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Talent shortage is one of the top hiring challenges facing companies today. Forty-eight percent of recruiters said they don't see enough qualified candidates for open positions, according to the Glassdoor Recruiting Outlook Survey.1 In addition, ManpowerGroup's 2015 Talent Shortage study found that 38 percent of companies are having more difficulty filling jobs than last year, the highest percentage since 2007.2

Managers and owners at retail establishments and quick service restaurants are having an especially difficult time filling managerial roles. Internal recruiting is a cost-efficient solution to this problem. Identify your star employees and prepare them to take on managerial roles is one of the best ways to keep your talent pool stocked.

Find Your Hidden Talent

Eighty-six percent of prospective recruits are passive candidates who are already employed and aren't actively seeking jobs, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.4 These can be some of your best management candidates, however they are often overlooked for promotion to manager-level positions.

You should go back through the past few years of your applicant tracking system database and identify hires who have qualities that fit key characteristics of your managerial candidate profile. You can then gather additional data from supervisors to find out what hidden talent you already have working for you.

Standardize Your Training Process

Limited standard training processes can hinder employee development. Relying on managers to emerge without your active intervention will produce unpredictable and uneven results. University of Texas research has found that standardizing training procedures reduces task error rate and improves performance better than other training methods that focus on factors such as motivation.5

To standardize your managerial promotional process, start by mapping out the steps between a new recruit's initial job position and a managerial role. From there, identify the tasks the employee needs to master at each step to advance toward becoming managerial material. After that, outline on-the-job training procedures to teach and test each skill set. Finally, create a schedule with estimated time intervals for implementing your training curriculum.

Build Mentoring Relationships

Lack of guidance can be another factor inhibiting development of your employees' management potential. Seventy-five percent of executives credit their success partly to having a mentor, according to an American Society for Training and Development study.6 Implementing your own mentoring program can accelerate the development of your internal talent.

A proper fit between mentor and trainee is key to a good mentoring relationship. Make sure the mentor's experiences align with the trainee's career path and that the trainee feels comfortable with his or her mentor.

Invest in Educating Talent

If your company has educational requirements for promotions, lack of sufficient credentials can be another barrier to promoting managerial candidates. You can solve this problem by offering educational opportunities for your employees. For instance, for jobs requiring a high school diploma, offering a high school completion program can increase your pool of qualified managerial candidates. For higher educational qualifications, you may wish to extend training opportunities through post-secondary schools, third-party organizations and industry-specific events such as trade show seminars.

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Resources: (1) Talent Shortage is Hiring Manager's Biggest Challenge, Glassdoor Recruiting Survey Reveals (2) 2015 Talent Shortage Survey (3) Recruiter: Recruitment Strategies (4) Why Sourcing is Superior to Posting Jobs for Talent (5) Comprose: Research Shows Streamlining Procedures Best Way to Reduce Operations Errors (6) Association for Talent  Development: Best Practices in Developing High Potentials