Can worker shortages be solved without large investment?

Liina Lass

The shortage of skilled workers is a problem faced by companies around the world, including in Lithuania. According to the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, there are currently almost 27,000 vacancies – one and half times more than in 2020. This situation has led to more than 10 percent annual wage growth in the country, yet HR professionals say the shortage of workers can be addressed not only by using money.

“We noticed a tendency that when an employee reaches a certain level of income, a 10-20 per cent increase no longer incentivizes them. Instead, other things become much more important: atmosphere in the team, company culture, possibilities for self-realization. Companies are investing in ways of attracting employees, although it is often possible to find them without such large investments” – says Liina Laas, Head of Development in the Baltics at Deel, a U.S. startup offering the opportunity to quickly hire employees from more than 150 countries.

Laas provides four tips on addressing staff shortages, without requiring a large budgetary increase.

It is time to give up boring job postings

Skilled workers today are paying more and more attention to the job ad itself. Data from CVbankas.lt shows that the number of job advertisements has increased by 3 quarters compared to last year. A comprehensive and interesting advertisement, which is eye-catching, is now crucial. Whereas ads promising old-fashioned or dull advantages, such as a ‘timely salary’ can often be viewed critically.

In sectors like IT or commerce, employers are becoming increasingly more active in using different communication channels to find workers. The use of social media is common-place and many companies use the personal accounts of their employees for recruitment. Additionally, the use of outdoor billboards has gained renewed popularity. These strategies are effective as companies are already investing in communication, meaning they do not create extra costs. Besides, companies get more attention, especially considering that as much as 79 per cent of us look for employers on social networks (Open University data).

Partnerships with universities or local organizations are free

One method of securing talent employees available to Lithuanian companies is through cooperation with universities and local organizations. Searching for staff among gifted students and alumni is lucrative and will be well reciprocated by universities. This form of cooperation allows firms to find the most talented employees without expending too many resources, while universities themselves are eager to find employment for their graduates. Do not limit oneself to interns – companies should take the initiative and explore new forms of collaboration.

Internationally, companies are also increasingly collaborating with non-profit organizations and private training institutions. Despite the fact that there are growing numbers of organisations, notably Code Academy or the Atomic Garden in Lithuania, some companies still do not harness these opportunities for cooperation.

The pandemic opened doors to workers from all over the world

Many employees cite working from home or even abroad as a key benefit of the Coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, it is beneficial for companies as well: hiring people from other countries increases the talent pool, and as corporate teams increasingly move into virtual spaces, there are not additional inconveniences.

Certain companies, even those working in areas where remote working is problem free, remain afraid to hire foreigners. Some are deterred by legal nuances; others do not know which recruitment platforms to trust or how to manage a remote team. However, they forget that remote and foreign employees can be recruited by professionals, just like in the local market.    

Former employees can become valuable assets

Thanks to technology, companies can now maintain close contact with former employees: special alumni clubs have been created and workers are invited to corporate parties and events. This is a great strategy. Previous employees are more likely to recommend their former workplace to friends. Meanwhile, feedback from friends and relatives is usually the main criteria which forms opinions about potential employers.

Another reason to keep in touch with former employees is the opportunity to hire them again. Since these individuals are already well acquainted with the company’s internal culture, employers will not have to spend extra money on training when they return.

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