In my previous blog (https://www.invistaperforms.org/why-cant-i-find-employees/) I discussed the impact of the pandemic and reviewed several causes for people not returning to work. This blog will describe some of the steps employers can take to attract candidates.

Once things started to return to a state of normalcy, employers expected their employees to return and pick up their old jobs. Many employees had decided that after a year or so of worrying about their lives and their families lives, they were going to do something different.

A recent survey conducted by McKinsey & Co. found only 37% of workers prefer a full-time return to on-site work at the office while pre-Covid 19 numbers said that 62% of workers preferred an on-site model.

Employers tried various techniques to lure their employees back, including being flexible with employees working at home or a hybrid schedule, reviewing wage and benefits or conducting a review of their corporate culture to be a more inclusive work environment. However, there were still vacant positions to file.

Recruiters say businesses need to start taking the initiative and actively – even aggressively–seeking out unemployed candidates or those who may be working for an employer elsewhere. CEO and chair of Recruiter.com, Evan Sohn said employers need to treat their candidate search like they treat their search for new customers. Sohn went on to say, businesses need to keep the pedal down to ensure there is a constant stream of customers. When it comes to potential employees, businesses need to look at candidates the same way.

Shon went on to say that employers need to get comfortable with the new state of the hiring market and not be counting on their employees returning to their pre-pandemic patterns. Employers need to recognize that the workforce of today is likely to change jobs more frequently than in years past. The key here is for employers to work on retention techniques and recruit more and develop and good pipeline of candidates.

Another issue employers need to recognize is the change in hiring strategies. Famous pop artist and magazine illustrator Andy Warhol said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” This is certainly true of current employer recruiting techniques.

In an interview with New York (CNN Business) Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM, a multinational middle market accounting firm, said “The American worker is now confident that he or she has the bargaining power and can obtain a reasonable wage – and have influence over the shape of working conditions.” Brusuelas said this shift is not based on wages but on a broader reassessment around the quality of life and purpose. Brusuelas went on to say this is typical of what happens after great wars and depressions. “It’s hard to spot while you’re in it, but we’ve gone through a shock that has elicited an unexpected change upon the population, and it will take some time to sort through.”

Another clue to this bargaining power up-tick is a significant increase in candidates presenting counteroffers and this is true in both frequency and value.

So, what is the key to finding a good pipeline of potential employees?  The biggest item is changing your hiring strategies to an innovative approach.

  • Experts say that employers need to broaden their horizons and move more quicky. The days of taking 2 to 4 weeks, or three or more interviews to make a hire is gone. With the thin pool of candidates, employers need to move to hiring quicker.
  • Be innovative and find new job boards. “They pick one job board to spend all their dollars on, and then hope for the best of what people come in” said Anil Harjani, VP of corporate development at Hireology, a multi-purpose career and recruitment organization. Harjani said that during the Covid-19 era, Facebook has seen a significant increase as a hiring platform.
  • Surveys are showing that more job candidates are using platforms like Facebook and TikTok in their search process.
  • Businesses are also turning to technology, such as artificial intelligence platforms and automated tools, which proactively campaign to the type of individuals they are trying to reach.

Another approach is for employers to look inward for their talent openings and assess opportunities to reskill or upskill existing workers.

  • Be aware of how your wages stack up against others in the industry. Candidates have significant leverage, and they can get turned-off by lower-than-average wages. Recruiting experts are saying it’s not a matter of no applicants but no applicants willing to work for what the employer is offering. In a recent Maru Public Opinion survey, the results found 58% or employed Americans said higher compensation was the top factor that could lead them to leave their employer.
  • Flexibility doesn’t just mean working from home. Some businesses are flexing by having the employee in the office 2 of the 5 days of their workweek. Recruiters are saying the flexibility issue has quickly shifted from being a relatively unique perk to an expectation.  Others are going as far as flexing their work hours to 4 days of 10-hours.
  • Though not the top of the list, don’t forget to address learning and development of your employees. Do you have a designed learning and development plan?  Are the employees aware of it? Do they have an opportunity to participate in a development plan and have an opportunity for a promotion when the opportunity presents itself?

 

Social media sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn have made it easy to share experiences, which makes it incumbent on the employers to create strong, positive workplace cultures.  Raising wages and having flexible work schedules aren’t always sufficient to address the positive culture needs.

