Even as growth slows and economic uncertainty increases, the job market is rich with opportunities for workers — and competition amongst companies trying to hire. The ‘Great Resignation’ was the name given to the trend of people choosing to quit or change their jobs, or considering doing so in the near future, largely attributed to the work and life changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the association for human resources professionals, found that between April and June 2021, 3.2 percent of the UK working population made a job to job move. While sentiment has likely calmed down, business leaders must realise that the great resignation mindset hasn’t left employees, even as we enter 2023.
Workers of all types and at every level have previously asked for stronger culture, greater opportunities for growth and a more flexible workplace. Now they’re demanding it and are looking towards leadership to make changes. So how can we deliver this?
Access to more diverse talent
Strategies for recruiting and retaining talent need to be optimised if we are dealing with a more adventurous employee and wider talent pool. Hiring strategies that worked pre-great resignation must evolve to meet today’s radically evolving labour market. To that end, 48% of CEOs have already started to refine their recruitment strategy (Vistage, 2022); particularly as they look to access more diverse talent and build a more equitable working environment.
A strong hiring strategy starts at the top and leverages the entire organisation. As companies strive to differentiate their workplace, many are using new sources to prospect for talent.
Deloitte found that 83% of millennials are more engaged when they think their company fosters an inclusive culture. So why would this be different when attracting millennials? In order to access young and diverse talent; companies must venture further and offer flexible options by making use of the fact we live in a digitally transformed world. Gone are the days where we had to punch in and out of work; we can now make use of virtual calls, opening up your talent pool to different members in society.
Offering flexibility, such as working from home a certain number of days, allows certain groups to join your company who previously would have struggled to meet the pre-pandemic expectations. For instance, employees with disabilities previously may have been affected by a lack in accessible infrastructure.
Comfort will drive retention
In our latest CEO Confidence Index survey, 22% of CEOs have observed a decline in retention since the beginning of 2022. As a result CEOs are increasing the level of investment in employee development to improve retention, increase performance and achieve a competitive edge.
With widened talent pools, employees are bound to be bombarded with offers from hiring managers and recruiters alike. Recruitment advances are certainly a gift and curse when it comes to running a business, but as a business leader it’s important to stay one step ahead in order to keep hold of talent.
Improving the onboarding process is a sure way to keep your candidates feeling at ease when joining. As the saying goes, first impressions count. Start as you mean to go on when introducing an employee. Communicating all the resources and tools at hand for the new employee is key. Point to the benefits on offer; ensure they have a line manager to guide them; and make sure employees are aware of the learning and development opportunities available to them.
Beyond this providing a safe space for employees to be themselves is crucial for retention. Try conducting ‘stay interviews’, especially for at-risk employees, which can be a great way to better understand their reservations and hopefully keep them on the team. Go one step further and set aside dedicated time for one-to-ones, group conversations and even implement anonymous surveys, continuously pushing the conversation on employee satisfaction.
It’s clear business leaders are always in danger of losing great talent in this unstable climate. Some may roll over and say there’s nothing they can do; others will roll up their sleeves and put processes in place to ensure candidates are attracted, while employees are satisfied. Offering flexibility and widening your talent pool is a great way to not only reach different candidates, but also implement a forward-thinking process that will be felt throughout the company.
Vistage is the world’s leading business performance and leadership advancement organisation for small and medium sized businesses. For more information visit www.Vistage.co.uk.