Shortage of Trained Workers Big Challenge: How Marketers Can Help

By Guest Blogger Tammy Cancela, General Manager, Marketing Executive - Franchise Marketing, Marketing to Women, B:B/B:C

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn

Despite a robust local economy in several markets where we compete, the growth curves of many businesses have been dampened considerably from a shortage of trained workers. We’ve seen this directly in categories as widely dispersed as health and wellness, home services and restaurants over the last several quarters. 

Interestingly, while several areas of the economy and specific geographic markets have yet to return to full employment, these labor shortages persist.  

How can marketers help? 

In many cases, the answer is as direct as identifying trained workers as a target audience and going about the process of marketing employment to them. Note that I said “direct” and not “simple”.  We must consider the life stage and needs of the target worker, whether there is an educated workforce in place in the company’s trade zone, what the competition is doing to woo workers and what the company may need to offer to be competitive.  We may also need to walk through the hiring process to ensure it is as pleasant and fulfilling as workers desire.  After all, even if we aren’t able to hire a candidate, we want him to walk away as a promoter.  The process is generally so expensive as to nearly mandate that we squeeze as much out of it as we can. 

In a recent case, one of our clients experienced a lack of trained workers so severe that it quite literally stopped the growth of the industry in its tracks. In order to break the log jam, we began to recruit people who might one day be interested in training for the field.  We worked with schools to make the transition from inquiry to school to employment as simple, fast and cost effective as it could be within a high quality training environment. And, among other tactics,  we used social media to create an online gathering place where prospective students – and ultimately employees – could communicate, share ideas, ask questions and access all the information they needed to explore the industry and find a school.  While this a longer term approach, it was absolutely necessary given the circumstance. 

Have you experienced similar labor shortages? Is marketing involved in finding solutions in your company or for your clients? 

I’d love to hear your stories.