Covid19 has been a black swan event for the world making several changes in the way we lead our lives. Organisations have discovered new ways of working and the employees have learnt the hard way the importance of taking care of their health and nurturing relationships. In the US, a huge number of people have left their usual jobs and trying to find alternate sources of livelihood. The same is seen in various parts of the world as well.
Understanding the context
The disruptions are on multiple counts – some industry sectors such as hospitality, tourism, retail and the like are yet to get back to pre-pandemic situations. Some employees are yet to come to terms with the loss of human lives they have witnessed around them and want to lead their lives in a place that seems more secure for them; they are leaving their regular jobs to take up assignments that pay them poorly. And at the same time, companies in the sectors such as technology have several positions open, are in a big hurry to fill those roles because their investors want them to deliver revenues quickly and are willing to go to a great length in attracting people. As a result, there is huge mobility of people across companies. This is the time of ‘Great Resignation’
Possibly the leaders are caught up in solving the challenges posed by the uncertain and volatile environment and fast-paced aggression from the competing forces in the market. Hence, they are unable to engage with the workforce enough and nurture the social capital they built in the past. Hence, employees are willing to move out to pastures that look greener and more exciting in terms of pay and a few other novelty factors. What can leaders do to attract the right talent?
Knowing what one is known for
All of us know that our workforce is composed of a significant number of young people who seek quicker feedback, clarity of purpose, independence, transparent communication and empowerment. To succeed now, we have to make sure that our leaders are transparent, our communication is clear and timely; the feedback has to be quick and we have to give them the freedom and the space to perform their tasks. These have to be the elements of culture in an organisation, almost like the hygiene factors. We cannot highlight these in our employee value proposition. We need to be more discerning in bringing out our speciality. Else we will drown in the crowd and not be able to draw the right people to our organisation.
This is easier said than done. Ideally, a team with sharp attention to detail have to observe the behaviours of managers and team members in various parts of the organisation to define the special characteristics. Statements and opinions by the management team and HR team are at best claims and intents.
In today’s hyper-connected world, employees – current and past, candidates interviewed in the past, vendors and partners who have experienced the behaviours of some employees and the customers who avail services and buy the company’s products spread the word about the company. If there is a gap between the claims and intents expressed by the company’s representatives and the experiences described by the other stakeholders, employer branding takes a beating.
Hance, leaders have to keep their eyes and ears grounded, know what they truly stand for and make sure that their behaviours each day reflect what they truly stand for. If there are differences, they have to re-examine their beliefs about what they stand for and transform if there is a need.
Building the practices right and following them rigorously
The value proposition needs to be communicated to candidates and potential employees. If an organisation works with multiple recruiters, it is a challenge to communicate the story consistently. We need to recruiter to understand the purpose, recent achievements and immediate priorities; keep them in the context while telling the story compellingly. Companies undermine the import of this aspect often.
Secondly, the people involved in sourcing, screening and assessing (SSA) the candidates need to look for the same set of parameters. They need to know the tools to use; the behavioural indicators to look for and the contra indicators to be watchful for. Sometimes, the people involved in the SSA steps inject their own biases related to educational institutes, qualification, company pedigree, family background, prior relationships, hobbies, interests and many such. Often organisations do not have this piece in utter chaos.
Last but not the least, we need to be cognizant of the contemporary pressures and trends. For example, as we speak, employees are seeking flexibility, attracted towards an environment that deploys technology, promotes camaraderie, pays fairly, respects professional stature and so on. We need to make sure that our practices tick all these boxes.
The great talent war is acutely competitive now. We have to prepare well and battle hard.