Recruiting people - Isn't the shortage of skilled workers also a little "home-made"?

Recruiting people:
Isn't the shortage of skilled workers also a little "home-made"?

Where has the age of structuring our processes, the elaboration of functional descriptions and the separation of the human role taken us? If we wanted to create more transparency and increase efficiency, we often missed the mark on the meaningfulness side. Some job descriptions read more like a list of technical parameters of a machine than a description of the position to be filled. However, humans are still complex beings and not  "non-trivial machines". Is second-order cybernetics (according to Heinz von Foerster)  old hat? Perhaps, but possibly also a valuable insight worth remembering. We all move in social systems and gather valuable insights from them.

We live and learn in different social systems

Let's think of a man - controller for 5 years, applying for a leadership position – he has been a fire chief and head of operations for years. As a father of three sons, he has to mediate many quarrels and sometimes endure it when they gang up on him. He comforts the weaker and encourages the winner in sports or the talented in music. He teaches them that he can be trusted and helps them to develop.
Hm... there are some skills in there that could be useful for a manager, aren't there? Well, if the job profile requires at least 3 years of management experience - sorry, if not available - then rejection. In addition, with three children and the fire brigade, he will probably not be particularly willing to travel or be flexible in his working hours – consequently , rejection.

And when it comes to the mother in place of the father, who works part-time in the finance department of a small company, manages the household including the household budget, works in the parents' association and organises the annual sports festival for fundraising, they say she hasn't worked much in the last few years and certainly can't work overtime with three school-age children -  then rejection.
How do you see it? That's not true?

Managing employees is something completely different, you can't compare that? Hm... maybe, but couldn't these people still be able to do the job successfully? No? Are you sure?

We have been working with people and their potentials for years

We experience such situations every day in HR consultancy and are not immune to acting according to patterns ourselves. However, we also see it as our duty to keep reminding ourselves of this and to remain open in our attitude.
In addition, we see ourselves very much in the role of advisor to our clients, on the one hand to find those people who can professionally take on the vacant position, but who also fit well into the value system of the respective client. To this end, we are not afraid to enter into a discussion with our clients or to deviate from the job profile if we are not convinced by an applicant who does not perfectly match the "shopping list". And experience shows that we are on the right track with this attitude.

What does the future look like?

What requirements must be taken into account? Those companies that do not move away from their rigid job descriptions will be left behind. We have reached the low-birth-rate age group and in many cases a real "competition" for experts has arisen.
Flexible working hours, career planning or the possibility of paternity leave are only the first steps towards satisfying the needs of today's employees. Part-time employees and people over 50, who are often not the first focus of attention, will receive more attention on the job market in the future, which will certainly be worthwhile.

Have you ever thought about casting a fishing line within your own ranks? What do you know about your employees and colleagues and their competences beyond their field of activity in the company? Machines cannot usually perform different functions, but people can. Let's trust that everyone likes to be part of the success and we should exploit the strengths of social systems.

For example, a medium-sized company may save the costs for an agency because new brochures, web presence, app programming, etc. are done by its own employees in a project group. Or a machine development creates a quantum leap because a tinkering team member from the assembly department drives a private rally and his/her experience is more valuable than that of an external consultant.

How can we do this justice?

Do you perhaps already have the missing skilled workers on board without having considered it? Do you have talents that your manager does not know about or would you be willing to acquire new knowledge?
If we succeed in transforming these two questions into basic attitudes, i.e. that managers automatically know more about their team members and employees are trusted to acquire the necessary specialist knowledge, the shortage of skilled workers will only be half as problematic and motivation will be higher and personal loyalty within the company will be greater.

This applies to both existing and future employees. Let's think of ourselves as people who have much more to offer than the rigid completion of our tasks. Without us, the company's success would not be possible. Each of us has the chance to help shape and achieve great things. Professionally, occupationally, but also personally!

At HILL International, we have been addressing the totality of the human being in every interview for years in order to leverage talent and thus create added value. We see ourselves as partners focused on sustainable solutions, as sparring partners for candidates and clients.

Join in! You have nothing to lose, only to gain!

Sylvia Steinkellner, MSc, Guest Author
Guest Author

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