Talent Acquisition postTalent acquisition and retention has changed markedly over the last 15 years due to globalization and technology. As both companies and employees emerge from the 2008 recession and the painful recovery, the changes are becoming more apparent, and workers may have the advantage due to smaller pools of candidates. Attracting and retaining high quality employees will require more than competitive salary and benefits package. Workers increasingly look for more in a job than simply a paycheck. They want meaningful work. A recent article in Forbes found that:

” ‘Employees want to feel valued,’ Haefner says. ‘They want to be compensated well; they want to be challenged; they want to contribute to something meaningful; and they want to have a good work-life balance.’ ”

Here are some observations of the emerging changes:

Employee engagement is a buzzword gaining traction. Employee engagement programs encompass career development, management practices, and recognition and are increasing in importance. If workers spend more time at a job than with their families, they want to know that what they are doing matters. Employees are also looking for flexible schedules.

Demographic changes. Not only will a better economic situation and changing attitudes toward work affect hiring professionals, but changes in the makeup of the workforce may signal shifts ahead. Demographic changes may produce a talent crunch in a few years as baby boomers retire over the next decade and there are fewer Generation X-ers to replace them in leadership roles. Millennials, battered by the 2008 recession, may be less prone to loyalty, but work-life balance seems to be a priority for the early 30s and under crowd.

Shifting towards employee “potential.” Rather than focusing on an employee’s current skill set or past experience, and more nuanced evaluation of potential abilities may be emerging. A fascinating article in the Harvard Business Review argues that we have transcended competency and even intellect in the search for talent. It is the potential of the professional, and their emotional intelligence, that is the future of talent acquisition and retention.

Shortage of skilled workers. A recent survey by McKinsey speculates that highly skilled workers, particularly in STEM, will be scarce in a few short years. This article from Business Insider highlights the concern:

“An intensifying global war for talent means that there will be as much as an 18 million worker shortfall in the world’s richest countries. They’ll be producing too few of the workers businesses really need, and too many with only high school or vocational training. ”

The question of talent is an unassailable aspect of corporate success. Behind all the numbers, projections, and stock prices are the people who make those results possible. According to a recent survey, 52% of employers named finding and retaining top talent as one of their chief concerns. How will you address the changes?

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