Opportunities galore for many sectors and companies are trying their best to seize upon them by growing their investments in people. The business environment is now fraught with various micro and inter-dependent factors that make decision-making complex. We cannot afford to wait for the disruptive forces to settle down before we decide to make changes in our working styles and approaches. What changes do we need in our people processes?
Acquiring new talent is one of the commonest tools used by companies to grab the opportunities the market presents them with. Secondly, given the current investment climate, many companies have rich coffers and are in a hurry to deploy those funds to go to market fast and grow their market share. This has resulted in fierce competition among employers to attract and retain talent. These companies have many more jobs open than they ever had in the past. For the jobseekers with skills matching the demand of these fast-growing sectors, it is a situation of plenty.
Moreover, new-found remote working and virtual methods make it very easy for candidates to explore job opportunities in the market. In a demand-led market, the supply side tries to maximise the returns for itself. Hence, it is natural to expect that salaries go up and candidates will trade offers from competing employers.
According to a Gallup study, half of the workers in the US are following the open job roles or actively searching for jobs and 60% of the millennials are open to new opportunities. These are largely in the roles of technology – new tools and methodologies to drive efficiencies and adapt to the new world of working remotely, shopping online, e-sports, new ways of entertainment and the like.
Companies are challenged to innovate and adapt to the new reality. Despite their best efforts, they have been losing people. This is the time of great resignation.
Traditionally, businesses raised their eyebrows and despised profiles with frequent job changes. They believed, job-hoppers are impractical and inflexible; lack adaptability; are not adequately seasoned and hence, lack the depth of experience.
Currently, candidates are surrounded by multiple stimuli and attractive job offers; our social environment encourages quick decisions and fast-paced growth. So we see employees taking quick decisions to leave as soon as they face discomfort in their job even if it is not too intense or they see greener pastures elsewhere. This is a new reality that business leaders and HR teams have to embrace.
Job hoppers are not necessarily what we believed in the past; we have to listen to the candidate empathetically and determine if the person is habitually impulsive, generally inflexible and shy of facing challenges or was a victim of the situation. We have to deep-dive, peel the onion layer by layer to know the personality traits. This is a higher-order challenge in recruitment and selection; leaders who are selecting people for their teams need to embrace the reality that job hoppers aren’t misfits and upgrade their skills in selecting the right candidates.
There is no choice! We have to take several steps proactively rather than react to situations. What could they be?
We spoke of the right selection already. Secondly, we need to make sure that our employees have the trust in our HR team that their voices are welcome, heard and acted upon. Often employees do not think that their feelings of discomfort aren’t welcome and hence, they should do whatever best they can. They spread the word about their negative experience, distance themselves from the long-term goals of the company, lessen their efforts in achieving the short-term objectives and start hurting the organisation. This is a vicious circle that any organisation has to protect itself against.
Most people around us are looking for instant gratification, quick results and timely feedback. Hence, the organisation has to build a culture of transparency, frequent communication, recognise good work and quick feedback. In order to achieve this, leaders have to take a deep interest in their team members, build a personal rapport with them, co-create the solutions needed at work and genuinely care for their lives at work as well as home. They have to understand the ambitions of their team members, gently shape those and be honest in mentoring their team members in shaping their careers.
We have to embrace reality and adapt our ways of dealing with them rather than being imprisoned by our past experiences.
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