The U.S. Marines once used the slogan “All We Need is a Few Good Men” as a recruiting tool. As it relates to finding and keeping good employees, it seems that employers maybe asking themselves where to find a few good men and women in the months, years and decades to come.
If your company or your industry is not experiencing a shortage of good quality employees, then it is only a matter of time. If you are experiencing a shortage of staff, then you already know that it is getting harder and harder to find a suitable number of good job candidates.
The reasons for this are demographics and supply and demand. The baby boomers, as you know, have affected business in profound and unprecedented ways. And they are starting to retire. Enter Generation X, which to the corporate world will become known as the generation with big (or perhaps, many) shoes to fill. There just simply aren’t as many Xers as Boomers.
OK, I’m sure you know this already. It may already be affecting your business. Fewer than 20% of businesses in 2006 experienced no shortage of qualified job candidates. Market experts predict that 10 million North American jobs will be unfilled by 2010 and 40 million by 2015!
We are about to experience a landmark shift in how employers find employees and how employees find employers. Traditionally, the employer interviews the best candidates from all resumes submitted and of course hires the best interviewee. This process may soon be turned upside-down. To find good candidates, employers will need to look much harder to find them.
Furthermore, employees will interview potential employers and will choose the best company to meet their needs. And those needs are a lot different than the Boomers’ needs.
It used to be that savvy job-hunters would use an “interview the employer” strategy as the way to getting a good job and to “cut the line”, as it were, of the standard interview process. This will soon become the norm as Generation Xers increasingly realize that there are more jobs than workers. Xers are already approaching companies with a “what will you do for me attitude”. Because Xers will have an average of 10 jobs by the time they are 40 years old, they will seek to learn and grow from each position they hold. And companies that cannot provide such a developmental environment will not be able to compete for good quality staff.
Case-in-point: A global accounting firm hired us to provide team building to their recruiting candidates – before most of them had even accepted their jobs! The purpose of the team building experience was to demonstrate to their top candidates that their company was proactive about creating a strong team environment. It was clear that the company invested heavily to “strut their stuff” to attract the best employees. It is this kind of commitment that will allow companies to compete successfully in the increasingly competitive hiring market.
A 2006 Accenture survey of 250 companies found that the number one perceived threat to corporate profitability is an inability to retain talent. As an employer, your survival depends on your ability to attract and retain high quality employees. What might that look like? It will depend of course on your particular industry and situation, but here are a few suggestions:
· First of all, don’t expect employees to stay forever. Many organizations act in fear of losing staff and are unwilling to contribute to their career development, except as it directly pertains to their own bottom line.
· Be willing to train your employees in transferable job skills.
· Provide the best team environment in your industry. High-quality, well-planned team building experiences are highly underrated as an attractor to workers, especially Generation Xers.
· Provide career counseling. This is an excellent way to attract and retain talent!
· Conduct “on-boarding interviews” when employees are hired to determine why they chose to work at your company. It will help you highlight the attractive characteristics of your company in future interviews.
· Establish a work environment that provides work-life balance. Generation Xers will be less likely to work long hours, because someone will offer them a job where that is not expected.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but a starting point. If all you need is a few good men and women, then make sure you can attract them.
The next step…Be strategic about attracting great employees by creating an environment that they will want to work in. Create programs that meet the needs of the new generation of workers. Here is how we can help.
The team building programs that we offer have been built solely for use with corporate teams and specifically designed to enhance interpersonal relationships through positive shared experiences.
Some of our most popular programs include:
Here is where you can learn more about our programs: