Transitions Coaching Blog

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The Secret to Stemming the Talent Shortage? People.

By Karen Konrath, Leadership Coach  |  November 11, 2021
The Secret to Stemming the Talent Shortage? People.

Across the U.S., our organizations are facing a crisis.

The “sansdemic,” as some researchers have termed it, is creating a severe shortage of talent and leaving a lot of leaders in a state of panic.

Over the past year and a half, millions of people have left the workforce, and millions of jobs have gone unfilled. Labor force participation is at its lowest levels in nearly 50 years[1], and there doesn’t seem to be an increase on the horizon.

Sadly, under intense pressure to fill open roles to drive business results, the great resignation has left many people feeling overwhelmed and many more feeling undervalued.

While “quick fixes” can help fill some of the gaps left by a shrinking workforce, the problem is more complex than that because it’s a human problem.

It’s not about simply focusing on recruitment; it’s about focusing on the overall human experience at work—in all facets. It’s about recognizing that people who feel valued, rewarded, and fulfilled by their work are the key to sustainable business success.

The leader’s role in the human experience cannot be understated. Leaders bear responsibility for fostering a sense of belonging, well-being, and resilience in their teams. Here’s a look at why shaping an experience that honors these needs is important:


Thanks to advances in technology, we’ve never been more connected across geographies. But at the same time, people are reporting they’ve never felt less connected at work. First and foremost, making the time to meet regularly with your team members is imperative. Intentionally engaging in open and honest communication about whatever is on their minds helps to create a genuine connection, leaving them feeling valued and cared for.


In the stress and uncertainty we’ve navigated over the past year and a half, well-being has surged as a workplace trend. It’s no surprise that employees want to feel more energized by their work and less overwhelmed. Offering as much flexibility as you can around how, where, and when your employees complete their work is critical to their well-being. It’s time to get creative as you work with your team to reinvent what a productive work schedule looks like today.


As your team continues to adapt to change, they need to feel supported to be resilient. Support requires you to lead with compassion, which in turn requires you to listen. Learning to truly listen—not in the form of pulse surveys, but in one-on-one conversations where you hear their experience and what it’s like for them—is key to helping them build resilience.

We believe these ideas go beyond working with your current team.

As many leaders continue to cope with a shortage of talent, we’ve come to see just how important the human experience is in recruitment and talent identification efforts. Because we believe so strongly in the power of filling open roles with humans, not headcount, we created Transitions Careers.

Transitions Careers offers talent identification, job search support, and coaching services focused on matching great talent with fulfilling work by making personal connections.

Learn more about our approach by visiting our website and reading our blog focusing on humans, not headcount.

The answer to recruiting and retaining great talent may not be simple, but the message is clear: value people more. The most effective leaders understand that their team members’ unique experiences, strengths, and passions are what make our organizations tick, and therefore, shaping a more human experience at work becomes the strategic imperative.

1. Source: The Demographic Drought, Emsi, May 4, 2021