The Great talent exodus and how organizations can tackle it in 2021
One of the biggest concerns that business leaders are facing today is how to retain talent. A high turnover rate is bad news for any business. And while adding incentives may help keep the momentary tab on retention, one cannot really solve employee attrition with team-building games, a digitally curated catch-up session or sole focus on the organizational culture.
Understanding the causes behind Employee Attrition
The simplest push to attrition has been the digital transformation boom witnessed by workplaces globally over the last one year. All companies want the top tech talent on board that is sought by everyone, hence the crunch and hiring needs are both mammoth.
There is a severe shortage of a skilled workforce with work visas in western markets because most countries have severe restrictions on travel and issuing fresh visas. As a result, companies in the U.S., U.K., EU, Singapore, Japan and Australia are forced to look outside their geographies for talent. India presents a rich talent pool with the required digital skills. This has resulted in global organizations hiring in India.
The shift from office to remote working has come as a pleasant surprise to many global players opening up unprecedented opportunities with borderless talent pools. This means that any organization keen to scale up can handpick the best leadership & teams from anywhere.
The pandemic took away almost one year from employees wanting to switch jobs, hence there is a sense of pent up aspirations. These aspirations have manifested themselves in the form of high intensity of new employment seeking by a large proportion of the workforce.
organizations can further dwell into specific reasons for their employee turnover by engaging external agencies to gather talent intelligence by conducting surveys with ex-employees.
3 Ways to reduce Employee Attrition
- Skill Competency mapping
In the current business scenario with workforces working remotely and project-based work becoming increasingly common, defining roles cleanly is crucial. Defining requirements for each role in terms of clear skills (technical attributes) and competencies (behavioral and managerial attributes), will enable a criteria based hiring process. The output of this step would be a Skill Competency Matrix against each role within the organization, with the required level clearly defined. Once all the skills and competencies have been identified, each employee should be assessed against these to arrive at the right level against each skill and competency. The output of this will clearly give the organization a clear view of internally available options for backfill, promotions and gaps to be filled via recruitment and / or training.
- Creating a matrix of critical roles
Organizations should focus on creating a matrix of roles and their criticality i.e. which role most definitely needs a backup and roles where if any attrition happens, there may not be a pressing need for employee retention / immediate backup. Based on this matrix, a retention move can be made with quick speed whenever a highly critical role is on the verge of exit. This can be a strategic framework to create both hiring and retention plans for any organization. The criticality could be a function of internal needs, market demand, availability of skill set internally and externally i.e. supply. The visibility of the internal talent pool (via point 1) will help employers tide over quickly with internally available options, for many positions where attrition poses a challenge.
- Correcting Compensation to market rates
A lot has changed as a result of the pandemic, and there is a high demand for tech/ digital talent across all fields. As such, employers may not be updated with the latest compensation trends, as they may have been blind sided to current market norms. Such instances require a compensation study to be carried out, to understand where their organization stands vis-à-vis the market, especially in context of the peer set of companies (peer set = companies that they hire from or lose talent to).
- Pre-emptive Hiring
If the market attrition rate for a ‘full stack developer’ is high, it is safe to assume that the organization will also experience the same rate of attrition. This knowledge of the prevalent attrition rate should drive an organization to preemptively hire for the skills sets which are critical and are seeing high attrition. This is where HR can guide the business to take contingency measures before the eventualities of attrition hits the organization. Managing talent pipelines effectively will ensure that the scramble for talent does not happen post the employee has exited. This should be done across all critical roles, especially for the mid level tech roles where the demand is the highest in the current market scenario.
Although there is a different turnover rate for every industry, we know that the tech talent acquisition battle has already begun. A high employee attrition rate can be costly, while also causing damage to an organization’s brand. It is critical to control employee attrition especially in the near future, and one can minimize its effect on business through a coherent talent acquisition strategy.