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The Talent Crisis You Didn’t Know You Were In — And What You Can Do To Beat It

Across the United States, small and midsize businesses are in a talent crisis. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Q3 2023 witnessed over 9.6 million job openings and 6.4 million unemployed workers, resulting in more available positions than there are people to fill them. But hiring challenges involve more than just scarcity of candidates. Businesses also face soaring salary expectations, cumbersome hiring processes, and declines in productivity — all undermining your ability to run your business at full speed.

If you’ve been wondering if it’s just you who can’t find the right people for your team, rest assured. You’re not alone. Here’s the current view on the battle for talented workers and what you can do to come out on top.

Why Small to Midsize U.S. Business Owners Are Having a Tough Time Hiring

According to Forbes, labor productivity in the United States decreased by 2.7% in the first quarter of 2023 for the nonfarm business sector — the sharpest decline in 75 years. It may be tempting to blame the rise in remote work for the fall in productivity, but in reality, it’s because workers are more disengaged with their work, regardless of where they do it. And the less engaged they feel, the more productivity suffers. 

Here’s another startling statistic behind the lack of desirable candidates or failed employees you might have encountered. Thirty percent of people between 25 and 34 said they’re doing the bare minimum at work. It’s not hard to see the evidence in plain sight as 18 million views on TikTok made the “lazy girl job” trending. Although this term is relatively new, the anti-work, anti-ambition sentiment has been growing among Gen Z for quite some time now (reminiscent of quiet quitting). This emerging attitude is a troubling trend for business owners who need efficient, engaged staff who not only have the skills but the desire to contribute to the business’s success.

The last talent search hurdle is the time and effort it takes to find the right person. The typical hiring process spans 44 long days. Not only is that a lengthy process, but the hoops you and your candidates must jump through prove exhausting. Ultimately, you end up expending resources on hiring that could be better focused on meeting with clients and fine-tuning your customer service quality.

Strategic Considerations to Outsmart the Talent Crisis and Build Better Teams

You don’t have to settle for less-than-skilled workers. There are three key ways to remedy the effects of the talent crisis on your business and come out the other side with a stronger, more efficient, and coordinated staff. Let’s break them down.

Focus on Retention

The key to navigating the talent shortage lies not in merely filling positions but in retaining exceptional talent by aligning with their aspirations and needs. To do that, you need to think about what top talent wants out of their workplace and how you can deliver it. In a Global LinkedIn Talent Drivers Survey, candidates ranked the following as their top priorities: 

  • Compensation
  • Work-life balance
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Advancement
  • Skill development

Fostering a desirable company culture, providing career development opportunities, and promoting a work/life balance show employees you value their commitment to your business. Furthermore, recognizing and rewarding goes a long way to making employees feel like they matter. 

To increase retention rates, focus on identifying the talent you need and switching to a skill-focused approach in the hiring process. This means elevating candidates based not on their experience or hard qualifications but rather on their skill set and ability to do the job. 

Finally, provide opportunities for growth and make that an element of your brand. Studies show that employees at companies with high internal mobility stay 60% longer than at companies that don’t provide avenues for advancement. 

Embrace AI and Automation

Embrace the transformative power of AI and automation to streamline operations and enhance productivity. This strategic pivot can alleviate some of the pressures of the talent shortage by optimizing your current workforce’s efficacy, allowing them to focus on strategic initiatives rather than mundane tasks. Moreover, it prepares your business for future scalability by integrating innovative solutions.

With AI’s rapid advancement in 2023, these technologies now supplement or even replace certain job functions, offering a solution for talent constraints. If you’re strapped for talent, consider how you can lean on AI or automation tools to help you achieve maximum productivity. 

There are several free and low-cost resources that can help you with content generation, data analysis, and automating repetitive tasks. If you’re unsure about how to tap into AI and automation, rely on your digital native workforce. They’re the ones who’ll lead the charge.

Explore Alternative Talent Sources

Finally, consider looking beyond your local talent pool. The world is full of skilled professionals ready to make a difference in your business. With remote work becoming the norm, geographical boundaries are less of a barrier than ever before. It’s an opportunity to diversify your team and gain fresh perspectives.

Focusing on nearshore talent offers a strategic advantage. These professionals work in similar time zones and cultural contexts, making collaboration seamless. Thanks to geographic proximity, your domestic team can easily communicate and collaborate in real-time with talented workers based abroad. By expanding the talent search to this wider nearby labor pool, you gain quick access to expanded skill sets and specialized expertise without cumbersome recruiting or hiring processes.

Eliminating HR red tape as well as lowering overhead costs, makes hiring nearshore talent an agile way to acquire crucial skills needed to drive business performance. From lower costs to a diverse skill set, nearshore talent can help you achieve your business goals more effectively and efficiently. 

Hiring Nearshore Talent Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

We know what you’re thinking: Hiring nearshore talent sounds like more work, not less. That may be true if you decide to go it alone. But you don’t have to. In fact, you can skip the headache of finding and hiring top-tier nearshore marketing talent and leave it all to us. 

Our proprietary process precisely screens, assesses, and interviews candidates to ensure they have both the hard and soft skills your business needs. Within three weeks of your initial consultation, you’ll interview the three top matches. After you select your favorite (or favorites…it happens!), a success coach supports onboarding and beyond. With over 95% client satisfaction in our talent and no risky contracts, you can feel confident in a smooth, successful hiring experience.
Whether you’ve been struggling to remedy your talent crisis or want to stay ahead of the curve, we’re here to help. Schedule a 15-minute consultation today.

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