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Talent shortage strategies for a slow jobs recovery

If you've read the news lately, you know that we've hit a bit of a speed bump in the jobs recovery. But don't tell that to the Silicon Valley and other areas where many specialists with Android and other mobile platform experiences are in high demand.

But you don't have to be a big search engine giant or online behemoth to encounter talent shortages. In many professions and industries, there are simply not enough qualified applicants. This creates quite a quandary for human resources professionals and hiring managers.

Because of the recession, many departments are not equipped to do the heavy lifting associated with recruiting hard-to-find skills. In addition, because of lingering uncertainty, there is also no corporate appetite to increase recruiting budgets.

There are, however, some strategies that might help right now:

Do a skills inventory, not just in your department, but across the enterprise. Look for ways to leverage skills from other parts of the business. Understanding the need might also help build the business case to hire resources or bring in outside help.

Re-double networking efforts. If you can't clone someone, the next best thing is to tap into that person's network. Find out who they know, where they hang out online, and what groups they belong to.

Re-assess your employment brand. Think about what attracts (or possibly detracts) people from coming to work for your company. Now is the time to make changes to be more competitive. And money is not the only thing that attracts top talent, especially younger talent, today.

Look to the experts. It might be time to organize your contingent workforce into a managed staffing program and lean on a managed service provider or vendors to help take some of the recruiting burden. Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is another avenue, and contrary to popular belief, you don't have to create a giant, enterprise-wide program. Point of service and project RPO can be very successful for just-in-time recruiting.

It's sad to say, but the employment picture probably won't become any clearer this year and possibly into next year. Now is the time to put your recruiting strategies into perspective and take action.

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