The theme running through HR at the moment is that the priority is on talent. Concerns about attraction, development, and retention is on everyone’s list.
Jobseekers are in the driving seat as the labour market has tightened considerably. A record 2.5 million people were at work here last year – up 10% on 2020. Demand across the board is very high.
According to a recent survey by Greenhouse, around two thirds of workers here are actively looking for new jobs. Over six in ten of those looking said they wouldn’t spend more than 15 minutes on an application, they expect to hear back from a perspective employer within a week and they have conditions, including flexibility and benefits. Another survey showed that workers expect the recruitment process to be concluded in 2-3 weeks.
What can you do to respond?
Sourcing Skills – Internal Talent
Enabling the organisation to source skills and capability where and when needed will be a major focus in 2022.
Identifying and leveraging untapped skills, capability, passion in their existing workforce will be essential.
Cataloguing the skills of the existing workforce and enabling greater talent mobility will become more prevalent.
As unwanted resignations continue and acquiring new talent becomes more challenging, looking to see is the best person for the job already be in the organisation is a must.
Hybrid work models are now essential to have as workers seek flexibility regarding their place of work. It is predicted that requiring a certain number of days on site, or even specific days on-site, will quickly become outdated as workers expect and demand choice and even greater flexibility.
Flexible Work Practices
Employees believe that they can be just as – or more – productive when they determine their workplace and work schedule and will seek employers who appreciate and embrace the new era of flexibility.
Flexible work practices to help employees fit work in and around their home lives must be put of the list for consideration.
Beyond the current workforce, it will also be essential to reimagine and reconstruct your talent supply chain to find more diverse sources of skills and capabilities.
What’s needed of HR to best equip the business has evolved. Realigning and building new capability across HR and enabling HR to concentrate on issues that deliver strategic impact to the business will be essential.
Retention, retention, retention
The battle cry for 2022 is employee retention. All people management functions must work towards this end. Some priorities for retention efforts would include:
- employee listening strategies e.g. stay interviews, surveys
- employee engagement strategies
- employee communications strategies
- enhance talent development and upskilling/reskilling efforts
- create greater opportunities for diverse talent
- create greater opportunities for talent movement
- placing greater focus on mental/emotional health and well-being to deal with issues of employee burnout after the pandemic is another area of prioritisation
- creating greater opportunities for internal succession, and formalising clear criteria for leadership positions, including leadership competencies.
The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is an increasingly important concept. Look at what other employers are offering as their EVP – the totality of financial and non-financial benefits. Compare and contrast with your own organisation. What are your employees that are leaving being offered and why are they going there?
Developing new skills for all managers
The above requires a range of soft skills of all managers and leaders. Existing managers and leaders need new and improved skills in many areas, but there are also many first-time managers who have been promoted into people leadership roles in the past two years.
Training in areas such as hiring, onboarding, performance management, developing their teams, and more is required.
This requires an all-hands-on-deck approach across HR that addresses the many factors involved in talent retention and attraction.
In the last two years, people have reconsidered their working lives and priorities. They have developed deeper concerns about their well-being, the meaning of a career, and the importance of purpose in their work.
They want their work to be judged on clear goals and outcomes, not with physical presence and office politics. Some employees like working at home in order to avoid the office and organisational politics.
They want forward-looking learning and career development opportunities, such as micro-learning and job rotations, not stale, lengthy, and ineffective courses.
And most of all they want flexibility wherever possible, from hybrid and remote work arrangements to new workday and workweek options.