Updated: Jun 6
Surprise! The biggest HR story for 2022 is the biggest HR story for 2021 – The Great Resignation. The way your company responds to the talent crunch in the first quarter of the year when most hires take place will set the tone for the rest of the year, and beyond. Here are some things to look for, and ideas on how your company can respond.
Money isn’t the Answer to your Talent Acquisition Challenges
Many companies have responded to the talent crunch by throwing money at the problem. This has resulted in infamous bidding wars across industries, especially in the service sector. But as many experienced HR and recruiting professionals will tell you, money might tempt someone to come to work for your company for a while, but it won’t be enough to make them stick around. For that, you’ll need employee engagement. And nothing is as effective at building employee engagement as a tangible commitment to the future of your employees. What does a “tangible commitment” look like? A tangible commitment to your employees is a demonstration that you value your employees beyond their dollar value. If you expect people to commit to your company, you have to show that you commit to them, and that commitment has to go beyond salary. There are several ways your company can do this. For instance, developing employee wellness plans show that you take your employee's overall health seriously. Creating or expanding a hybrid work plan shows that you trust your employees to do their jobs without being at work. Ultimately though, one of the best ways to demonstrate your commitment to your people is to help your employees develop professionally.
Professional development takes time, resources, and attention. Companies who invest in their employees show that they’re interested in their success, and this investment pays dividends in employee engagement, resulting in sharper, better-trained employees who are more likely to remain with the company longer. Help your employees pursue additional education. Make sure your employees have the opportunity to advance beyond their current job functions. Encourage seasoned employees to work with less experienced people. Emphasize excellence in performance rather than productivity.
Applicant Experience is Important
Your company’s commitment doesn’t have to start on a newly hired employee’s first day. You can choose to demonstrate your commitment during the hiring process.
Every person who has ever participated in the workforce has a job application horror story. Odds are, you have one too. Maybe it’s an excessively long application. Perhaps you experienced a never-ending interview process. Or maybe you were ghosted by a potential employer, and are still waiting on feedback. Whatever happened, odds are you will never apply to a position with that company again, and you’ll likely discourage any friends or colleagues from applying as well. And even if you accept a job after having such a negative hiring experience it’s highly unlikely you’ll stay very long.
However, it’s possible to make the candidate process so streamlined and positive that people will be encouraged to stay with it and will be up to 40% more likely to accept an offer of employment. To achieve these kinds of results, you will need to re-visit your candidate experience from the application process forward and from an outsider’s perspective as well. Change is never easy, but by updating and streamlining your hiring process, you’ll increase your hires, decrease the time it takes to fill a position, and have engaged employees from their start dates.
Employee Surveys are More Important than Ever
It’s hard to take the temperature of employees, especially if you’re in the HR Department. Employees are often reluctant to share their opinions and feelings about work with their bosses, and many people still see HR as a tool of management. So what do you do?
Sometimes, we have to take a step back to move forward. And when it comes to measuring employee sentiment, our greatest is an old one -the employee survey. In this case, the employee survey is updated to be both interactive and confidential. Confidential employee surveys, properly timed, are the best way to get an accurate barometer of the opinions and feelings of your employees. Employee surveys can be used to measure things like employee satisfaction, perception of work culture, and what changes would people really like to see in your company. Not only are surveys a great predictor of future employee behavior such as performance and turnover, but they also give a voice to employees to share their concerns and their ideas. The responses you get on an anonymous survey may not be pleasant, but they are necessary because a company is nothing more than its people.
Remote Work is Here to Stay
There was a time when the promise of remote work was the strongest tool a company could use in talent acquisition. The promise of the opportunity to work from home at least a day or two out of the workweek was the one sure thing a company could include in an offer package that would almost inevitably cause someone to accept a job offer, even if the pay didn’t quite match their expectations. The reason remote work was such an effective negotiation tactic was that most employers were convinced they couldn’t do business without employees reporting to the office every workday, so for most people, remote work was simply out of the question.
The first days of the pandemic made it clear that working from home really wasn’t such a crazy idea. And now, remote work is considered a normal part of work, so much so, that nearly 50% of employees would be willing to give up at least some pay for it, and 25% of them would quit if they lost the opportunity to work remotely.
Clearly, this is a sea-change from just two years ago. And employers who wish to remain competitive in the job market need to work with this sentiment and develop plans to get the most out of a workforce that’s remote at least some of the time.