The global workforce composition has seen a considerable shift in the last decade. By 2025, Millennials will comprise three-quarters of the global workforce. The rise of a tech-savvy generation of workers is changing businesses, workplaces, and people policies. A parallel shift is the increased use of new-age technology in the workplace, which is disrupting the talent function. Amid the multiple complexities of hiring, developing, and retaining talent, it is critical to understand the changing motivations of the workforce and reflect on the relevant engagement strategies.
Here are five critical strategies that are needed to hire and engage today’s top talent:
Develop a consistent employer brand
In a candidate-driven market, organizations must define, develop, and maintain their employer brand. As part of showcasing the employer brand, companies need to reflect on delivering a consistent brand message internally and externally. This includes workplace policies and culture, benefits, company mission and values, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), among other things.
An authentic and impressive employer brand will help your organization differentiate itself from the competition. In addition to attracting the desired candidates, a strong employer brand will also enhance employee loyalty and motivation by cultivating employee advocates in the workforce.
Research suggests that today’s talent values teamwork and working in a group. Thus, it is essential to build an inclusive and diverse workplace culture that reinforces a sense of belonging.
Organizations are leveraging interest-based communities, CSR programs, and off-sites to strengthen the networks within their workforce. Similarly, several organizations are investing in the career development of their employees and creating employee channels that remain functional even after individuals move to new organizations. The idea is to ensure that employees feel a sense of oneness with the organization and each other.
Maintain a continuous dialogue
If there’s one thing that today’s workforce values highly, it is continuous feedback and discussion. A recent study shows that Gen Z employees crave face-to-face interaction with their managers and prefer constant and personal communication from their superiors. Another survey shows that not only a majority of Millennials feel ‘in the dark’ about how they’re performing, they also dislike not being able to have the opportunity to discuss their concerns during performance reviews. Today’s workforce wants to maintain an active dialogue with their managers and leaders to understand how they can do better. Thus, align your communication, workforce management, and performance assessment policies to ensure that communication platforms are accessible and active.
Focus on providing flexibility and work-life balance
Employers need to offer workplace flexibility and the opportunity to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Surveys and studies have consistently shown that young workers place a non-negotiable value on workplace flexibility, often at the cost of other lucrative benefits. Most industry leaders have integrated flexibility and mobility into their work processes and are also offering perks like unlimited vacation, health services, and liberal parental policies. There is increased concern regarding the overall well-being of employees. Further, organizations are experimenting in a variety of ways to ensure that they can effectively take care of their workforce.
Leverage technology and cultivate transparency
Prospective top candidates prefer a hiring process that is fast and collaborative. Technology can play an instrumental role in enabling both a candidate and recruiter. Keeping the candidate pool warm and engaged using ‘talent pools’ and ‘job alerts’ will help hire faster. Today’s candidates expect a consistent experience across devices, which can only be enabled using technology.
Another essential component of this is cultivating a fair and transparent workplace culture, wherein employees understand the inner functioning of the organization. The decision of several young (and old) organizations to make employee salaries public is a nod to the growing value of transparency. Similarly, others are making public their position on social and political issues, thus reaffirming their values and strengthening employee morale.
There is no room for complacency in today’s volatile and disruptive business environment. If organizations can communicate their values, empower their workforce, and invest in employee well-being, they will be able to engage their talent much more effectively. Thus, creating a meaningful and transparent workplace, where the contribution of every individual is recognized, and there is a continuous attempt to work and learn together, is vital to keep today’s top talent fully engaged and motivated.