Updated: May 19
The situation : Over 38 million workers quit their jobs in 2021, causing a labor shortage that’s giving workers more leverage than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.4 million employees quit their jobs in February of this year alone.
(Courtesy: Forbes article by Dr Bryan Robinson dated 03 May 22).
Currently corporate houses and business are reporting huge deficit in offer to join ratios including certain start ups. This is draining huge amount of recruitment cost for organizations.
The Challenge: If we highlight some challenges faced by organizations with respect to human capital management in current scenario it would be :
Talent drain : Talent drain across all levels of organizational levels low, middle and higher management due to VUCA environment manifested by COVID pandemic and technological transformation, digital ,IoT and AI adoption and mass movement of manpower resulting from labor migrations and white collar relocations due to hybrid and work from home adoptions. This dynamic scenarios also resulted in challenges to SOPs ,Standing Orders and processes with special attention to labor laws , compensation and benefits. Talent drain also gets aggravated by poor work culture and compensations .Workers are quitting predominantly due to a toxic work culture, lower wages. and when not able to do remote working besides some other factors.
Deficiency of niche skillsets: The new age digital transformation has also resulted in several new skills which are rare in the market or just being brought to mainstream by training and relevant work experience, These skills also require upskilling of various business processes like sales, marketing ,HR and production. The cascading effect has caused a vacuum in availability of niche skills for the technology transformations in organizations.
The Stop gap approach : Organizations today over focus on salary and bench marking of compensation due to unexpected talent loss . Since employees are jumping jobs having offer letters and pay hikes the situation today is transparent and open. The stop gap and tentative approach has resulted in teams and groups with huge mismatch of talent ,experience with wide variations in compensation and benefits .
This has resulting in tentative management interventions which is akin to - FIRE FIGHTING
by luring critical talent with a box of hefty pay packages, lowering engagement levels of employees who have been bypassed for promotion or perks and salary.
The Outcome : The outcome of all the above is showing in form of frustration at leadership levels and also with the HR , recruitment and talent management functions getting under stress to fulfill vacant positions and consistently maintaining the human capital at adequacy levels with no loss of niche skillsets. Team dysfunctions, leadership crisis and poor work culture are the byproducts of such interventions.
The 6 point solution :Our perceived obsession to salary and monetary emoluments may need a relook. On one side this looks and is true, on the other side there could be alternate solutions! Some areas that could require focus are as given below:-
Assessments/recruitment : Assessments are used for hiring mid to senior level professionals barring a few organizations but seldom used at entry levels . Basic open source career driver and personality assessments could be used at no cost basis for understanding drives of individuals being recruited at grass root levels for niche skills. Use advanced personality assessments (type and trait ) by judicious investments for hiring critical positions. Look beyond technical rounds of interview .HR could Train technical leaders to recruit by behavioral event interviews (BEI).
Succession planning : Succession planning is an overlooked affair when it comes to middle and lower management. We only get focus for succession planning at leadership levels. A carefully planning succession saves huge amount of hiring costs. Succession planning should have blueprint of people who will be employed for higher roles across spectrums. Job rotation and training can augment succession planning.
Promote your culture : Majority of the hires want to know about how they would be treated in their future organization. Making them feel at home in the first connection and creating awareness of the rich culture of the organization results in acquisition and retention of better candidates for a job. The recruiter is the first face of organizational culture.
Career progression :A Job offer should lead to huge opportunities for growth and expansion of career. This could be explained in the final round of the selection process.
Learning : Offer the scope and depth of learning available in the job role to the candidate ,to include benefits from non cognitive learning or experience generating to leadership development and social learning.
Training : Consistent training on new skills in the market is the need of the hour. This will involve ,market awareness, creating a learning culture, and creating a structure around teams to have an internal training mechanisms and be prepared for talent back up rather than depending on HR , and L&D to micromanage learning at lower levels.
A interventional model is reactive ,hence a quick fix of increasing salary for demanding employees threatening to job hop would result not only in disproportionate cost utilization but also cause dent in the moral fabric of merit based performance systems .
The negative practice is likely to deteriorate work culture, and cause dysfunctional teams due to disgruntled employees usually senior employees who will end up with a team of subordinates with higher pay just because they had a niche skillset discounting experience and leadership which have to be quantified into performance matrix and connected to Comp and Bens. Such practices also question the authority and authenticity of benchmarking of wages, and efficacy of Compa- ratios which are key to developing a salary structure. A good practice of simultaneously raising pay of superiors is seen in practice in some firms but this may not be scalable to large organizations.
Would love to hear your comments and experiences.