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The Recruitment Balancing Act

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Author - Terri Wilcox - May 2019

There has been a shift in today’s tight labor market that’s forced us to think about how we view our employees and our working relationships. In fact, RiseSmart recently reported the employee relationship economy is on the rise. RiseSmart states, “it’s emerging in response to the evolving concepts of work: how it’s done, where, by whom, for how long and who’s in charge. This paradigm change is being driven by technology, a changing workforce and globalization. Embracing a model that allows for movement into, within and out of an organization with flexibility and ease ensures business outcomes that include high employee engagement, loyalty and trust – all of which are essential to the survival of organizations in the 21st century world of employee-employer relationships.”

So, what does this mean for companies currently navigating the highly competitive world of recruiting and hiring? It’s simple – it’s all about balance. If we can identify the shifts taking place, we can begin to understand exactly what we must balance.

There’s a new balance between …

  • Tangible (pay, benefits, PTO, commute time) vs. intangible (relationships with managers and co-workers, engagement, personal development) benefits of a position
  • Recruiting for a specific job position vs. recruiting for a right fit within your culture. A right fit is someone who aligns with your core values and culture.
  • The first day of hire vs. the entire onboarding experience. This determines how long the new hire will stay.
  • Hiring for degreed programs, certifications and years of experience vs. hiring for soft skills, including the ability to relate to others, influence and lead
  • The traditional career ladder move up to higher levels vs. the newer shift to moving over and around to include experiential learning across departments
  • A multi-pronged approach of employee branding and current market research to remain competitive vs. becoming more transparent in recruiting and hiring communications

In addition, there is a delicate balance between employer and employee. It’s almost like a dance where both partners are trying to lead. As a result, we’re required to create strategies that balance both push-pull activities in recruitment, many of which seem almost like opposites. Yes, that most likely means changing what we currently do.

Many of us will need to:

  1. Learn the areas we don’t understand or have never considered relevant in the past
  2. Uncover and document our pay guidelines using market research, especially with high demand positions. Check out Payscale to see what a job position market analysis looks like.
  3. Focus on an overall Talent Development System that includes more than just recruitment. It encompasses the entire employee life cycle: hiring, onboarding, ongoing training and development, retention, succession and exit vs. hiring someone when a job needs to be filled. Your best decision-making comes from knowing how it all fits together – a skill we can all improve on.
  4. Communicate differently to employees when recruiting, hiring and retaining. This includes building an employee brand strategy that’s based on improving your culture. You could set a goal to be a “Best Place to Work” organization. However, you must really believe and model the part about building a great culture. This IS NOT a marketing project.
  5. Truly understand and communicate that employee engagement is critical to the success of your business, which will ultimately shift the way people manage and lead others.
  6. Be willing to allocate more resources, especially leadership’s time, to implement the above actions. Above all, this is the most critical for your organization.

To be successful in today’s tight labor market, you’ve got think beyond just filling a vacant seat. Successful recruiting and hiring plans for the entire employee life cycle. Recruiting is a balancing act that tilts this way and that all the time. It requires all of us to look differently at our future strategies and always keep a pulse on current trends.

Author, Terri Wilcox, is a co-founder and Business Advisor with The Resultants. To learn more about Terri, visit our Team Page or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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