When it comes to attracting and retaining knowledge workers, a lot has changed in the past couple of years for enterprises. Remote work is on the rise, salary expectations are increasing, and top talent is being scooped up off the labor market in days, rather than months. Competition for exceptional talent is fierce, and with new job offers always around the corner, the balance of power has shifted from enterprises to job candidates.
Once a business gets a new employee through the door, the work has only just begun to keep them happy. This is especially the case as companies are trying to adapt to new management approaches in a remote-first work world.
These factors are causing many enterprises to rethink their hiring processes in the race to keep and retain better talent. Let’s explore some of these drivers of change and share some ideas on how organizations can keep up with today’s talent market.
Drivers of change reshaping the talent market
Some important forces are putting pressure on employers to deliver more enticing offers to job seekers. For example:
COVID-19 is forcing companies to adopt remote work models: Nearly two years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic sent millions of workers out of the office and back home to get their work done. Since then, remote work has become the new normal, and things aren’t changing anytime soon. Many knowledge workers have come to expect the flexibility of remote and hybrid work schedules. When looking to hire, enterprises need to keep in mind that many of their competitors are willing to accommodate these preferences to get the best talent.
Employee salary expectations have risen sharply: Right now, there are more job openings for knowledge workers than there is talent to fill these roles. It’s a seller’s market, and job seekers are in the driver’s seat. For example, the salary you offered to an app developer a few years ago is probably not going to satisfy the expectations of today’s job candidates. To make a competitive offer, do some research on what other companies are currently offering to candidates in terms of salary and benefits.
Hiring cycles have become considerably shorter: When talented knowledge workers switch jobs, they are only on the market for a short period of time, if at all. There’s a high demand for their skills, and increasingly, competitive organizations are trying to get them in the door faster. Gone are the days of months-long hiring cycles, where companies require job candidates to complete multiple rounds of interviews and wait for weeks in between rounds while the company considers different job candidates. To get better talent, companies should make their hiring process faster, easier, and more transparent for their prospects to navigate and complete.
Adapting to a remote-first work model
It’s one thing to get knowledge workers through the door, but it’s another to keep them happy. These days, that means adapting management styles, scheduling, and collaboration to a remote work model—and standing up the IT to make workplace collaboration seamless.
Management styles have to adapt to remote work: The COVID-19 pandemic not only changed where people work, but how they work. Where managers used to work with employees face to face, today it’s happening remotely—through phone calls, email, chat, and video conferencing. It’s become all the more important that every organization adapt and define expectations around remote employee availability, touchpoints, communication, and support systems so they can effectively do their work.
Remote work is putting new demands on IT: As more employees work away from the office, organizations need to provide remote work tools for communication, back-office processes, file sharing, and more. These tools must be secure and accessible to remote workers using devices that reach far beyond company firewalls. The use of these tools should be continually optimized to best support employees’ work. And each needs to be secured with technology, such as a VPN, to protect the company and its assets.
Rethinking your own approach to talent
As change continues to shake up the talent market, it’s important to reflect on your own company’s hiring and retention practices to keep up. Look for ways to make your hiring process faster, more efficient, and more appealing to today’s best candidates. Also, examine your own remote work management approaches and tools to ensure you are best positioning your employees to succeed.
If you’d like help, Converge’s Talent Solutions team has access to top IT and technical professionals across the nation. Our talent experts can help you enhance your staff through contracting, consulting, permanent placements, and direct hire. We can also help you fully support your remote workplace with technology solutions that work best for your business. Let’s start a conversation about bringing your organization into the future.