Hiring and retaining talent in today’s economic climate

Interview

The largest private employer in 21 states (1.5 million employees) is not immune to the struggles of finding talent in today’s market. The superstore is now offering SAT prep as well as college tuition, books and fees at six non-profit colleges to high school employees. 

While WalMart is reaching out to a younger crowd, businesses across the board can feel their pain. The unemployment rate is at a whopping 3.6%; the lowest it’s been in 50 years. If you’re even attempting to hire, you know that you have to do a few things differently in today’s climate.

1. Get creative in how you're finding talent

Simply posting a job on a few sites and sitting back to wait for the resumes to roll in is probably not going to have the best results. It may be time to work with a recruiter that has the ability to access applicants that might be out of your reach (due to knowledge or just having the time to do it). If a recruiter isn’t in your budget, you can start the search for the perfect applicant yourself. Some ideas are using LinkedIn, attending networking events or asking for referrals from other people in the community. 

2. Offer benefits for the workers of today

This includes, at the top of the list (say it with me now…) FLEXIBILITY. According to GenForward, Millennials place this above salary. The traditional 8-5 just isn’t as appealing. Workers today want to be able to drop their kids off at school, make it to that dance recital, see their dentist when they need to, and work from home on days that make sense to do so. 

Imagine the scenario: you come across a talented 30-year-old who is looking for a new opportunity. She has all the skills you’re looking for, and most importantly, she would fit right into your company’s culture. The only reason she’s even considering moving from her current position is due to the fact that her employer isn’t flexible. She’s missing her son’s soccer games during the season, and she needs the option to work from home during the summer when school is out. 

In this case, money is not her top motivator. Working for someone who understands the demands of a working parent is at the top of her list. 

Now, I’m not saying this kind of arrangement works for everyone. You may be thinking to yourself, how am I going to let my baristas work from home? The level of flexibility you can allow will be dependent upon many things, but the important thing is to understand that this is what is happening in the world today. THIS is what employees want. If you are looking to attract talent to your organization, you have to consider flexibility.

3. Make purpose a focal point

Have you ever wondered how companies get on the 100 Best Companies to Work For list? What are they doing that can be replicated by even the smallest business? According to a recent article in Korn Ferry, it tuns out that 91% of employees among the 2017 list say that “when I look at what we accomplish I feel a sense of pride.” 88% say they “make a difference” at work, and 85% say their work has purpose. 

This list of top employers is put together by the Great Place to Work Institute and, as they put it, “At organizations with great cultures, employees feel connected to a shared purpose when they come to work each day. Programs are in place that help foster pride and show employees the value of their work for customers and for society overall.”

No matter what size your organization is, it’s important to tie purpose into the day-to-day work your employees are doing. They will be more engaged, more fulfilled, and you will see better results. 

4. Invest in your staff through training

Unfortunately, this can be an often-overlooked step in the process of both finding and retaining talent in organizations. Not only will investing in your employees help their performance, but this will actually help boost your image to perspective employees. They will see training and employee development as something that you value, which can be extremely appealing to top performers.  

In fact, another big retailer has invested heavily in their training and development programs in order to find and retain better employees. Dollar General has recently announced a complete overhaul of their recruitment and retention initiatives; specifically, in training. The most interesting part about this overhaul is that Dollar General has been recognized as a top corporate training and development organization for years, yet they still found it important to invest even more in their employees. 

You don’t have to be a massive organization like WalMart or Dollar General to make these kinds of changes. Studer Community Institute offers training right here in Pensacola that is suitable for all sized organization at any level. Take a look at what we are offering and get started on the right track to find and retain the best for your organization.

Studer Community Institute provides effective skill-building training for employees and leaders designed to improve individual skills and business results, building organizations with aligned vision, mission and values and engaged employees. We do this through our workshops, our customized training solutions, as well as other programs designed to engage leaders in the community such as our Accelerate Roundtable program. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for those in our community, and by creating great places to work, we are making Pensacola an even better place to live. 

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