How to Recruit and Retain Staff in 2022
According to recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in October just over 4 million workers left their roles for better opportunities in a market with record job openings. Many are moving for a more lucrative paycheck, and in a hot labor market like this employees have the best bargaining power they’ve had in many years. No wonder then, that as employees navigate their return to the workplace in 2022 (new COVID-19 variants permitting), leaders and their HR departments are concerned about how best to stem this new “Great Resignation”.
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to understand how employees have re-evaluated and shifted their priorities, and use that knowledge to make your offering attractive to your current team and the best new talent out there. Let’s explore four important areas you need to focus on to make this happen.
Accept that flexible working patterns work
The pandemic forced us all to embrace new ways of working, and remote working became our new normal. It quickly became apparent that working from home actually worked and in some cases productivity increased. Employees quickly appreciated the greater balance to their life when for example, a long stressful commute was eliminated, freeing up time to spend with their families and loved ones. Whilst many now recognize that a hybrid of office and WFH can offer the best of both worlds, a survey found that if WFH was taken away as an option 1 in 3 workers would quit. It’s important then to articulate clearly and logically the reasons for any change in working patterns and to highlight the business need and the benefits to individuals. Happy, loyal employees need to feel they can trust their leaders, and as we all learn to live with this pandemic flexibility and respect for health protocols are top priorities.
How does your compensation measure up?
In a red-hot labor market, you have to make sure you are competitive. Compensation and benefits packages are very sensitive and if they don’t measure up to your competitors then employees may vote with their feet. Discretion and fairness are key here - nothing will prompt a job search quicker than finding out a new recruit has a better package. So if it’s necessary to offer more money or benefits to attract new staff, assess if current employees are within the correct ranges for their experience and performance. Of course, it’s not going to be possible to give everyone a pay rise, but this does need to be tackled head-on and fairly to avoid fallout. As highlighted earlier, WFH flexibility is perhaps the most important benefit to employees right now.
Take advantage of the market
Given the amount of news coverage about the job market and the tactics employers are using to attract new talent, any employee with half an ear to the ground will be aware of what’s out there and potentially open to new opportunities. A strategic leader will turn the opportunity of an increased labor pool to their advantage and recruit the staff they need or will need in the future. By backfilling roles or creating new ones you can position yourself for growth and negate the effect of any resignations. Plus, the extra capacity means that existing staff have the breathing space to upskill and strengthen their position in the company - thus recruiting and retaining at the same time.
Lead with integrity in uncertain times
With the emergence of new COVID-19 variants and the unknowns around the stability of other companies, many employees may not be in a position to jump ship, even if they want to. Employee burnout and exhaustion due to the challenges of the last two years add further to the instability felt by the market. Taking into account that many employees do feel a sense of loyalty to their company and their teammates, how you communicate and lead can sway the balance against resignations. Bringing a sense of belonging and working together as a team to achieve common goals can seriously improve morale and wellbeing. If you can lead with a strong vision for the future and address staff concerns quickly and honestly it is possible to stem the tide of staff turnover and limit the impact on your business.
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