businessman-climate-tough.pngThe percentage of employers experiencing difficulties filling vacant positions continued to rise last year around the globe, according to a Manpower Group report

Some industries are experiencing particularly long hiring times. In health services in the U.S., for example, the average vacancy fill time is 48.3 days, according to the latest DHI Hiring Indicators report. Just three years ago, vacant positions were filled in 34.6 days.

The tight labor market is likely the result of a number of factors — fewer applicants, jobseekers without enough experience — a new Society for Human Resource Management report, in fact, found more than half of HR professionals saw some basic skills/knowledge deficits among job applicants. Eighty-four percent said jobseekers lacked the necessary applied skills.

Company leadership, however, may not fully recognize the scope of the problem.

To successfully locate and recruit top talent to fill vacant positions, HR professionals will have to convince leaders that additional efforts are necessary.

Start building the case for a bigger recruitment budget with the following steps:

6-28-2016_acp.png1. Explain the impact

Without adequate staffing, organizations are at risk of seeing reduced productivity and profitability. A CareerBuilder survey found extended job vacancies have had a negative impact on nearly half of employers’ business, with 25 percent reporting a loss in revenue and 43 percent experiencing lower productivity.

2. Prove your point with numbers

Chances are, your leadership values facts and figures. Pack your presentation full of report results and other stats that highlight how difficult the current hiring market is — and what vacant positions might cost the organization — to emphasize how important recruitment efforts are.

3. Set specific goals

Just 35 percent of businesses ranked their companies’ HR and talent program capabilities as excellent or good, according to a Deloitte report. Don’t give leadership any reason to doubt your department’s ability to fill vacant positions. Determine projected diversity recruitment, retention and other targets so you have objectives to work toward — and eventually share.

8-29-2016_blog.png4. Measure your hiring ROI

Big data can be immensely useful in recruitment. Half of companies gauge the quality of their hiring decisions through new hire performance evaluations, according to LinkedIn’s 2016 report on global recruiting trends; 49 percent use turnover or retention statistics, and 43 percent rely on hiring manager satisfaction. Determine a method that works for your organization so you’ll have hard data to prove the time and cost invested in recruitment were worthwhile.

Once you’ve determined what approach is helping you find solid candidates to fill vacant positions — and which isn’t — you can tweak your hiring methods, as needed.

For more advice on looking for employees to hire in a tight labor market, read our blog posts on the top skills competitors are looking for, hiring the right manager, social media recruiting, hiring time and interview and hiring trends that can transform your talent search.