How to Deal with Talent Shortages in Startups

Talent Shortages

It’s difficult to expand as a startup, especially if you don’t have the right talent in your team. Unfortunately, The Gatsby Foundation discovered that 43% of small businesses are struggling to recruit staff with the knowledge and skills that meet their needs. The number of job vacancies in 2022 has reached a new high of 1,300,000, as companies scramble to find the right talent for their organisations.

The competition is tough in the job market nowadays, but fortunately, startups can navigate through talent shortages with the right strategies. You can find skilled professionals for your business goals in the following ways:

Market your startup as a great employer

First impressions matter, especially if you’re still establishing your brand as an employer. Recruitment strategies are your first point of contact with prospective applicants, so you’ll need to market your startup as a promising employer.

Instead of posting a simple advertisement on a job site, Charlie Worrall of Imaginaire Digital in the UK recommends working as a team so that you can create a striking recruitment marketing strategy. You can market your business as a destination for the best talent by featuring your staff on social media and allowing them to highlight the culture within your startup. You can also boost your startup’s social media presence by showing exciting projects and team activities on LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook.

Provide reasonable offers to applicants

High wages can attract a lot of job applicants. But if your startup still can’t match the salary ranges at big companies, there are still a few ways to make your job offers more attractive.

Given the recruitment challenges in the UK job market, a CIPD survey revealed that 38% of employers have started to offer flexible jobs to attract more talent. CIPD labour market economist Jonathan Boys explains that you can look at and revise employment offers, especially if you have a limited ability to pay high salaries. By providing different benefits like flexible working hours or even a remote setup, you can attract top talent into your team despite your company’s relative youth.

Tap into an interim talent for short-term projects

Recruitment and reskilling can be difficult to achieve, especially if you’re rushing for an important goal or project. A recent pulse poll by LHH and LinkedIn revealed that 70% of job seekers got offers within 30 days, indicating that companies are in a rush to fill open roles. Unfortunately, you can encounter multiple issues and risks if you rush the hiring process, particularly for crucial positions.

So if you want to fill senior roles during a temporary period, it’s best to hire interim talent instead of rushing the recruitment process. Interim talent should be experienced in their field or even thought leaders that can temporarily provide guidance and input to your staff, thus allowing you to reach important startup milestones.

Negotiate with freelancers for long-term needs

Interim talent can help with shorter projects, but if you need to look for a longer commitment, you can negotiate with freelancers instead. Our article on the ‘Ultimate Guide to Hiring Freelancers’ states that gig workers are convenient to hire, especially if you want to avoid the time-consuming responsibilities and expenses that come with permanent staff. As independent contractors, they offer flexible benefits terms for businesses that may need their expertise.

To hire freelancers, you’ll need to be transparent about the job that needs to be done, the start and end dates, the budget, payment terms, and other necessary details about the role. You can post these terms on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer to attract the right talents for the role.

The talent shortage is affecting lots of businesses in the UK. To rise above the challenges, you may want to consider a few of the creative solutions we discussed to help you fill in the gaps in your workforce.