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If you haven’t seen it, the November jobs data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that voluntary resignations reached a new high (4.5 million people, which equates to 3%). I know recruiting is tough. We’ve all read the turnover tsunami and “Great Resignation” articles. That being said, to achieve recruiting success, organizations are going to have to look for alternatives to their usual processes.
At last year’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Talent Conference, one of the sessions that got me thinking was focused on “Succession Planning for Modern Times”. Now, I can imagine that some people might be saying to themselves, “I would love to spend time on succession planning strategies right now, but I’m so buried in job requisitions…there’s just no time!”
And you know the comeback. If organizations don’t carve out time for essential activities like succession planning, then employees are going to leave…which only makes recruiting tougher. In addition, organizations that tend to focus on “BUY” strategies, meaning hiring from the outside, versus “BUILD” strategies of developing talent from within, are going to spend more money.
Which brings us back to finding alternatives when recruiting. Organizations might want to consider “BORROW” strategies like bringing in freelancers or contractors in the interim. Maybe it’s time to reach out to a few recent retirees and see if they would like to do some part-time work (or maybe full-time work). This could free up time for employees to receive training and development.
Organizations might want to think about entering a strategic partnership with a recruitment process organization (RPO) to help build their pipeline. Or find a few freelance sourcers to help them out. This could help the organization fill jobs faster so HR can focus on succession planning.
Now could also be the perfect time to test a couple of new recruitment sources so if one source doesn’t deliver, you have another one (or two!) that can help with applicant flow. I’m amazed at the organizations that have their entire recruitment strategy resting on one or two job boards. And I have absolutely nothing against job boards but is now the time to rely on just one or two sources?!
Another thing to consider is having a few retention programs in place for current employees. One thing I’m concerned about is hearing all the things that companies are going to get employees in the door when recruiting – signing bonuses, swag welcome baskets, etc. – and they’re doing nothing for the employees who are right now picking up the slack because the company is understaffed.
This also applies to the company’s management team. How many managers are doing the work of multiple people because the company is understaffed (and the manager doesn’t get paid overtime)? Employees see this. It could be a big reason that a manager leaves, and an employee turns down a future promotional opportunity.
All these dynamics are related. If organizations want to be fully staffed, they have to think about everything when recruiting, not simply the requisition. That was my takeaway from the session on succession planning. We have to view preparing employees for future opportunities from an organizational standpoint and think about it even before the employee gets hired. Because if we don’t, there’s a chance that the employee won’t view promotional opportunities in our organization as being worthwhile.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Las Vegas, NV18