Today’s turbulent and rapidly shifting jobs market can raise some unprecedented challenges for CEOs and hiring managers. As talent management expert Josh Bersin recently noted, “We have entered one of the most confusing job markets in decades. While the unemployment rate continues to drop, companies are also worried about the slowdown. So they’re ‘hiring’ and ‘laying off’ simultaneously. What a confusing time.”
Data confirms this widespread uncertainty. In a recent PwC poll, 77 percent of executives say that hiring and retaining talent is their most critical driver of growth, yet they seem unsure of the best solution; 43 percent report offering more hybrid work opportunities, 36 percent have improved their career advancement and upskilling initiatives, and just 31 percent have increased compensation.
It seems that approaching today’s hiring hurdles — the Great Resignation, recession fears, an evolving economy, and digital transformation across industries, just to name a few — with the same old talent acquisition and retention strategies just won’t cut it. To survive and thrive in today’s talent race, successful companies will need to devise new ways of attracting and retaining employees who will not only stick around, but will lead their organizations with ideas, innovation, and dedication.
It’s time to get creative.
Winning the Talent War
We’ve talked about what workers now want in our “new normal” in the workplace, from more flexibility to better benefits. Compensation, job titles, and advancement opportunities may appeal to more traditional workers, but many employees are reevaluating what a “good job” means to them. Actually listening to our employees wants and needs and understanding how to fulfill those demands is crucial to effective talent management policies.
An insightful McKinsey & Company report outlines the five types of workers in today’s economy — traditionalists, do-it-yourselfers, caregivers, idealists, and relaxers — and the distinct value each persona brings to the workforce. Too often, companies focus on hiring traditionalists, those career-oriented professionals who are motivated by moving up the corporate ladder, snagging the corner office, and — yes — making money.
However, in an interesting plot twist, this familiar type of worker is a dying breed. There just aren’t enough of them to fill all of the jobs out there (hence the head-scratching headlines about the record-breaking number of job openings in the U.S.). Forward-thinking companies are increasingly turning to the non-traditional worker to deepen their talent pools and diversify their workforce.
Let’s take a deeper look at these employee personas and hidden workers — and what they value most in the workplace.
The DIY-er: The largest share of respondents to the McKinsey survey fall in this category. They value autonomy and adaptability over everything else. Attracting them means not only being open to flexible work arrangements, but also clearly communicating and reinforcing your company’s mission and purpose and making each worker feel genuinely valued.
The caregiver: These employees have been previously sidelined from the jobs market because they were caring for children or parents — or both — during the height of the pandemic. This group is predominantly women (here are some specific ways to woo women back to the workforce). This group also values workplace flexibility, but, in addition, they also demand more support for health and wellbeing (for themselves and for their families), and deep personal and professional development opportunities.
The idealist: These are younger workers including recent graduates and previous part-time employees who are looking to contribute meaningfully to a company. Defining and demonstrating a strong company culture and commitment to important workplace values like diversity and inclusion, as well as investing in an employee’s long-term career trajectory, add up to an attractive place to work and grow for this impactful subset of professionals.
The relaxer: Career might not come first for this troop — they’re largely retired or semi-retired — but would return to work for the right fit. Studies show that older workers have much to offer an organization — from reliability to experience to cost-effectiveness. They can help guide younger employees and provide a sense of gravitas. Many professionals with productive years left in their careers quit their jobs during the pandemic — it can be wise to bring them back into the fold.
Building Your Best Team Takes a Powerful Partner
A successful recruitment strategy doesn’t look the same as it did 10 — or even two — years ago. Organizations now need to diversify their sourcing, communicate a strong brand, prioritize the employee experience, and employ persuasive hiring practices. In other words, recruiters are more important than ever.
The best approach to recruitment today is centered on a combination of process, technology, tools, and, most important of all, people who are experts in your industry and in your business. The 20/20 Foresight Executive Search team has fostered powerful partnerships with clients like you over almost three decades, giving us an edge when it comes to placing the right candidate in the ideal position for your company.