Mardi Humphreys, Change Agent, Integration Edge
Last week we discussed how to retain your current employees during the Talent Tsunami. But despite your best efforts, it’s likely that some of them will still jump ship (cue Debbie Downer). From a financial perspective, hiring a new employee is an expensive process. You not only have to calculate salary, but also the cost of recruiting, training, and benefits. If you are a company of 0-500 people, this price could average $7645. How can you ensure you’re attracting trustworthy talent?
Congruity Through Change
It’s tempting to just increase the top of the salary range or offer a sign-on bonus and publish the “We’re Hiring!” post. But throwing money at the problem is not a long-term solution. The pandemic proved the workplace can function very differently than it’s been allowed to since the industrial age. This excited employees, but management not so much. COVID-19 fast-tracked the inevitable evolution of the way knowledge work gets done. Protocol that made factories run efficiently (e.g., all employees work five consecutive eight-hour days) are no longer in employees nor companies best interests here at the end of the digital revolution. If you make this an arbitrary rule, you risk losing out on valuable talent. Conversely, if you explore innovative alternatives for running your business, then you keep your company’s vision intact by taking advantage of modern methods to manifest it. For example: How many processes can you automate? Can you employ subcontractors? Can you upskill high-value individual contributors? Concepts like remote working and unlimited PTO that your company deemed impractical before COVID-19 are now your competitors’ widely advertised company perks. Ponder how implementing such changes may impact your business. A company that helps its workforce navigate work-life integration attracts employees who want to make that company thrive. Be a company that allows employees autonomy to get their projects done, advance in their career and life, and affiliate with both their coworkers and company. Prioritize being a great place to work; a place where employees are valued as human beings. When you do, that becomes part of your brand. In short order, you have an inspiring story to tell everyone and you will attract a workforce excited to invest in the company’s success.
Not Your First Rodeo
You’ve been short-handed before, so now is not the time to panic. Employment is a long-term prospect. You need to discern whether a new hire will be a loyal member of your team or if they are just riding a Talent Tsunami wave. Be as selective in choosing whom to add to your staff now as you were pre-pandemic. When hiring, consider:
- Why are they changing jobs?
- Did COVID-19 cause them to be laid off or furloughed?
- What did they learn during the pandemic that will help them succeed in this role?
- Are they looking for more purpose in their work?
- What specifically drew them to your company?
- Did someone you trust from your network connect you to this talent prospect?
- Do they seem excited to meet with you?
- Did they tailor their resume to the open position?
- Did they ask you good questions about both the company and the job?
This power shift to job seekers won’t last forever. You’ll likely have the same pre-pandemic issues (e.g., finding employees with specific skills) you always had, but if you refresh your policies to create more win-win working conditions, you’ll attract quality talent.
What makes your organization attractive to talent?