Top Talent Acquisition Challenges for 2020

February 11, 2020 | Shannon Shoemaker

A year ago, Gartner identified the talent shortage as an emerging risk for companies. In 2020, the risk has become a reality. According to a survey by The Conference Board, attracting and retaining top talent are the leading internal concerns facing CEOs in 2020.

In such a historically tight market, how can organizations get ahead in the race for talent?

Here are three ways you can leverage talent acquisition challenges in the new decade to build a stronger, more flexible workforce.


Be Strategic with Contingent Labor

While the economy is the best it’s been in 50 years, we can’t expect it to last. “One of the greatest challenges facing CEOs today is how to plan for hiring and talent acquisition in a statistically strong economy,” says Aram Lulla, General Manager of Human Resources Practice at Lucas Group. “But then looking forward, business leaders also have to prepare for a certain downturn at some point in time.”

A traditional direct-hire workforce will be difficult to acquire in 2020’s unprecedentedly tight market and may not offer companies the workforce flexibility they will need. Fortunately, there is a strong contract workforce out there that can fill the gaps. Approaching contract hiring proactively can help you prepare for the inevitable changes in the market.

“Now is the time to think about strategically blending direct-hire and contingent labor,” Lulla says. “That gives a company more flexibility based on the economic swings that could happen.”


Don’t Rely Solely on Skills

One hallmark of the new decade is lifelong learning. It’s no longer possible to rely on concrete knowledge and skills, as many skill sets taught in college today will only be useful for a few years. According to a survey from Deloitte, more respondents are expecting to rely on training internal talent over hiring outside talent. Your organization can get a head start with training by hiring for potential over knowledge, says Frank Cicio, CEO and Founder of iQ4.

“The increasing cost of a four-year college education is going to continue to be a challenge, especially if the schools aren’t providing the kind of education, skills development and career-readiness opportunities that will be relevant,” Cicio says. “But that opens the door for organizations to expand their apprentice and mentorship programs.”

Creating a culture of learning gives your organization a competitive edge and will be vital to surviving 2020’s tight market.


Attract Candidates with Culture

To attract top talent in this economy, your organization has to stand out. The most effective way to do that is simply being honest and genuine about your company culture. In this effort, Lulla says, your organization’s website and social media channels will continue to hold immense value in the new decade.

“With the whole world moving towards more video content out on the web, it’s going to become even more important for organizations to allow employees to embrace that,” Lulla says. “It’s critical to get snippets of what it’s actually like to work at your organization out there so people can see that this is a place where they want to work.”

While 2020 poses bigger talent acquisition challenges than we’ve seen in decades, it’s important to recognize not just the hardships, but also the potential. Lay the strategic groundwork for a successful workforce now and position your organization for success no matter what economic changes lie ahead.

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