Article Contributed by Allison Ebner
Well, the time has come. It’s actually been time to do this for about five years now. But when the pandemic meets the Sansdemic and you toss in a little demographic draught . . . the waiting is OVER. It’s time to focus the spotlight firmly on our workplace cultures, as we incorporate innovative new ways of recruiting new talent and prioritizing workforce planning measures that will meet economic goals as well as match the candidate landscape of the future. So where do we start?
Most people would agree that our employees are our most important asset. Without them, we can’t create a customer experience that drives revenue, production and innovation. So let’s begin with them, our talent! We’ve learned over the past year or so that the talent has left the workforce in droves. Lots of people blame this on one specific thing over another, but the reality is that we’ve been heading towards this crisis for quite some time. It’s really a combination of things driving the dramatic changes in our workforce today: early Boomer retirements, an increase in opioid addiction (predominantly in males ages 25 to 55), a significantly lower birth rate in the US, workers leaving for entrepreneurial adventures, pandemic stimulus opportunities, an increase in mental health issues and an overall unwillingness of workers to go to work for companies where they don’t feel engaged or valued. This perfect storm of events has created a staggering amount of pressure on HR and recruiting professionals who are already handling more work than they can do, including continuing to keep our workplaces safe.
We’ve got Baby Boomers tapping out of the workforce, Gen X’ers are the smallest population of the workforce right now, so we’re focusing on attracting and retaining Millennials/Gen Y (they will represent 75% of the workforce in 2025) and Gen Z’ers, the newest of the group to enter the workforce. What are some key strategies to RETAIN your talent today?
Develop a people first mentality
You don’t toss out accountability. But you lead with heart and trust. It’s given to everyone when they walk through the door. Sure, they might so something to lose your confidence, but that’s where coaching, transparency and continuous performance management come in. Train your leaders – But start with trust.
Conduct regular stay interviews
Sure, we do exit interviews to see why people are leaving. Pick out your top performers and ask them why they stay! What’s important to them? And thank them for being there while you’re at it. A simple thanks goes a long way with your key employees.
Treat your employees like recruiters
Work on creating internal brand ambassadors that are always looking for your next great employee. Create a referral system that packs a punch – One that pays and incentivizes your staff to join your recruiting efforts.
Re-invent your onboarding process
Map out your new hire experience. From job postings, to response times, interview process to offer and over their first year of employment. Talk with some recent hires – let them be honest. Do they feel welcome in your organization? Were they matched with a buddy or mentor? Creating a successful onboarding process that engages and inspires your new hires will help you retain them.
OK, great, what about ATTRACTING new talent? Here are few suggestions to try:
HR – Meet Sales. And get closer!
Every HR person needs to become a sales person for your business. (Sorry, I know this one hurts.) Essentially, you are selling your open position and your company brand to each candidate that you interview. Sales is a skill that needs to be cultivated, so pair up with your sales team and ask them for a few tips!
Explore alternative candidate populations
This is a BIG one. And it requires saying yes to being open minded and creative. Lots of retirees want to come back to the workforce part time. Be open to that. Many regions have fantastic pre-release programs going on with their incarcerated populations. There’s an entire population out there called ‘the returners’ – people that have left the workforce due to childcare who may need some training and upskilling but they are eager to work. Remember, when possible, hire for attitude and train for skills.
Create a seamless, easy application process
Remove any and all friction in your application process. Apply for a job at your company like a candidate would. Tighten up response times, update job postings more often, create a thoughtful and engaging interview process that outlines the WIFM for the candidate!
Think like a marketing pro
Learn to sell the sizzle. What’s great about working for your company? Tap into your employees for testimonial videos about why they love working there. Spotlight your employee and customer events on social media.
If you struggle with this, find a friend who’s great at it. We’ve called one of ours to help you out! Don’t miss our upcoming session on January 14th featuring Michelle Abdow, President of Market Mentors in Springfield MA. She’s going to share her expertise with us on many of the things we’re discussing here today! Check out a sneak peek here!
Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect from our Power Up Your 2022 Recruitment Plans session on January 14th.
It’s time to toss out the playbook of things that haven’t been working and stretch the creativity of your staff and employees. The team here at EANE is committed to help you accomplish this in 2022 and will be planning programming and training to support your mission.