Hiring Tactics and Strategy Share:

By
Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Posted
Monday, August 30, 2021

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Tags: #hiring #recruiting #employment

If you are a gainfully employed individual and you really like your job, this article isn't for you.

If you're an employer or supervisor looking to hire someone — anyone — read on.


In the old days, the market would shift occasionally, the negotiating advantage between employer and candidate swinging gently back and forth. In the recession of 2008, it was an employer's market. Unemployment was high so hiring companies had their pick of the best candidates.

The biggest challenge was handling the huge flood of applications and resumes.

Today is different — very different. Not only has the power position shifted into candidate's hands, their demands have placed a new burden upon organizations scrambling to keep enough people on the payroll to meet basic operational needs.

Hiring managers and business leaders are getting a crash course on the tactical and strategic aspects of the new hiring paradigm.

Pandemics are impactful events. That is the understatement of the 21st century. What caught the business community off guard with the ramifications of COVID-19 has been the shift in worker demands. The first half of 2020 entailed a lot of people being laid off, furloughed, or put into temporary, often unpaid, holding patterns. It seemed that the negotiating position was firmly in the employer's hands.

Those who kept their jobs seemed to fall into two broad categories: information workers who could do their work from home, and so-called essential workers who had to show up on-site like those at grocery stores and hospitals.

The hardest hit were those making minimum wage, often in restaurants and other service industries. Employers in these sectors are continuing the daily struggle to get workers to come back.

As of summer 2021, a year-and-a-half into the pandemic, businesses across the employment spectrum are faced with two staffing challenges: filling open roles with new workers, and keeping existing workers from leaving.


Tactics and Strategy

Here's the bad news. There is a group of employers who will continue to face an uphill employment battle (that they may not win) because of two primary characteristics: businesses that put their workers in direct (and inherently unsafe) contact with the public, and those who pay minimum wage.

This struggle will continue until wages rise and public safety through herd immunity via widespread vaccination is achieved (if that ever happens). Until then, these businesses will be at the greatest risk of financial disaster.

Increasing wages is a tactical action that can help ease the hiring pain. For businesses in low-margin industries, raising pay enough to draw workers back into the fold may not be a financial possibility. Since this tactic may not be enough, these employers must act strategically.


Reputation Matters

The pandemic has given workers a great deal of information about employer priorities. Businesses that place short-term profit above worker health and safety are faced with a strategic problem that can have long-lasting consequences.

Workers that kept their jobs during the pandemic have become increasingly willing to leave, and retention has become challenge primo uno. Customer service, order fulfillment, and even brand value can all suffer as top performers leave to work for the competition.

Staff who are able to work from home have discovered its many benefits. Caring for COVID-sick loved ones or children in remote schooling becomes easier. Managing schedules is more flexible. Workers save time and money not having to commute.

When their employer demands that they return to the office for seemingly arbitrary or even blatantly unjustified reasons, workers balk. Recent polls have revealed that the benefits of flexible schedules and working from home are so great that many workers would even accept a cut in pay to eliminate their commute.

A tactical decision employers can make to maintain retention and even draw in much-needed new talent is to make working from home the rule and not the exception.

Strategically, businesses must undergo a process of honest and direct self-evaluation. If workers are leaving, managers need to engage in frank exit interviews to find out why. If a departing top performer says they feel like management doesn't place a high enough value on worker happiness, health and safety, the smart leader will listen and act accordingly.

It's a barely kept secret that individuals who experience all three aspects of the performance fuel formula — purpose, clarity and feedback — often consider pay to be less of a factor in their decision to stick around instead of running for the competition.

The traditional wisdom was more people quit their jobs because of a bad manager than because of low pay. Today, both reasons play a part.

The bottom line is, as long as wages are on par with the market, keeping your staff engaged and happy will be a far more effective incentive to keep them on board.

Implementing a performance and employee engagement tool like Performance Fuel by eRep is an effective strategic and tactical tool to improve retention and engagement.

Organizations that strategically yet genuinely put worker health and well being over profit will reap the benefit of improved retention and employee loyalty. Fair pay means more than merely paying a dollar above minimum wage. It means forgoing six- or even seven-figure CEO bonuses.

In the end, tactical changes like improved pay and work-from-home practices must be backed by strategic actions that show the company leadership is taking care of the people that make it all possible — their workers — by doing the right thing for the right reasons.


Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

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Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing he is an aspiring multi-instrumentalist and composer, a virtual pilot in a home-built flight simulator, and a cyclist.

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