The War for Talent has begun – and it didn’t start today either. We are experiencing a perfect storm that is driving talent to quit while also reducing the number of available candidates. As the labor market becomes stronger and job growth increases, your employees have more opportunities across industries, whether in service, hospitality, finance, or healthcare. You face stiff competition just to get candidates to apply and you’ll have to actively work to retain the strong ones. You may have already noticed fewer candidates applying to work for your business, an uptick in turnover, or worse – declining customer satisfaction ratings or reduced revenue.
In 2008, the market crash weeded out of existence many organizations that were weak or unprepared. This next wave will do the same. The difference is, this time organizations aren’t going to be fighting directly for customer dollars. This time they will be crushed by their inability to attract, hire, and retain talented people. Organizations will lose because it isn’t possible to deliver on brand promises without good people to do so – they are the faces, hands, and hearts of your brand. There is a growing shortage of workers and this means candidates will have much of the power during the recruiting process and the good employees will have options elsewhere if they decide to leave.
The best way to win this war will be to prepare for it and beat the competition in how well you deliver on a targeted plan to stay fully staffed with great people. There are a number of activities you can engage in to help your organization thrive, but in short, there are three key areas to focus on:
1. Update Your Recruiting Strategy – what worked before is no longer enough. It isn’t possible to just post on a couple of job boards and wait for the traffic to roll in. It is now necessary to put a greater emphasis on some activities you’ve paid little attention to previously and to engage in others that you’ve never done before. You really have to nurture your hiring process to fill your funnel and ensure candidates are not lost along the way.
2. Make Sure Your Onboarding is Effective – I’m not talking about the paperwork, but an integrated process that makes a candidate a high-functioning member of your team. The paperwork is important, but you also have to focus on teaching the culture and creating a sense of belonging. New employees are deciding whether they plan to stay with your organization from Day 1 and employers don’t really dispute that onboarding is very important. Despite this, only According to Aberdeen Group’s 2014 research, only 32% of companies have a formal onboarding program for socialization and acculturation.
3. Focus on Engagement & Understand Your Employee Experience – good employees have options for employment elsewhere. If they are not engaged with your mission and having a supportive experience at work, they will leave. In fact, you can execute items 1 and 2 of this article perfectly and if you don’t create the right work experience you can expect your turnover to go up, not down, as these great people depart a bad work experience in droves. And while there is a great deal of public concern about how to do this for Millennials, we would argue what is good for the goose, is good for the gander.
Updating your recruiting strategy, onboarding process, and creating an engaging work experience are all interconnected elements that impact your employment brand. What are some actionable ways you can start to win the War for Talent? Connect with us on Twitter, or shoot us an email if you’d like to discuss more.