You are having trouble finding good talent for your business and the reality is that you are not alone. There is a significant workforce shortage in the US and it is hindering growth for businesses throughout the country.

But maybe this is only part of the story.

While we are struggling to find your next employee, there are more college graduates entering the workforce then ever before. In addition, 51% of the US Workforce is currently on the lookout for a new job. That’s about 80 million people in the US. Yes, not all of them are qualified, but we have to stop telling ourselves that all of them are.

Instead of saying there isn’t enough talent available, maybe we don’t have enough talent applying at our own companies.

Potential employees are buyers in the workforce market and right now, it’s a buyer’s market. These potential employees are armed with more information and resources than ever before. 77% of potential employees will look at a company website before they apply for a job.

71% of potential employees will talk to someone who works for a company before they apply. The problem here is that in the average company, 67% of employee are disengaged or toxic at work. This means that most of the time, we aren’t going to get a good referral. If talented employees aren’t finding what they’re looking for, they aren’t going to apply.

So where do we go? How do we find talented employees?

First of all, most of your potential employees are employed. Unemployment is very low right now in the US with many regions at levels that are considered to be “full employment”.

Second, potential employees are also armed with more traditional job alternatives than ever before. The “gig economy” gives people potential alternatives to coming to work for other companies. In fact, about 30% of Americans work at least part time in the gig economy working for themselves doing self-directed jobs like driving for Uber. Some economists predict this will increase to 40% in just a couple of years.

This is all good news. Why? Now that we know, we can begin to figure out ways to attract employees to our businesses. It’s a much more solvable problem than trying to create more talent in the overall workforce. In other words, our problem isn’t “workforce” development. Its finding a way to make employees want to “work for” you!