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How to find and retain talent in a changing and challenging environment

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The talent shortage is identified as the number one challenge that businesses are facing in 2022, with 55% of owners and recruiters admitting to struggle finding qualified applicants for positions they are trying to fill.

We are now working in an environment of perpetual disruption with a high pace of change in all aspects of business, from technology to consumer behaviour. Most skills or technologies employed to run a business today are likely to be obsolete within the next 10 years, hence, hiring employees who can thrive in such rapidly changing workplaces is more important than ever before.

From keeping up with 24-hour consumer demand, to staying on top of disruptive technology, business leaders today face new obstacles at every turn. And thriving in the face of these challenges is only possible with the right workforce.

Top 3 recruiting challenges in 2022

Improving the Candidate Experience

Attracting the best talent also means prioritising the candidate experience. This means having a recruitment process that is as painless and straightforward as possible. Otherwise, there is a possibility of alienating great applicants and losing out on recruitment opportunities.

Avoiding Bad Hires

Many recruitment strategies fail due to a lack of data-based planning and out-dated practices. Hiring based on the list of skills needed alone, without regard for culture fit, can be detrimental to a work environment that thrives on collaboration. Going ahead with contract signing without conducting a thorough background check on performance and behaviour could also lead to conflicts within the company in the future.

Reducing Recruitment Costs

Inefficient recruitment processes and duplication of tasks take a huge chunk from the time and financial resources of an HR team. For example, sifting through hundreds of potential candidates and reviewing resumes can take hours, even days. Inviting unqualified applicants to face-to-face interviews is another chunk of time, money, and manpower wasted too.

. . .

Recruiting great employees is a top priority for many companies, especially during the so-called Great Resignation. To attract top talent for the organisation there is a need to differentiate that organisation from the others and that requires creativity, commitment – and some clever recruitment strategies.

4 best recruitment methods to overcome challenges

1. Establishing and leveraging employer brand

“Employer branding is key. Listen to your employees, identify their needs and always think one step ahead.” - Malin Behrens, Managing Director and Co-Founder at WECO Experts GmbH

Companies that invest in employer branding are 3x more likely to hire the right talent. An important strategy for the recruiting process relies on the employer brand. Employer brand is what will set a specific company apart from other hiring companies and show candidates why they should work for that company. Employer branding should reflect a business’ mission, culture, and values.

2. Creating a talent acquisition team

Talent acquisition refers to the process of identifying and acquiring skilled workers to meet a company's organisational needs. Recruiting is complex and ever-changing, but with the right approach, companies can get ahead of the game and find great candidates for the roles they require without the use of a recruitment agency. Establishing a talent acquisition team which will be responsible for identifying, acquiring, assessing, and hiring candidates to fill open positions within a company will make the process easier.

3. Identifying “A” players among current employees

“Grow the company from the inside, not from the outside, the talent that’s already there is part of the company journey. And don’t forget that those good people attract good people.” - Malin Behrens, Managing Director and Co-Founder at WECO Experts GmbH

Some employees will have characteristics or behaviours that make them a top performer. These will vary by organisation or department. In some parts of the organisation, being able to deliver results may be the driving factor, while in others; the ability to innovate might rank first.

To identify a company’s top talent, pinpoint the characteristics that are vital to that company’s success. Find ways to cultivate these traits in all current employees. “A” players are those who demonstrate these key characteristics most consistently and who deliver superior results.

4. Improving job postings with compelling job descriptions

Job postings are often the first opportunity to make a positive first impression on candidates. Put effort into making job descriptions detailed, accurate, and engaging as well as:

  • Concise and relevant

  • Organised and professional

  • Representative of company’s culture

  • Transparent about salary and requirements

In addition to the standard role description and skills and experience required, recruiters and hiring managers must place an emphasis on culture, mission and values to avoid making a bad hire.

. . .

“The Big Quit is about uncertainty. 2020 has taught us that nothing is certain, therefore people are resigning their jobs even before they start looking for a new position.” - Christian Kalous, Managing Director and Partner at Invenda GmbH

It’s no secret that recruiting and retaining talent is critical to an organisation’s success. After all, an organisation is only as strong as the collective talent of the people who work there.

The most common reason a person leaves a company is the same as the most common reason someone joins a company: career development, or lack thereof. Because of this, a key part of retaining great people is providing real learning opportunities to them, which facilitates their career growth.

