Lack of skilled workers in rural regions

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Recruiting is one of the biggest challenges facing human resources departments. Whether a small family business or a large corporation, there is one thing they all have in common, especially in their rural branches.

“We place ads everywhere and increasingly offer benefits, but still we have far too few applications for open positions,” reported not only one HR manager at the first HRcamp in Koblenz, Germany.
This awaits you – table of contents:

The need for problem solutions in rural regions has long been recognized by the scientific community. The interdisciplinary research area “Strategies for Rural Areas SLR” was created at the University of Applied Sciences Koblenz.

maren kasper

If you are looking for solutions quickly, you will find information and suggestions in HR blogs. Maren Kaspers (photo) is one of the most popular bloggers in this field. From the latest recruiting tips to the topic of corporate culture – as Team HR, she keeps readers up to date together with Melanie Berthold.

Ms. Kaspers, how long have you been blogging about human resources?

Since August 2016, a notice with a date has been hanging on my kitchen cupboard – the date on which Melanie and I agreed on the name of the blog. The first blog entry went online in September 2016 – that’s almost 2.5 years now.

Do you have the feeling that the issues in this field have changed over the years?

Of course they have, because the generations in the labor market are changing – and with them the channels through which these generations can be reached. The question today is perhaps still “Which channel do I need to use to reach my target group?

But directly related to this is the question “How do you use Instagram / Snapchat / TiKTok?” or “What is that anyway? Today there are more possibilities, but at the same time more open questions.

What are the problems & solutions for the lack of skilled workers in rural areas?

Do the experiences within your network confirm that there is a need for action in rural areas? If so, where do the problems lie?

I experience two things: On the one hand, there are companies in rural areas that are desperately looking for employees and cannot find any. On the other hand, Generation Z, who in my network tend to decide to stay in rural areas and train there rather than go to the city to study.

I think the problems often lie in communication. Based on the motto “I offer you what I think you need”. If you don’t pay attention to what makes the target group tick, you can’t address them successfully.

You yourself live in Düsseldorf and your co-blogger in Berlin. In your text about “New Work” you describe how well this collaboration works in digital form. Is this the solution for rural areas?

Certainly words like “New Work” and “Collaboration” open up completely new ways for companies. If you’re no longer fixated on one location where you recruit, but can suddenly search nationwide or even across state borders, then you naturally have many more opportunities.

But location-independent work is not possible in every sector and every industry – how is this to be implemented in a doctor’s practice or a craft business, for example? So my answer to this question would be “yes” – for certain professions yes, for many unfortunately not (yet).

Would you like to learn more about employee surveys with easyfeedback?

This way

How important are social networks for personnel marketing?

I think that by now it is clear to everyone that it is almost impossible to do without social networks. But what many still don’t realize is that “social media” is much more than just an Instagram profile. It’s not just about addressing candidates and drawing attention to the employer, but also about listening.

Social networks open up a huge world where we have the opportunity to connect with people we might never have met in real life. For example, employers also have the opportunity to network with their target group and find out what they want.

What is important? Which arguments convince the target group? Social networks open the door to the target group – you just have to dare to open it.


Does this create new opportunities for companies in rural areas?

Of course, companies and businesses in rural areas have new opportunities to reach candidates through social networks, just like everyone else. For me, the question is not so much whether there are new opportunities. But which they are and how to use them.

By this I don’t just mean pure content marketing or using Facebook, Instagram & Co., but also dealing with paid social campaigns.

Especially companies and businesses in rural areas can use Paid Social to address new candidates in the surrounding area – unfortunately, not everyone is aware of the various possibilities that exist here.

Although Facebook has now started to exclude certain targeting options such as age or gender in the context of equal rights – but there are so many more options, you just have to be a little creative.

What is meant by employee advocacy?

In a quote from the entrepreneur Richard Branson, it says: “A company’s employees are its greatest asset!” This describes very well what employee advocacy actually means: It is about employees who are satisfied in their job and with their employer, and who talk positively about their employer in their private networks.

In other words, a kind of recommendation marketing about your own employees. I believe that employee advocacy must become one of THE marketing measures for employers. Why marketing measures? Because an employer cannot expect his employees to speak positively in their private environment.

Something has to be done for that as well. This is similar to the saying “Happy wife, happy life” but translated differently: Happy employee, happy company! I myself am incredibly passionate about this topic – which is why we have already written a post on our blog.

How important is feedback in the area of human resources?

In my opinion, without feedback no department in the company can function. But HR benefits especially from it. Because employee feedback makes it possible to identify grievances and ensure that employees feel comfortable in the company.

In addition, regular employee surveys in the company can also be used to record a barometer of mood – so the current working atmosphere and operating temperature can be monitored and countermeasures taken in good time in an emergency.

Many thanks for the interview, Ms. Kaspers.

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