Thursday, September 29, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Retaining talent may seem like an easy thing to do in a global economy like today where having a job may be good enough for most of us. However, that isn’t the case. Even with huge numbers of people unemployed and available in the labor market pool, companies still prefer to target recruiting from the competition. I even heard from a recruiter that will remain nameless in Chicago that the recruiting team he is a member of will not consider folks that have been laid off or unemployed. Why are recruiters overlooking the countless number of people looking for work? The answers may surprise you.
Traditionally recruiters internal within companies and staffing agencies have always been keen on targeting staff off the competition to recruit from. Why? This answer is based on one primary reason – that is companies don’t like to let their competitors know they are being targeted to avoid what could be considered an act of “talent war”. In the late 90s it was not unlikely to leave work only to find that the competition had flierd the parking lot with help wanted ads and offering “happy hour” at a nearby hotel where you could interview. No-a-days the talent war is online and going mobile.
To many recruiters there is a stigma that if you consider someone that is unemployed or been laid off that they are the “bottom of the barrel” candidates. Though we all know this is not the case, the tendency for recruiters to bypass the unemployed continues. It is almost better to not say you are unemployed and eliminate that term from your vocabulary. In this case the choice of words can be discriminating. I would encourage you to replace with unemployed with “recently back on the market”.
Retaining talent is not easy for companies even after new hires start. Wages have dropped and in many cases productivity is up due to working with less staff – thus people having to be stressed to work harder or longer hours. This has a negative effect on staff morale. It does not help when legacy staff that has experienced the pay decreases and visibility to the turn-over to negatively influence staff either.
What companies should do is use the opportunity of the times to separate themselves from other competitors that have to take more drastic measures to survive. One way to do that is to focus on retention programs to keep staff as long as possible and ride out the financial storm. This can be done by a variety of strategies aimed to make the workplace interesting, fun and rewarding.
First of all, think about how develop talent. What is the career path for everyone in the company? How is it that the receptionist can go from that job to the CEO someday? If you have a well-crafted career path for all staff and a documented process from which staff can follow at their own speed to influence the promotion eligible pool.
Second, what are you doing to reward talent that shows up to work on time, does not take extended lunch breaks, staff that mentors others so they can be successful, does whatever it takes to get the job done, and true team players? Think up a way to reward such staff by having an internal “refer a colleague contest” whereby people can nominate each other based on good demonstrated behavior. Make this part of your career path program as it supports the kind of culture you will want to have.
Lastly, have your staff recommend somebody looking for a job. Recruiters will always consider internal referrals and often care less about candidates that are unemployed or not. Now you know the “work around”.
- Gregorio Cardenas-Vazquez, September 19, 2011
One might think that just having a job in times like today would be a blessing – think again. Though globalization has brought jobs to many parts of the developing world and emerging markets, it has not always been well received. In spite of the global financial crisis that has also kept unemployment levels relatively high in most developed countries. There are still plenty of jobs in many sectors. So what is going on?
Today we are living and working in an “employers market”, this condition typically exists when the volume of labor (amount of unemployed) is greatly higher than the volume of jobs. However in today’s economy there are jobs, yet people are not employed. This strange phenomenon is paramount throughout the world today. In many cases, people are simply not interested in these jobs.
Take a look at your neighborhood news paper’s help wanted section or do a search for jobs in any major city online. You will find there are jobs in many industries at all levels. For years now the lack of confidence in the global recovery of the financial markets has kept unemployment relatively high and constant for an extended period of time. This is even evident in the USA where the number of unemployed has hovered near 10% for nearly a year.
During this time, in many parts of the world, salaries have come down. Additionally the overall cost of living has also gone down in spite of some costs going up. Home prices for example have dropped in the States while the costs of groceries and gasoline have seen increases due to inflation. As such employers have adjusted their pay rates for current and future jobs. Keep in mind; most companies don’t see the global economy picking up any time soon.
The challenge of recruiting staff has actually become more difficult. During the last 3 years, the global Recruiting Process Outsourcing industry has flourished. This is due to the increased challenges faced by employers trying to fill vacancies that in the eyes of many unemployed, are taking advantage of lower labor market costs. Additionally, employers have discovered the disadvantages of retaining fixed cost internal recruiters. This has led to significant wage reductions of recruiters in developed countries.
Recruiting and retaining staff today is increasingly difficult not because there is lack of labor but due to the market conditions that have transformed over this unusually long global recovery. We are now facing however yet another round of recovery instability. The USA has nearly defaulted and still not out of the woodshed. Several EU member States are facing the same fears including Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, etc. None of this incidentally is having a positive effect on salaries going up anytime soon.
In some countries employers are paying less to staff than ever before and requiring them to work longer hours. Though this could be seen as abusive labor practices or simply taking advantage of the situation, this may only be the tip of the iceberg as time goes one. There is no question we are living in unusual times while the financial markets of the world get “reset” to follow new rules which will hopefully prevent this in the future. In the meantime, we may find the expression, “at least I have a job” replaced by, “at least I am not being taken advantage of”.
- Gregorio Cardenas-Vazquez, September 19, 2011