“What has been an employee benefit in the past is now the norm.” – Christian Kalous, Managing Director and Partner at Invenda GmbH

One of the best ways for a company to keep growing is to retain core talent. Here are 4 achievable ways to keep employees on board.

Do not micromanage

Micromanaging employees can hamper productivity, but it can also turn off high-performing employees from wanting to stick around. Micromanagement both harms morale and takes away the opportunity for employees to create better results for themselves.

How to stop micromanaging employees

  • Practice delegating, it is important to assign tasks that play to each employee’s strengths and goals and enable them to learn and grow in their role.

  • Set Clear Expectations, the clearer the employer is about the objectives of an assigned project, when it needs to be completed, the better the employees are going to perform.

  • Let go of perfectionism, there is more than one way to achieve a project or task. Empower employees to experiment with their ideas and test new approaches to a particular problem.

  • Hire the Right People, it is more likely to micromanage someone who is under qualified for a role or does not have the right skill set, to avoid this hire the right people for the role.

  • Ask employees how they prefer to be managed, to establish a better relationship within the team, ask each individual how they prefer to be managed.

Facilitate collaboration

“Engaging with colleagues is crucial to building teams.” - Christian Kalous, Managing Director and Partner at Invenda GmbH

Human connection is essential to our well-being. We may not all require the same ratio of socialisation to personal space. We may indulge in different hobbies, cuisines, and living accommodations.

Despite our differences, though, we all crave a sense of belonging. Connectedness is a fundamental necessity of the human condition and doesn’t cease to exist between 9am - 5pm. Employees need to be engaged to thrive in the workplace.

Authentic professional relationships help employees feel happy at work and more likely to ask for help and support when they need it. For starters, encourage relationship building with team-building activities.

Support better work-life balance

“The job purpose and balance between private and work-life have become the focus. We work to live, not vice versa.” – Christian Kalous, Managing Director and Partner at Invenda GmbH

For many people, work finishes at the end of the working day. But for many more, it can eat into the evening and even the weekend.

A good “People Company”, a company which puts its people first over everything else, will understand its employees and their work-life needs and desires based on their personalities and expectations from work.

There are many things companies can do to help workers to find and maintain a work balance that’s right for them.

  • Offer flexible and remote working, “the pandemic gave everyone a chance to work from anywhere in the world. The talent does not have to be on-site anymore.” – Malin Behrens, Managing Director and Co-Founder at WECO Experts GmbH

  • Encourage breaks

  • Regularly review workloads

  • Give employees time to volunteer

  • Increase support for parents

  • Offer health cash plans

  • Ask your employees for inputs

  • Acknowledge every employee is different

Offer the ability to grow

What makes a business prosperous and truly differentiates one organisation from the rest is not the product it sells or the service it offers, it is the people within it. And what people deeply crave are more opportunities for employee development.

Employee development is a long-term initiative, but it also leads to short-term benefits like increased loyalty and improved performance and engagement. The following are ways a company can begin to improve its employee development.

  • If possible, offer professional training, setting the employees up for success in their role starts with giving them all the tools and resources they need to do their job well. This includes professional training

  • Enhance cross-departmental collaboration, it can help bridge the gap between cultures, give employees the opportunity to learn more about other parts of the business, and encourage more empathy across the board.

  • Emphasise soft skills, employees with strong soft skills also have the greatest potential to deliver more value over time

  • Employee development = personal development, employees must be encouraged and supported to seek refresher courses and accept new challenges. Those who pursue professional development in their careers tend to have higher productivity and job satisfaction.

. . .

Attracting and retaining the right talent will play a vital role in ensuring a strong post-pandemic recovery for any business. As organisations look towards their future business planning, it will be crucial that they are getting the right people in place to drive success.

As well as this, organisations need to make sure that they are aware of how employee priorities may have shifted over the past year and what steps they can take in order to make sure they retain their most skilled people.

A demonstration of commitment to encouraging and nurturing an employee’s on-going growth and development is a major requirement for many employees, introducing this as early as the initial recruitment stage can help businesses rise above their competitors as an attractive prospect.

“The companies who are willing to put in the trust and flexibility will be able to retain good talent and also find new talent.” – Christian Kalous, Managing Director and Partner at Invenda GmbH

Watch or listen to the dialogue “Recruiting for 2022” on YouTube and Spotify

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