A 2021 Global Culture Report indicated technology is an important element to candidates.  When technology is well-integrated with an organization’s culture, there is a 5 times higher likelihood of employee engagement, a 47% lower likelihood of attrition, and a 35% decrease in moderate to severe burnout

According to GoCo’s State of HR Report, this is how employers are combating the talent war.

  • Increasing wages – 60%
  • Adding benefits or perks – 59%
  • Retention bonuses –31%
  • Expanding culture –31%
  • Not taking action –7 %

Measuring and Enhancing Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a fundamental concept in the effort to understand and describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of the relationship between an organization and its employees which is directly linked to the organization’s overall performance.

A recent survey by Quantum Workplace found the percentage of engaged employees dropped from 81% in January of 2021 to 74% in July 2021 with key indicators like trust in leadership, intent to stay with their current employer and communication was moving in the wrong direction

Add all this information and trends up and the results are of great concern for all the employers dealing with labor shortages that replacing a lost worker has become an expensive venture.

Stop thinking engagement is just a survey project. If you really want to move the needle, you’ve got to get on board with the fact that engagement is an ongoing, strategic initiative. You should be attacking it from all angles, all year long.

If you’re concerned about employee engagement, corporate or workplace culture, recruitment or other business operation impacts, let Invista Performance Solutions be your partner in helping you build solutions that will transform your people and organization through these and any other operational or behavioral issues.


References

CNN (2021, October 21) A record number of Americans are quitting their jobs. https://www.abc57.com/news/a-record-number-of-americans-are-quitting-their-jobs

Forbes, (2021, August 2) What is the Great Resignation and How Will This Affect Job Seekers? https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2021/08/02/what-is-the-great-resignation-and-how-will-this-affect-job-seekers/?sh=5097249039c6

GoCo (2021) State of HR Report. How the Pandemic is Reshaping HR in 021. https://www.goco.io/blog/the-state-of-hr-in-2021/

Goodreads.com.  Andy Warhol Quotes. https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1203.Andy_Warhol

HR Daily Advisor (2021, August 30) Why are Employees Leaving During a Pandemic? https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2021/08/30/why-are-employees-leaving-during-a-pandemic/

The Atlantic (2021, October 15) The Great Resignation is Accelerating. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/great-resignation-accelerating/620382/

The Business Journals (2021, November 16) Burnout and quit rates are rising.  Here’s how businesses can attach the problems. https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2021/11/burnout-labor-shortage-work-week-four-day.html?page=all

The Business Journals (2021, November 16) Where are the candidates? How to find talent in the COVID Era. https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/news/2021/11/16/where-are-the-job-candidates.html

The Business Journals (2021, November 28) How long will the war for talent be so intense?  Here’s what HR execs think. https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2021/11/22/labor-shortage-talent-war.html?ana=e_sea_bn_editorschoice_editorschoice&j=90575519&t=Breaking%20News&mkt_tok=NjczLVVXWS0yMjkAAAGBBspnsRuFPLmZcurmnWSlIpHW1e_wnkGAIsdTEPa-MiRBZA1eIjOGXvaGMbeo_Fa9-m-wGPrAmK43V1MVRVr1q_J4BSYrwk5Jh0OiOQv93ZIfJQSvGQ

Novicepay (2021, September 21) How to Attract Millennial and Gen Z Employees with Eco-Friendly Initiatives. https://www.nvoicepay.com/resources/blog/attract-millennial-and-gen-z-employees-eco-friendly-initiatives/

NPR (2021, October 21) Why people have been quitting their jobs in record numbers recently. https://www.npr.org/2021/10/21/1048130201/why-people-have-been-quitting-their-jobs-in-record-numbers-recently

O.C. Tanner (2022) Global Culture Report. https://www.octanner.com/global-culture-report.html

Paycor. (2021) 5 reasons People Quit and 10 Thing You Can Do to Make Them Stay. https://www.paycor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/5-Reasons-People-Quit-and-10-Things-You-Can-Do-to-Make-Them-Stay.pdf

Quantum Workplace (2021) A new Era of Employee Engagement.  What It Is and How to Move the Needle. https://www.quantumworkplace.com/a-new-era-of-employee-engagement