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The Talent Shortage Challenge: how to adapt your hiring strategy

Written by Lucas Reitsema on 13 July 2023 for Companies

Companies worldwide are hard-pressed to find, hire and retain talented employees. The talent shortage puts talent in the driver’s seat: if they don’t like you as an employer, they can just go elsewhere. So how do you deal with this talent shortage and what can you do to become more attractive as an employer? Here are five effective ways to adapt and future-proof your hiring strategy.

#1 Look for talent in-house

The best way to deal with the talent shortage, is to train the people you already have. Since the world and everything in it is changing so rapidly nowadays, you need to keep learning constantly to keep up. So, do you have some people you’re really happy about, but are they missing a few skills? Draw up a personal development plan together and upskill your workforce!

#2 reduce the time to hire

As we already mentioned, talented employees have options. If you string them along for too long, or drag out the hiring process, they’ll be gone. There was a time when candidates had to take a myriad of tests and come in for at least 3 interviews, always with the next person up the ladder. That won’t work anymore, because the tables have turned. At Exellys, we reduced our hiring process to an efficient duo interview of an hour and a half. After this, we get back to the candidate as soon as possible, within a few days. It shows them we respect their time and we believe in their potential.

#3 don’t sacrifice the long term for the short term

Many companies still hire reactively. They notice a gap in their workforce – either somebody leaves, or a new role is suddenly required – and they go out looking for the perfect person to fill this particular gap. At Exellys, we advise companies to hire proactively. Have a meeting with management and consider where you want to go in the next couple of years and which kinds of roles you’ll be needing to get there. That way, you can start training and hiring people now instead of frantically trying to fill in a gap later. It will also help you avoid hiring the wrong people just because you need someone fast.

#4 hire for values, train for skills

Stop looking for unicorn hires. As an employer, you’re not in a position to play hard ball anymore anyway. Find people who share your values, who would be a great cultural fit for your company. If they don’t meet all the requirements, so be it. You can always train for skills, but you can’t change someone’s attitude or personality. The best thing you can do for your company is to explain your strategy, vision and ambitions to the talent in front of you and ask them if they’d like to be a part of your story, and if so, what role they’d like to play in it. Offer them perspective instead of pushing them into a box.

#5 pay attention to cross-generational collaboration

What’s the age balance like in your company? And how do different generations relate to each other in the workplace? In our experience, young graduates and senior employees can learn a lot from each other. Youngsters are often more in-tune with new technologies and ways of working, while older employees have a priceless amount of experience and knowledge. By encouraging them to work together, they can learn from each other and make each other better.


To deal with the talent shortage, the best things you can do is train your people and offer perspective to emerging talent you’re trying to attract. Think about your long-term goals and keep those goals in mind with every hire. Finally, encourage your new hires to collaborate with your experienced employees to stimulate knowledge-sharing between the various generations in the workplace.

Want to find out more about talent retention and hiring strategies? Check out this episode of our podcast Exellys Talks, in which Lucas Reitsema shares his insights on the topic.

About Exellys

Exellys is a Talent Incubator. We bring talent into the daily operations of the organisation of our customers and grow them for the innovations of tomorrow.

From the 1.500 talents we speak to annually, we select the top 7%. We intensively train and coach them on the right skills and competences. Our (scientifically based) training programs (Start Smart, Grow Smart & Lead Smart) accelerate the growth of our talents, and therefore also the growth of our customers.

We “unburden” our clients when looking for and retaining talent. We are committed to getting the best out of talent, while our customers can continue to focus on their core business.

We do this for organisations who want to strengthen their team permanently, as well as those who are looking for a flexible, project-driven solution. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help.