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Skill shortage — is there really a skill shortage?


Skill shortage -- is there really a skill shortage?Skill shortage – academics, industry experts and human resource planners often bandy about the term. By now, you may have heard “skill shortage” so many times that you wonder if Canada really faces a labour crisis.

Numbers indicate that there’s some sort of labour shortage. Last year, 251,000 full- and part-time jobs went unfilled in Canada for four months or more, according to a 2007 labour market report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). And long-term vacancies – where jobs go unfilled for more than four months – plagued one in two firms with 100 to 499 employees. The industries hardest hit include construction, hospitality, and agriculture and primary resource sectors.

About 40% of small- and mid-sized enterprises reported they needed workers with college-level education, ranging from college to apprenticeship training, says the CFIB. About 33% of employers needed employees with secondary school or occupation-specific training. And 17% of employers needed workers for positions requiring no formal education.

Tips for managing the skills shortage

To cope with the labour crisis, hiring managers need to think and act creatively. Some ideas for winning the war for talent:

• Seek out non-traditional employees
• Hire a foreign worker
• Recruit a student
• Staff strategically with temporary workers
• Seek out people with disabilities
• Woo candidates via employer branding
• Go to Web 2.0 sites to meet candidates where they socialize
• Become familiar with compensation surveys

By planning effective recruitment strategies, companies can win in any labour market.

Related to skill shortage
Responding to salary surveys
Defining your unique employment brand
Managing a short-handed summer

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