With the Great Resignation, or the Great Reshuffle as it is being called today that was set off by the pandemic, companies have been aggressively relooking at their talent procurement and retainment strategies. While some companies are giving out superbikes, paid vacations, and other benefits by the bucketloads, some others are increasing compensation and handing out monetary benefits at exorbitant rates. But are these models sustainable in the long run? Zinnov believes that it definitely won’t. So, what are some alternative approaches to not just finding the right talent, but retaining it? Here’s what we at Zinnov have observed through our research, surveys, and interactions with our customers.
Before touching upon how to deal with the lack of talent availability, let us ask a more fundamental question.
This would depend on where you’re looking. GCoEs (Global Centers of Excellence; also called Global Capability Centers) shifting their work online and the popularity of remote work in the wake of the pandemic, have allowed companies to hire employees from global locations. However, most organizations focus on active hiring as a preferred method of talent acquisition; but looking at alternative methods, such as acqui-hiring for example, would solve the talent crunch to a large extent.
Our research reveals that nearly 100,000 women have left the workforce in India, in the last 5 years alone. The onset of the pandemic has only escalated this phenomenon. Structured Returnship Programs are one channel that is gaining prominence as HR leaders around the world have started recognizing this pool of women as a scalable, sustainable, and under-tapped source of talent.
Also, we see companies only wanting to hire from the best tier-I colleges because of the belief that these individuals are smarter and would take less time to scale up. While there may be some truth to this, the fact of the matter is that many factors influence what academic institutions and universities people choose to go to. Hence, it would be beneficial to instead look at non-traditional talent pools such as tier-II and tier-III colleges where extraordinary talent can be spotted and trained.
Another way of passive hiring could be to create strong, engaging communities around AI, ML, or the field that you’re looking to hire in, and inform potential candidates about the opportunities that could be theirs if they chose to work with you.
Now, let us dive into the specifics of what can make you the employer of choice?
For this, we first need to understand what it is that new-age employees of today are really looking for.
When we say ‘employees,’ it is a general term for people belonging to various nationalities, races, ethnicities, time zones, genders, belief systems, political identities, and generations. So, is there one set of wants that all of these employees could possibly agree upon? Absolutely not.
Hence, it becomes imperative to look at employees as individuals with aspirations, dreams, and goals. Which brings us to our next question:
Earlier, employees used to place a lot of value on the title of the role they were hired to work in. However, this is gradually changing. People like to feel that they are truly contributing – that their work matters. Which is why today’s employees focus more on the tasks and responsibilities that a role entails, rather than just the designation.
Oftentimes, an employee’s wants and expectations from an organization have a lot to do with the stage of their lifecycle as an employee, as well as the generation they belong to. Let us consider the different generations who are a part of the workforce today. Gen Z and Millennials are the generations that grew up with instant gratification. At a workplace, they tend to look for flexibility, recognition, and growth. They are more than happy to switch jobs, even multiple times a year. Whereas somebody who is currently in their 30s or early 40s may value stability more than any other benefits.
Besides this, it is also becoming increasingly common among the younger people to look for companies that align with their values, and care about the causes they are passionate about. Even as recent as a decade ago, an employee quitting because of the lack of Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) at a workplace might have sounded unfamiliar. But today, it has become the most natural and reasonable thing to do. If not this company, there is another – with a better EVP, waiting to hire.
An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) might not be the most important document in an organization’s hiring strategy, but it definitely is one of the most compelling ones. If we had to define what should be considered while devising an EVP strategy, it is this – people like being heard, valued, trusted, and represented.
Your EVP is your opportunity to craft and tell the story of your organization. What is your commitment to the world and how are you working towards achieving it? It is best to find people who want to work towards a common goal.
What this means is that, as an organization, you need to first look at what values resonate with the insiders of the organization, before positioning your brand in a way that calls out to those outside. Amazon, which has made its existing employees the very fulcrum of its EVP program, is a great example of this.
No matter how big and well-known your company is, stop making it sound like it would be a privilege for the individual to work with your organization. Instead, tell them what you can do for their careers and lives, that others cannot.
Perks are fun, but it is important to first check what employees really need and want. And of course, different people at different stages of lives want different things – don’t forget that. Hence, personalization will be key when crafting compensation and benefits for employees. Also, be transparent about the compensation and benefits right from the start.
Make sure Everybody feels Welcome:
Although achieving this is quite hard with remote/hybrid work, look further and expand the boundaries of inclusivity and employee engagement. Work towards making your workplace – whether a physical or a virtual one – a safe space where people belonging to all walks of life can come together, collaborate, and work alongside each other in harmony.
With remote/hybrid work becoming a part of every company’s work model, employees no longer feel a sense of belonging, and the perforation of EVP becomes harder. People no longer feel an emotional binding to their workplace as institutional culture as we knew it has become obsolete. This has caused employees to no longer look for long associations with companies, and quit without much dilemma. Therefore, it becomes prudent to identify those employees who show signs of involvement, and invest in their upskilling, satisfaction, etc. As for the ones who do not seem as invested as you would like them to, check why they feel disconnected and how it can be solved for.
With a mixture of strong Employee Value Proposition and great, diverse talent acquisition methods, your target talent pool will never remain dry.