“We can’t find enough qualified workers.” It’s a common grievance we hear from OneZone members — just ask any business owner or talent recruiter. Indeed, wooing top talent is getting harder and taking longer as market dynamics, worker behavior and expectations shift.
Gartner, a global research firm, reports vacant positions can cost employers $500 per day, on average. In a scenario where it takes 60 days to fill a position, that daily cost can snowball to $30,000 or more.
1,000,000 jobs to fill
Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech Community College, recently spoke to OneZone members about workforce development challenges. Hoosiers need to fill 1,000,000 jobs by 2025, she cautioned, and 2/3 of all new jobs will require post-secondary degrees or credentials.
“Indiana is home to some of the world’s largest, most innovative corporations — not to mention countless ambitious smaller companies and start-ups,” she said. “And all of them share a common need: well-trained, skilled workers.” To that end, Ivy Tech’s strategic plan calls for equipping students with 50,000 high-quality certifications, certificates and degrees per year, in line with the state of Indiana’s goal to equip 60% of the workforce with post-secondary degrees or credentials by 2025.
Until then, what can do you do to attract and retain skilled workers? We trust the following insights will put you ahead of other organizations competing for the same talent.
“Not offering flexible work is now a competitive disadvantage,” reports Fit Small Business. “If you don’t offer [flexible work options] in 2018, you will lose talent to your competitors who are.”
For 45% of millennial workers, flexible work hours and location are more important than salary, reports HR Partnerships, and 51% of all employees would change jobs for one with more flexible hours, writes Gallup.
As work tools become more connected and less location-dependent, jobs grow more compatible with some level of flexibility — a benefit that will earn you increased productivity and access to a broader range of talent, argues HR Partnerships.
Workers are hungry to upgrade their skills, and expect employers to have skin in the game, continuously investing in their professional development.
Tuition assistance, seminars, trade association memberships, online learning, Lunch-and-Learns and mentoring programs are some of the many ways you can boost your employees’ know-how. Expect to reap richer in-house capabilities, employee engagement and performance in return.
Meaningful Engagement = Profits
Higher profits, productivity, customer loyalty, lower absenteeism and errors are all documented outcomes of meaningful employee engagement, reports Gallup. In fact, a 10% increased investment in employee engagement practices can yield a $2,400 profit boost per employee, per year, according to an IES/Work Foundation Report.
Notice our emphasis on meaningful: We’re not talking about ping pong tables or free snacks in the company kitchen. We’re talking about giving employees a voice, plenty of opportunities to provide feedback in various formats and channels, then actually acting on their feedback and letting it steer company decisions.
Team meetings, one-on-one exchanges, access to leadership, anonymous surveys and more should all be ways employees can share concerns, praise and suggestions. Just as important, report on the feedback you’ve received and what you’re doing about it.
Your employer brand and candidate experiences
How’s your employer brand? Are job candidates aware of our organization and, if so, how do they perceive it?
Organizations that invest in employer branding are 3X more likely to make a quality hire, says Glassdoor. Similarly, organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires by 70%. In fact, 46% of recruiters surveyed by Jibe expect recruiting will become much like marketing in the next 5-10 years.
How do you create positive candidate experiences? For starters, you respect candidates’ time, and look for opportunities to remove or reduce any speed bumps, delays, or tripping points from the moment they apply for a job with your organization to the moment they learn your decision, and beyond.
With that in mind, understand 82% of millennials and 66% of all workers expect every employer to have a mobile-friendly career site or application process, says the iCIMS Modern Job Seeker Report. Some experts even argue for a mobile-first, not just mobile-friendly careers website.
And don’t make the mistake of neglecting social media for talent acquisition: Nearly eight out of 10 recruiters surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management say social recruiting helps them find passive candidates, 77% say social recruiting helps them grow their employer brand and recognition, and 44% say social media yields more qualified candidates relative to the amount of time and effort invested.
Notice a common thread? Just like sales are all about the customer, talent acquisition and retention in today’s market isn’t about your organization or needs. It’s about what you can offer candidates and employees — catering to various communications preferences, showing you value their time and contributions, and cultivating a flexible work environment where everyone has a say, a purpose and opportunities to grow.
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