The challenging labour market asks for creative solutions to fill the gaps

Jun 16, 2022 | Bright Talks

Here’s what’s happening now. The current labour market has more vacancies than unemployed people. Many job openings are struggling to get filled. Why are companies behind on their daily operations, unable to fulfil the desired service level, and cannot get the right people in? 

Shades of grey

Let’s take a deep dive into the current labour market in The Netherlands. As of May 2022, there is only one unemployed person available per five vacancies. And this number is growing. One of the main reasons is the fact that people are getting older. There is a shift in the population, with more people retiring than there are young people. The retiring people are leaving jobs that are left open. Another thing, with people getting older, many sectors get an increase of activity. The most obvious one is health care, but many other industries (retail, transport, leisure) get impacted too. 

What else?

We all knew that the global pandemic would influence the labour market, but we did not exactly know what that impact would be. Due to the pandemic, some people lost their job as their companies had to close due to lockdown. Others stayed in positions because of the uncertainty during the pandemic. Then some people made different life choices: higher-paid work, more reasonable working hours, or people moved across the country. Many sectors were hit by these current developments, from education to the restaurant sector and the retail, hotel and restaurant industries. 

Get creative and seek solutions

How to fill these positions? One of the main things happening now is that wages that fall under a pooled standard are being increased, with the minimum Dutch salary facing a 3.3% increase. Sounds fair, right? There’s no shame in throwing money at a problem, and in this case, it is. 

However, money is not always the solution,  and it’s undoubtedly not so creative. This is the time for recruitment and HR to work together. How can they set better conditions to attract more people, the so-called soft conditions? In other words, implement the human factor? Start with listening to what the modern-day worker wants. Maybe it’s more flexible hours, remote working, more collaboration across departments or something else. Also, when it comes to hiring. We need to get a fresh perspective on jobs, the job market and what’s important. This is where unbiased hiring will come into play. Companies need to look differently at candidates and hire more from an impartial perspective (age, language, physical challenges, etc.). Hiring needs to be done based on the potential that can be unleashed, instead of checking if the CV is similar to current staff. Many excellent initiatives support companies by designing games that qualify candidates, recruitment programs that leave out personal data, and inclusivity consultants. 

Pay more to get more

We have already mentioned an increase in wages as a positive effect of the current job market. However, the pay more, to get more principle can also be applied to the consumers. If the current market stays as it is now, companies cannot fulfil their service. For example, next day delivery will be more difficult when there’s not enough staff throughout the supply chain. Online webshops face the challenge now that if they still want to offer a high level of service, the consumer will have to pay extra. Of course, automation can do a lot to bridge these gaps. But there’s only so much a robot or computer can do. We will also need people to operate the machines. 

The time is now to open your mind

In conclusion, we can say that to face the current challenges in the job market, we need to be creative, open-minded, and simply all pay more. The latter is evident; both the corporate world and the consumer will, in the end, have to pay more to get the standard they aspire to. When it comes to the creativity in solutions, that is up to companies. Many options are not exclusive. It can be stimulating cross-departmental collaboration, a fresh approach to vacancies and humanising your internal policy to attract more people. Overall, when we open our minds more, we can see more clearly. The time is now to start to find ways for more unbiased hiring. 


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A people-person and natural conversationalist, Lukas makes sure that he understands what people need, want and expect. His experience, background and genuine interest gives him the ability to work with various personalities and nationalities. Working mostly with scale-ups in finance, fintech, and industrial engineering and ambitious family businesses ready to go level up, Lukas can offer the services for any part of the journey.

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