The labour supply is supposedly shrinking … but is that the only problem?
‘Record amount of companies can’t find personnel’
This was only one of the many ominous news headlines passing in the last few weeks in respect to the labour market. ‘List of bottleneck vacancies longer than ever’ was another. Officially there are 188 bottleneck professions today, up from 166 last year. The fact that waiting times in construction are getting shorter – to cite another article – is good news for anyone looking to build or renovate, but don’t cheer too soon. The same article also points out that construction companies are desperately looking for skilled workers.
The labour market is bigger than we think.
It is true that the labour supply is shrinking. We’re starting to feel the impact of an aging population now that the baby boomers (they did it again!) are retiring. Yet there’s a second problem that’s receiving a lot less attention: the supply of skilled labour is incredibly dispersed. Especially the availability of temporary and/or external workers that an increasing amount of companies look towards in order to plug their shortages. Industries including chemicals, security, retail, hospitality, media, etc already use plenty of external personnel.
The gig economy has made temporary contracts the new normal. Companies can hardly predict how their markets will evolve over the next few years, let alone the next few months. Permanent contracts are making space for temporary projects, whether it’s a welder working two weeks on-site or a project manager dividing their time between two companies. Many workers have already made this switch, and companies follow. Temporary, external staff allows them to scale much more easily, to remain adaptive, and to better play into new demands and opportunities. This trend is rapidly expanding to other industries.
The suppliers of that labour have understood this very well. You can find a job centre on every corner of the street. New recruitment agencies seem to be founded every day. Consultancies shoot up like mushrooms after rain. Online, there seems to be no end to the amount of freelance platforms. And abroad, outsourcing companies offer local workers. In this way everyone has its own silo of workers, all surrounded by high walls. As long as the supply of such labour was (much) higher than the demand, this labour dispersion worked just fine: you knock on one of those doors and immediately you could expect a few candidates. But that has changed. Today you would have to knock on quite a few doors.
Google for people
This situation is in fact absurd in light of today’s technologies. You look for information? You visit Google. Consumer products? Amazon has it all. But if you’re looking for personnel there is no central place to find it. Imagine spending your Saturday having to shop at 5 different supermarkets to finish your shopping list. It’s a waste of time.
Headminer set out to centralise this people search on one central platform. All demand and supply in one place. With the same ease and speed as Google, but then for people. No contracts, timesheets or other administrative hassles. Just pure matchmaking between the right people and the right companies, without having to waste weeks or months of anyone’s precious time.
Companies looking for staff can post their gig on the platform once and fish in a pond that is infinitely bigger than the ones they throw their rods in today. Your little lake becomes a big deep ocean.