The talent landscape has undergone such a significant shift over the last 19 months that it’s easy to think the current upheaval and the looming Great Resignation are COVID-era problems.
But the reality is, we are undergoing a massive workforce transformation that transcends the pandemic — and that industry analysts have known was coming for a long time. The decades-long decline in birth rates and the growth in demand for skilled workers are mathematical realities that have already started to cause trouble in many industries. Baby Boomer retirements have accelerated in the pandemic — and there is more to come. As of September 2020, only 40% of the outsized generation born between 1946 and 1964 had retired.
All this means that talent shortages are likely to be here to stay for some time. CHROs and other executives need to turn their focus to long-term workforce planning, or risk losing out on the talent their organizations need to power plans for recovery and growth.
Here are our top recommendations for surviving and thriving in this new normal.
Understand the New Landscape
In our frequent conversations with leaders and executives, it’s clear that talent attraction is getting harder in every industry. The cost per acquisition is going up, as is the amount of time it takes to fill each role. Before, talent professionals could simply post positions on career sites, then sit back and watch the applications roll in. Now, they must pay for exposure through channels like search and social if they hope to keep up with organizational demands.
In addition, companies are facing new kinds of competition when hiring. Increasingly, potential candidates are considering roles across a number of industries, and are able to access new options they might not have considered before. Technology workers, for example, are now vetting opportunities from non-tech companies that are investing heavily in high-tech roles. On the other end of the spectrum, hourly wage workers are now able to easily search entry-level roles across restaurant, hospitality, manufacturing and retail sectors, and because of shortages they can easily limit their applications to the highest paying roles.
Skill Up on Marketing
In this environment, doing more of whatever you’ve done before isn’t going to cut it. This is the time to invest in your talent organization’s marketing skill set — creating short-term impact and beginning to build the long-term strategy and infrastructure you will need to stay competitive.
Talent attraction leaders must build expertise in all facets of recruitment marketing, including the ability to both budget and properly execute a media plan. They should anticipate hiring needs 12 months ahead and then plan for them, making sure to exploit all the platforms and channels relevant to their audiences.
Tell the Story of Your Industry
For many workers, the pandemic has shaken their sense of stability. Now, as they reconsider their choices and options, they want to hear about more than what a potential job will offer them in the now. In a time when they have more flexibility than ever before to change roles and industries, many are thinking about how they can use their next career move to reclaim a sense of security and abundance.
In response, each company must use its recruitment marketing to tell the story of the larger industry it inhabits — and why candidates should feel good about being a part of it. Details on why candidates should feel positively about the long-term trajectory of the company itself are also essential.
Get Competitive With Candidate Experience
With such a wide open labor marketplace, it’s challenging for most companies to compete on compensation alone. Luckily, salary isn’t all job candidates care about; they also assign significant value to experience — both the experience of recruitment and the experiences they expect to access once they become employees.
When planning out your recruitment process, consider it from the candidate’s point of view. Is communication clear? Is cadence steady? Are there unnecessary barriers to entry? Are you making use of tools that can make the experience easier and more enjoyable?
It’s essential to also tell a clear and compelling story about the experiences your company offers to employees. To do that, you must know what you offer employees (your Employee Value Proposition or EVP) and what differentiates you from the competition.
Stand for Something
Candidates aren’t only searching for security, post-pandemic; they’re also searching for meaning. To attract the most discerning candidates (and to inspire your current employees to innovate and grow), you must know what you stand for and be able to communicate it.
Only by inspiring candidates, employees and company leaders to rally around a shared identity or mission can you truly create an organization that is more than the sum of its parts.
Blu Ivy Group is a global leader in employer branding, organizational culture, and recruitment marketing. We help organizations across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors build extraordinary employee experiences, magnetic employer brands and high-performance cultures.
From C-Suite to Employer Brand and Talent Acquisition leadership, we partner with our clients to transform their organizations and design the most compelling workplaces of the future.
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