As we near the end of 2013, is your 2014 workforce in place? If you haven’t already, get a head start on recruiting for your current and projected 2014 hiring needs, especially if you’re recruiting employees with science, technical, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills. One of the most difficult challenges facing companies is the severe and growing gap in professionals with STEM skills.
To learn more about the STEM skills gap and its source, view our new infographic.
Recruiting for STEM jobs
Skilled STEM workers are particularly difficult to find, so we’ve compiled a list of recruiting strategies you can start using now to have your hires ready for January 1, 2014.
Build strategic relationships
Recruiting revolves around people. Build a strategy around finding the right ones. Research industry publications, partner with staffing firms and browse LinkedIn to seek out key prospects. Then start writing emails and making calls to build those relationships, even if you’re not currently hiring.
Look for a cultural fit
You may find candidates who are a great cultural fit for your company but don’t have the exact skills you’re looking for. Consider training them. Some STEM skills can be taught, but personality issues are hard to correct.
Partner with staffing agencies
The best staffing agencies make it a top priority year-round to build relationships with STEM professionals. Partner with one to expedite your end of the year recruiting efforts.
Seek out remote candidates
Don’t limit your search to local candidates. Top talent can be anywhere as more and more STEM workers are choosing to work remotely. If you’re unsure of how to find remote professionals with STEM skills, or how hiring one would work in your company, partner with a national or global staffing agency for its expertise.
Don’t let your talent search take a vacation
As with many business functions, recruiting efforts seem to ebb during holidays. Hiring managers, recruiters and candidates are on vacation. Take advantage of this time. While your competitors are out of the office, you can interview great candidates in yours.
Retaining employees with STEM skills
Finding and hiring the best STEM workers is only half the battle. STEM skills are in demand, and it’s likely that several other companies are looking to snatch up the ones you have. Keep them in your organization with the following strategies:
Invest in education
STEM workers are particularly aware of keeping up with current technology, trends and knowledge. An internal ongoing education program will not only keep your organization flexible and dynamic, but it’ll go a long way in retaining your employees in STEM jobs.
Establish remote working capabilities
There are two benefits to this strategy. One, it opens you up to hiring from a wider pool of talent. Two, it will differentiate you as an employer and attract more candidates with STEM skills.