Talent Shortage: Great for Employees; Concerning for Employers
It’s here, it’s real, and it’s simultaneously stressful and awesome. The current talent shortage is great for employees and job seekers, but it’s also creating intense competition as companies try both to hire more employees and to onboard new staff properly. “It’s great to be hiring,” Allison Davidson, an HR manager, told us in a recent conversation. “But I’m a little worried that we’re losing focus on whether or not our new people are good fits for our culture.”
Many leaders have expressed this concern—and for good reason: numerous studies have shown significant turnover rates within the first 90 days of employment (and those already high rates can increase dramatically during a talent shortage, when companies are actively recruiting each others’ employees). Those aren’t easy numbers for any organization to digest when it’s just spent time, money, and energy trying to hire only the best.
Looking Inside Your Organization
Organizations that struggle to improve their onboarding and retention of new employees often overlook one particular pool of candidates: those who are already inside those companies. Through inboarding, companies can help existing employees improve the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitude they need to grow within their own organizations. More than just “hiring from within,” inboarding empowers employees to discover new paths and opportunities within their organizations and resocializes them (many of whom might be long standing employees) to the current and emerging cultures of their companies.
Jamie Schneiderman, CEO and founder of Career Spark (a company that matches people to jobs), recently explained to us that when his clients take a close look at their current employees when trying to fill openings, “they almost feel as though they’ve struck gold, because they realize that the people they like and trust—and who already fit into the culture—would exhibit superior performance in a different role.”
He continued, “companies typically hire people to fill a specific need. But then sometimes they forget about what that person could do by either expanding the job description or moving them into a different role completely. We shouldn’t be so focused on what people have done in the past or what they do for us today.”
Focus on Potential
Instead, leaders should focus on potential—on what people could bring to their teams if they were given the chance—particularly during talent shortages. “Think about how your current employees feel when you’re out hiring all kinds of new people and they’ve committed themselves to your company for 5, 10, or even 15 years,” Schneiderman pointed out. “If they see a perfect role open up and they get looked over for the position, they’re not going to be happy.”
Leaders who are currently looking to hire new talent should consider these points before they start making the big offers:
Are the organization’s current employees in the right roles?
This is a big question, and answering it can be a big undertaking—but one well worth the effort. “If you’ve got people in the wrong roles, and don’t change it, you’ll never reach your potential,” Schneiderman explained. “The wrong roles can be extremely costly.”
Does the company have a good inboarding plan?
Remember, inboarding is more than just hiring from within or reassigning employees—it also involves reintroducing them to purpose and to the organization’s current (and emerging) culture. A leader’s job is to help his or her employees become the best they can be, and good leaders consistently look for growth and development opportunities for their current people.
Does the organization have a good onboarding plan?
Onboarding is more than just showing people where the breakroom is and wishing them luck. Taking the time to develop a solid onboarding program can yield great dividends.
Is the company keeping its best employees?
It’s one thing for a company to be looking for new talent because it’s growing, and another to be looking because its people are leaving for other opportunities. Find out why they are leaving (compensation, benefits, cultural fit, recognition, etc.) and do everything possible to hold on to the best.
With changes in the job market come changes in how leaders need to view recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees. Hiring new people might seem exciting (especially when it’s part of a team or company’s growth). But leaders shouldn’t forget that the gold they seek might already be directly under their feet.
Need to Look Outside for Employee Gold?
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Editorial Note: This article originally appeared in ABR Employment Services magazine, ABR HR Insights. It was originally written by David Sturt, VP of marketing and development at O.C. Tanner Institute.