Talent forum sheds light on ‘hidden workers’ as way to solve workforce problems

One way to tackle today’s workforce challenges might be to pay more attention to what experts call “hidden workers.”

On Thursday, a talent forum hosted by the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce highlighted three populations: refugees, people with disabilities and previously incarcerated residents. Hidden workers are potential candidates for vacancies who lack traditional labor market qualifications.

The Chamber’s annual event aims to address current issues in the capital and showcase potential solutions to workforce challenges.

A 74-page report titled “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent” from Harvard Business School said companies that hire hidden workers are 36% less likely to face talent shortages than companies that don’t.

“Removing the barriers will require an overhaul of many aspects of the hiring system – from where companies source talent, how they write their job descriptions, the role managers and supervisors play in relation to human resources in the hiring process. ‘establishment of specifications, the technologies used to screen applications and rank applicants, the process of onboarding applicants, the provision of training and supportive coaching, and even the care benefits provided,’ says the report.

Eddie Gonzalez Loumiet, CEO of Ruvos, an IT services company that securely manages lab, hospital and healthcare facility data, said he was working with Future Pathways regarding a potential candidate interested in cybersecurity.

Ruvos CEO Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet.

“It’s a high-demand job, but we just don’t have enough cybersecurity experts. We will try to give it a shot,” said Loumiet, who chairs. “It will be a learning experience for our company, just as it is a learning experience for many companies here today.”

Gonzalez-Loumiet said widespread challenges in finding employees have forced employers to be creative and consider populations that may have previously been overlooked.

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