Motivation instead of prior knowledge – new recruiting approaches in times of a shortage of skilled workers

How to recruit the right employees despite freight shortage

As technologies develop ever more rapidly, competencies must be continuously built up and expanded. Recruiting plays a decisive role in times of a shortage of skilled workers. Innovative approaches and procedures help companies beat the competition and benefit from new employees.

Digitization is both an opportunity and a challenge for German companies. The market potential in some sectors is growing exponentially and opening new doors for companies of all sizes. In order to make the best possible use of the opportunities offered by the new technologies, a large number of new jobs with corresponding expertise have emerged. These include data scientists and IT consultants. As technologies continue to develop at an ever faster pace, competencies must be continuously built up and expanded. Recruiting plays a decisive role in times of a shortage of skilled workers. Innovative approaches and procedures help companies beat the competition and benefit from new employees.

Tense labor market

Studies show how dramatic the situation is, especially in the IT sector. According to a Bitkom study from 2018, the number of vacant positions was 82,000, with IT specialists such as software developers, project managers or security experts being sought above all. In 2017, this figure was “still” at 55,000 vacancies that could not be filled in the short term. Due to the shortage of specialists, the situation on the labor market is becoming increasingly tense. On average, it takes five months for a position to be filled. This process takes a lot of time and effort. To minimize this time window, companies outbid each other with benefits and high salaries. Small and medium-sized companies in particular are reaching their limits and have to find new ways to attract employees and applicants. After all, the “overfishing” that prevails in some occupational groups demands a modern HR process and an open mindset on the part of personnel managers.

Hard skills vs. soft skills

Recruiting is complex and HR departments need to follow trends and react quickly to developments in the market. The current situation in the German labor market calls for innovative and effective solutions. However, many companies are stuck in old, outdated processes. HR managers and decision-makers often focus on hard skills. Prior knowledge in the sought-after field is a criterion that significantly influences and limits the pre-selection of applicants. Instead of focusing on previous work experience, however, soft skills such as motivation should play a decisive role in the application process.

So-called motivation-based recruiting places great emphasis on personal interviews and is carried out with the help of specially created tests. The tests evaluate characteristics such as flexibility, team orientation, stamina and solution orientation. This also gives career changers the chance to prove themselves in a new job. In combination with internal or external training, new employees from other industries can be quickly trained and deployed. The advantage of lateral entrants is that they have a fresh perspective on problems and bring new impetus to departments through their experience in other areas. The supposed extra effort at the beginning pays off after a short time and enriches the company.

Promoting diversity

One area in which Germany still has some catching up to do compared with other countries is anonymous application processes. However, to respond to the problems and opportunities mentioned, companies should enable anonymous applications. Resumes that do not reveal name, origin, age or gender offer the chance for applicants to be evaluated as neutrally as possible. Technologies such as algorithms and artificial intelligence are already being used in some companies to optimize internal processes and make them more efficient.

Compared to other automated processes, however, HR is a people business. In the end, it is always about people. An HR manager should decide for himself how much he includes speech analytics and co. in his choice. Only the future will show how practical “robots” or automated processes are in recruiting and in which processes they can be used. Companies that use these technologies are perceived as progressive and modern, but they also create an impersonal impression of the company. The key here is to find the right balance.

A breath of fresh air through new processes

Companies need to rethink their approach when it comes to surviving in the “war for talent” and attracting strong, new employees. Individual and flexible careers are becoming increasingly important in today’s working world and offer enormous potential for employers and employees. Hardly any employer today accompanies an employee for life. Employees are curious, want to try out new things and constantly expand their horizons. “1 Job = 1 Life” – this no longer corresponds to the mindset of Generation Y (nor Generation X). HR processes must become more diverse. Those in charge must turn their gaze away from the classic resume and welcome and actively implement new application processes. This is the only way they can survive in times of a shortage of skilled workers.

    Motivation statt Vorkenntnisse – das ist das Motto der Academy. Anstatt das Vorwissen von Bewerbern anzufragen, evaluiert das Unternehmen die Motivation der Bewerber. Ein Recruiting-Ansatz der mit Blick auf den Fachkräftemangel und für Quereinsteigern neue Türen öffnet. Academy bildet innerhalb von 12 Wochen IT Consultants und Netzwerktechniker aus und vermittelt die Absolventen im direkten Anschluss bei Partnerunternehmen. Das Programm ist für die Teilnehmer komplett kostenfrei. Philipp Leipold ist Diplom-Psychologe und verfügt über umfangreiche Erfahrungen in den Bereichen Human Resources, Business Development, Lehre, Forschung und Coaching.

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