Talent attraction and retention
A recent survey from The Conference Board asked CEOs and other C-Suite executives worldwide what they were most worried about at the start of this year. “Regardless of a company’s location or size, attracting and retaining top talent ranks as the number-one internal stressor for CEOs and other C-Suite executives globally in 2020,” reported the survey.
Key performance indicators like time-to-fill and hiring rates are increasing; it now takes longer to fill an open position than in previous years. To try to compete, 73% of CEOs say that they’ve increased starting salaries for their job openings, and half have raised starting hourly pay.
There are other ways to alleviate the stress of competing for talent at your company in addition to raising base pay. First, consider outsourcing talent acquisition to a team of experts. Outsourcing can save you money on recruiting expenses, and ensure you make smarter hiring decisions – reducing the costly mistake of making an offer to the wrong candidate. Companies that outsource their talent acquisition see lower employee turnover and are able to reallocate time and resources that might have gone to recruiting to meet other key business needs.
Secondly, differentiate your organization from others looking for fresh talent by building a great company culture. Surveys indicate that 45% of job seekers make company culture a top priority when they look for a job. Investing in your culture isn’t just a way to incentivize new employees to join your team; it’s a great way to improve employee retention and keep your team motivated.
Looking for inspiration? Read about the innovative approaches some tech companies have taken toward talent acquisition.
Upskilling programs missing the mark
Upskilling is a new industry buzzword that refers to training employees in new skills and investing in professional development opportunities. It’s a key benefit that Gen Z workers, in particular, wish their employer would offer. One survey found that 91% of Gen Zer’s cite professional training as an “important factor” when considering a new job opportunity. And, it’s not just Gen Z that cares about upskilling. According to PwC, “US job seekers are even willing to forgo up to 12% of their salary to get the training and flexibility they need.”
CEOs know the importance of upskilling, but worry that their upskilling programs aren’t delivering results. Just 17% of CEOs believe their upskilling programs are “very effective” in achieving higher workforce productivity. One reason why existing professional development programs are missing the mark is there aren’t enough resources allocated to upskilling. Too many companies see upskilling as an “HR issue” and don’t holistically invest in professional training. This year, experts recommend you design your upskilling programs to be:
- Rewards-based: rather than mandating training, provide incentives that encourage your employees to opt-in to certain courses.
- Crowd-sourced: ask your employees what rewards would best incentivize them to complete an upskilling program.
- Aligned with your culture: identify what your employees already do well, and design an upskilling course that plays to those strengths.
- Owned by the business: your entire leadership team should embrace professional development, rather than relegating the upskill program to HR.
Take a deeper dive into diagnosing what is wrong with your upskill and training programs at the start of this year to see where you can pivot your strategy and save resources for this effective employee retention tool.
Skills gap at the senior level
Along with upskilling concerns, CEOs are worried that their executive team is missing the tech skills needed to lead their business towards growth. “On average, CEOs think that sales, risk, supply chain, and HR officers are most in need of more digital savvy,” reports Gartner.
CEOs are specifically worried that their leadership teams aren’t equipped to use the tools needed to plan for and execute digital business strategies. Managers need to develop skill sets related to data analysis, digitalization, and even talent management. Gartner reports, “skills and roles are themselves evolving with technology, meaning business leaders may not even know what their own talent needs will be.”
When managers aren’t sure what skills will be needed for the company to continue to innovate, they risk impeding the progress of the organization. CEOs worried about innovation and growth should consider turning to a talent acquisition team that knows how to find candidates equipped with skills for the future. Outside recruiters keep tabs on where the industry is developing to make sure candidates have the right coding skills, digital experience, and technical know-how to lead effectively.
Michael is the Managing Partner at Elevate Talent, a recruiting agency that helps companies build their Go-To-Market and People Operations teams.