They are world market leaders for laboratory centrifuges, refrigerant compressors and ornamental fish feeds. They are the backbone of the US economy. With specializations of all kinds, these and many other companies generate more than every second dollars. And they employ more than two thirds of all employees in US. We are talking about medium-sized businesses.
SMEs in US – the basis for economic success
Nowhere else do medium-sized businesses play such a major role as in US. The foundation of this success story is the quality and innovative strength of these companies, which are valued worldwide. But in order to maintain this high level of performance, the right specialists are needed. Too few of these are available. For the current year alone, the Institute for Employment Research of the Federal Employment Agency (IAB) expects the number of employees subject to social insurance contributions in this segment to increase to 33.53 million.
Even if a company does not want to increase its workforce, many jobs will have to be filled when the baby boom generation retires. According to KfW Research 2018, 66 percent of medium-sized companies intend to hire skilled workers over the next three years. Again, two thirds expect difficulties in finding qualified personnel for the vacant positions. Especially companies from the consumer goods industry and from the knowledge-intensive services sector see problems here.
The shortage of skilled workers has macroeconomic consequences
The shortage of skilled workers is not only a problem for the companies concerned, but also has macroeconomic consequences. According to the DIHK Labor Market Report 2018, every sixth industrial company assumes that it will have to relocate parts of its production abroad if no qualified employees can be found in US. The move will therefore not be made in order to produce more cheaply. In fact, logistics costs can even rise. Not only the companies themselves are affected by the move: If industrial jobs have to be relocated, service providers and infrastructure companies follow whose services may no longer have sufficient purchasing power.
Convincing quality: not only with products, but also as an employer
In the competition for the brightest talents, many medium-sized companies often lose out. Large companies and corporations usually have the better cards because of their high profile. They benefit from higher budgets, prominent products, a great brand appeal and, last but not least, from their locations in the American metropolises.
It is therefore not surprising that many high potentials are more likely to seek employment with large corporations than to choose an employer in medium-sized companies. A simple glance at the omnipresent lists of top employers from various institutes speaks volumes.
Many medium-sized companies have versatile qualities.
What medium-sized companies can actively do to address the target group can be found below:
1. Knowing what works: The right key figures
Before you get started, it is important to perform a stock analysis. In other words, take a look at which measures you are already using in recruiting personnel, and also determine how much you will spend on this and how long you will need to fill a position. In the end, you will receive two key figures that are absolutely necessary for modern personnel work: Cost per hire and time to hire.
Your goal now is to reduce these two indicators with the right preparatory work and the right selection of the most efficient channels.
2. You know how you look: Your employer brand
If someone asks why he or she should start with you, what do you say? Ideally, you should be able to answer this question half asleep and be more than just a promise of payment in line with the market and on time. Because other companies can do that, too. What makes you special? What does your company stand for as an employer and why is a job with you exciting for the candidate? Put yourself in the position of the candidate and find out together with your colleagues from marketing and management what values your company wants to stand for as an employer.
You then spread these qualities and characteristics across channels frequented by your target group, such as social media.
3. Why wait when you can do it faster: active candidate approach
According to a Forsa survey of employees commissioned by XING, we found that only 7 percent are actively looking for a job. This group searches for suitable job advertisements and navigates to career websites on its own.
If you place an advertisement in the newspaper, you hope that one of these 7 percent will take up your offer. But much more exciting are those who are basically interested in a new job but have not yet done anything themselves. That is sometimes every third person in employment.
Via professional online networks such as XING, you have the opportunity to search for potential candidates, check their willingness to change jobs and contact them directly. Surely this method of recruiting requires some practice.
Remember, however, that this way you will be able to attract the attention of the candidate of your choice without any digression – and at a lower cost.
4. Why search again and again: potential candidates in the talent pool
You can save costs and time with good and sustainable candidate management. Ideally, you will speak with several candidates during the recruitment process. Surely there are people from time to time who would fit in well with the company, but who do not fit optimally with the advertised position.
There should also still be unsolicited applicants. Where to put these people? Cancellations just because there is no suitable vacancy? What a waste! After all, they know from these people that they show interest in the employer. Remember these potential candidates and there will certainly be a day when you can present a possibly interesting successor to the specialist department that is looking for you.
5. How to use your own employee as a recruiter: Employee recommendations
A developer rarely comes alone. People like to move among like-minded people. The probability that your IT expert will exchange information about his or her special field in his or her private environment is quite high. And if you know that he also likes his job, then this is your chance!
Use the networks of your employees. Because you can assume that an employee has no interest in making a bad employer palatable to a friend. Likewise, he will not recommend a bad worker to his employer, as this could fall back on him.
One more important thing – in order for you to be perceived as a good employer, there is of course a circumstance that is often forgotten by large companies:
You must actually be a good employer.