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7 Ways Your Company Can Survive 'The Big Quit'

As we continue to grapple with the problem of filling jobs with great talent, its vital that we take the opportunity to look for longer term, innovative ways to tackle this shortage and stop the ‘just in time’ mindset.

Talent and employers are continuing to pass each other like two ships in the night, so it’s time to get more creative about how we recruit, retain and reskill, especially in community service industries and the not-for-profit sector where our impact and success depends on how effective our people are.

Korn Ferry’s Future of work trends 2022 report poses some interesting predictions and some useful insights into dealing with the continued scarcity problem.

They surveyed nearly 700 professionals, and almost a third (31%) said they were thinking of leaving their job even though they didn’t have another one lined up. That’s how confident they are in their value. This sort of information should make all of us sit up and realise that things might get worse before they get better if we don’t start playing a longer game and become an Employer of Choice.

So, what can be done?

The report calls for organisations to take a much more human approach and consider all the levers they have available to them for building and strengthening relationships with individual talent—from compensation, rewards, and benefits to learning and development, succession, and DE&I (Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive).

Some of the suggestions offered include;

1. New Ways of Incentivising

Ideas such as offering new recruits sign-on bonuses that include a clause requiring they be paid back if the employee leaves within a certain period of time are becoming more popular. As are strategies that involve long term incentives designed to get middle and senior managers to stay such as stock options or periods of paid leave for study or travel.

2. Building Internal Mobility

By reskilling and upskilling through specialised training, coaching and development programs, organisations can proactively increase internal mobility. Not only can it help fill talent gaps, especially for niche roles—it can also prevent attrition by providing employees with opportunities to learn, develop and grow.

37% of professionals say upskilling/reskilling current employees is the top way they are addressing the labour and skills shortage (Korn Ferry survey)

3. Inclusion is the New Secret Sauce

Tap into a wider talent pool through more inclusive hiring practices. This could mean looking for talent in non-traditional places or dropping traditional qualification requirements that may disproportionately exclude underrepresented talent. Focus instead on how quickly a person can learn, and how agile they are to meet the evolving needs of the marketplace. Then invest instead in getting them where you need them to be.

4. Candidate Care in King

Revisit your attraction and recruitment strategies – it's time to pull them apart and see where we can add some love. A Korn Ferry survey revealed that 75% of candidates say it’s unlikely they would accept a job if they were treated poorly during the interview process. How do we embed candidates in the company culture and get them to feel like they are part of the team before they even start? Don’t forget to continue this through the employee’s first days, weeks, and months on the job – and triple your efforts if they are part of a remote team.

5. How Flexible Are We?

In a recent Korn Ferry survey, nearly a third (32%) of professionals said they don’t think they’ll ever go back into the office full time, and 74% say they have more energy and focus working from home instead of the office. We’ve proven that we can be as productive, or even more productive, working from home, so by offering choices that match candidate expectations when it comes to flexible working arrangements, we are likely to have a distinct hiring advantage over organisations that are not.

49% of professionals say they would turn down a job offer if the company mandated that they go into the office full-time (Korn Ferry survey)

6. ESG as a workforce strategy

One solution may be in developing ESG as a workforce strategy – that is, incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance issues into your brand identity with talent attraction and retention being a benefit. We know that a wave of behavioural change is evident across industries and companies are under pressure to adopt new standards and regulations for ESG operations and sustainable investing to source investment capital and satisfy stakeholders. Why not consider ESG as the new workplace normal, and move closer to it being a standard workforce strategy rather than a basic value proposition.

7. Make Leaders Accountable

It's time for leaders to step back and find out why people are leaving organisations. Is it the pay? The benefits? The culture? The business model? The location? What types of employees are leaving? Leaders can start to be accountable for stemming the turnover in their organisations. They can take responsibility for coming up with solutions and can be supported to implement strategies that they think might work. The first step is recognising that this is a real problem and that it's not going away any time soon.


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