HIRING WHEN THERE IS A “SKILLS GAP??? As a recruiter, you know it all too well: The Skills Gap. It’s been around for some time. But it’s finally made it into mainstream media only because it’s starting to seriously impact today’s businesses. How many of you, as recruiters, have job openings that you just cannot fill — try as you may? You’ve read all the reports and they are telling you that and it it’s probably going to get worse. Not necessarily something you want to hear, I’m sure. However, as a recruiter, you’re the one to which your company turns to fix the problem. Examine your recruiting practices and consider the following suggestions. Build relationships with colleges, universities, and trade schools. Developing a long-term relationship with schools affords you the opportunity to give them valuable feedback on the types of skills you are seeing from their graduates. You can also tell them the types of skills your organization needs so they can tailor programs and classes to stay relevant to the business environment. Create skills-building programs in-house. Some skills just cannot be learned in a school. In these instances, the benefits of developing an in-house training program are twofold: not only will your company have qualified workers to do the job, it will help with long-term employee retention. Get in touch with professional certification and continuing education organizations. Similar to school partnerships, developing relationships with these types of organizations can provide a valuable source of qualified candidates. It can also be a way to help increase the skills of current employees, once again helping with employee retention. Use recruiting technology to your advantage. In addition to digital interview platforms such as Hirevue, you should investigate centralized job application platforms. These can provide branded portals for candidates to easily submit their applications as well as make job referrals to their friends. Establish a talent network to reach future candidates. Your talent network isn’t going to start itself. Getting it going now will help fill those hard-to-fill positions when they come available. If you have already investigated some or all of these areas in past years, you’ll definitely want to take a new look. Some of them have improved in recent years making them viable resources for your company.