR and employee development looks more digital, personalised, and engaging than ever

In this changing digital age, HR needs to keep up and focus on employee development to tackle skill and talent shortages.

And as engaged employees are more likely to stay involved, loyal, and productive, there's a lot for HR leaders and employers to gain.

As the lines between work and life blur, you should embrace digital solutions to promote a sense of belonging and connectivity, making sure that employee development is a seamless and rewarding journey.

At BrightHR, we’re constantly evolving our comprehensive offering of e-learning courses, employee engagement tools, and more. Discover how BrightLearn can help you create a more engaged, skilled workforce. Or check out Praise, our employee recognition platform.

So, there you have it. Five practical tips to help you overcome skill and staff shortages like a pro. It’s no secret that these challenges can be a real headache. But by understanding the areas for skill growth in your staff and offering ongoing training and enticing staff perks—you can overcome staff shortages and come out on top!


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