Table of content:

  1. What does talent shortage mean?
  2. Which main causes of talent shortage are there?
  3. What are the consequences of a talent shortage?
  4. How can you implement effective measures against talent shortage?

The challenge of finding qualified employees varies depending on the industry, region, and professional field. Many companies have found that many vacancies are not being filled quickly enough. This so-called vacancy period is associated with high costs for the economy.

How does the talent shortage manifest itself and why does it exist? And how do you avoid the trend leaving its mark on your company as well? Which effective measures against talent shortage exist? We explain this to you in this article.

What does talent shortage mean?

A definition of the term states: If there is a high demand for skilled staff over a longer period of time and in the whole country companies have more vacancies than there are skilled workers on the market, there is a shortage of skilled workers.

In Germany, we are currently experiencing another upswing after the number of vacancies fell by around 21% during the Corona crisis. In autumn 2021, the job site Indeed recorded almost 40% more job offers for Germany than it did on February 1st, 2020.

The fact is that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed the world of work and intensified the shortage of skilled workers in Germany. Companies with a low degree of flexibility and spartan offers for employees as well as applicants currently have the greatest difficulties in filling vacancies. Shortages of talent are particularly evident in traditionally economically strong southern German states like Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, but also in the new federal states.

Which main causes of talent shortage are there?

1. Demographic transformation:

Experts see the main cause for the shortage of talent in the retirement of the baby boomers and the subsequent demographic change that is progressing in Germany. The fewer people are born, the fewer workers are available to the labour market, particularly in general or as skilled workers.

2. Global competition

Qualified professionals, experts with specialised knowledge, and employees with university degrees can usually choose their employers. For them, it is therefore very important to match their personal needs and interests with the company’s philosophy. Especially in the IT sector, it is clear that working abroad or for international companies is no longer an obstacle. Thus, German companies now have a lot of competition from international companies.

3. German education has an image problem

The German model of dual studies is gradually losing its appeal. More school leavers are going to university and thus education and advanced education occupations are falling by the wayside. According to the Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB), the number of young people seeking dual studies fell again by 4,800 (-0.9%) to 540,900 compared to 2020. The demand for study seats thus reached a new low since 1992, when data was first available for reunified Germany. This professional category is missing from the labour market and this is another reason for the shortage of skilled workers.

4. Digitalisation as driver

Digitalisation is supposed to be our future – and yet it also gives difficulty to the economy. Indeed, it contributes to the shortage of skilled workers in many sectors of the economy. It is creating new job profiles, but what is needed here is specialist knowledge – which in many cases still has to be built up. As a result, jobs remain unfilled.

What are the consequences of a talent shortage?

The talent shortage is hitting Germany hard as an industrial country. Indeed, many companies can only fulfil their orders with qualified staff. If there is a lack of staff, there is a lack of follow-up orders. In the long run, this leads to a loss of revenue.

In addition, they need to dig deeper into their pockets to be attractive to skilled workers. Small and medium-sized companies in particular often cannot keep up with the well-paying large companies.

How can you implement effective measures against talent shortage?

The shortage of skilled workers can only be tackled if business, politics, and workers work together. There are already 8 solutions and effective measures against talent shortage that every company can implement on its own. Your employer branding is the alpha and omega. Position yourself as an attractive employer so that you can attract the desired skilled workers. But also prevent a shortage of skilled workers from arising in the first place.

1. Value Soft Skills Higher

Qualifications, certificates, etc are still important indicators for personnel managers in job interviews. Nevertheless, the so-called soft skills are also significant nowadays. Team players and creative, social, and adaptive employees are increasingly in demand, as are career changers. Finally, companies have realised that missing expertise and skills can be quickly solved with upskilling and reskilling and they have become more open to hiring these skilled workers.

9 Soft Skills, that recruiters are looking for, depending on the job requirements:


2. Integrate women more and better

Companies that allow young mothers to work part-time are using an important resource. However, mothers often stay at home because family and work cannot be easily combined. Therefore, offer flexible working hours, and more home-office or on-site childcare if your company suffers from a shortage of skilled workers.

Women integration

3. Motivate older employees to stay in your company

Many retired employees are open to keep working under adapted conditions. Age-appropriate work and flexible hours could be the key to sufficient staff. Again, if the working conditions are right for the age group, valuable know-how is not lost and can continue to be used.

Motivate older employees
Promote immigration

4. Promote immigration

The birth rate in Germany is declining significantly. Thus, immigration continues to be an important lever for companies against talent shortages. To ensure that recruiting abroad works in the long term, it is advisable to work with professional and experienced personnel service providers such as LHC International.

Employee with disability

5. Hire people with disabilities

The employment agency calculates: Around 180,000 people with severe disabilities would like to work and already have above-average qualifications. The agency informs you about the possibilities, opportunities, and challenges as well as subsidies and thus helps against the shortage of skilled workers.

6. Increase the number of part-time workers

The potential is huge: in 2019, just under 12 million of all employed people were in part-time work, which corresponds to 28.6 %. 8.6% of them consider part-time work as a temporary measure. The reason they gave for working part-time was that they could not find a full-time job. The key here is therefore in the working time models, which on the one hand should be flexible and attractive, and on the other hand, should encourage people to take on additional activities.

7. Develop hybrid work models

The Corona crisis has shown it: In many companies, professionals can do mobile work without any problems. Some employees even found the time spent working in home office as much more productive and motivating. Flexible and modern companies should therefore develop and offer hybrid working models to be attractive to potential employees.

8. Corporate culture with charm

The right applicants are knocking on companies’ doors less and less often these days. The key is actively recruiting. Standard rejections and hesitant responses in the application process are also out. Have you been able to recruit skilled workers? Congratulations!

Now it’s up to you: Bind them to your company through an open and appreciative corporate culture. Word gets around and contributes to building positive employer branding. If you are active here and communicate well, the talent shortage should soon no longer be an issue.

LHC International supports you in finding suitable employees from other countries or areas and thus quickly covering your personnel needs.

We look behind the CV and, based on our experience, quickly recognise which candidate has the right potential. Would you like to learn more?

Contact us.

As recruitment professionals since 2013, we at LHC International specialise in supporting you in finding the right position or the right candidates for your company.