Are You An Employer of Choice for Today’s Employee-Driven Market?

Being aware of some of the workforce trends allows you to be responsive. Many clients of mine are from the healthcare industry, so let’s start there. Healthcare and the tech industry are the two areas with the greatest shortage of talent, and this will only exponentially grow in the years ahead.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t have gaps elsewhere. Many of my hospitality clients also experience large turnover in staff and retaining your best people is an incredible challenge. Sure, you can replace people, but do you replace them easily with the right people? To speak nothing of the high costs of orientation and training.

Remaining an employer of choice is an essential focus for you in 2019.   there to be a dramatic shift in the abundance of talent and that this shortage will remain across industries, so being a great place to work is still your best way to retain and attract talent away from the competition.  It’s similar to real estate – there’s buyers’ markets and sellers’ markets. Right now, it’s an employees’ market, not an employers’ market.

Some of my clients don’t like this so don’t address it. Like it or not, you’re already experiencing the pain from it.

When you do, the talent shortage can actually good news for you. You’re the organization who cares, who works at being a great place to work, who values and recognizes your people every day. It is okay for it to be an employees’ market because, actually, it means that people are savvier. They’re more selective. And you’re more likely to recruit them away from the competition who don’t love up and care about their people. Who are still caught up in old notions that “you’re lucky to have a job”. True, and they can get a job elsewhere; it’s time to accept this reality.

Where the Biggest Talent Gaps Exist

So how worried should you be? Well, there are some key positions that are on the rise and if you need them in your organization, workforce planning needs to be a priority. The top shortages in 2018  with the steadiest increases include:

1. Fulfillment Associates

As we continue to see more online shopping, this is not going to go away anytime soon. I’d love to have a fulfillment associate for every time somebody buys something from my store. I get how valuable these people are.

2. Machine Learning Engineer

These are people who know artificial intelligence. It’s only getting more sophisticated, and we’re seeing it everywhere now. If you’ve got kids, direct them into one of these areas.

3. Family Doctors

If you speak with physicians, some will tell you that there is a surplus of doctors and that there’s no shortage. But family physicians specifically, and in some parts of the country, are in short supply, and our aging demographic will only heighten the gap. Add to this that more recent grads work of hours of previous generations, it’s also a work-life balance that doctors are craving like everyone else.

4. Manufacturing Technician

Given how many products and services continually need to be serviced, we are creating products that stay in the marketplace longer, and so we need people to be able to fix and repair those products.

5. Technical Recruiter

In this tech field, given that there is such a shortage, one of the most coveted roles that we have is somebody who can be a recruiter finding some of those amazing tech people.

Responding to Talent Shortages and an Employee-Driven Job Market

So what do you do to remain an employer of choice and retain great people? Here are five things that I know will help to keep and attract top talent.

1. Compensation Strategy

Do you simply pay people what you can get by, or do you, in fact, have the intention of being one of the top payers in your sector?

This is particularly important when people make under $50,000 a year. A fulfillment associate, for example, would likely make the leap from another organization to you if you are paying in the top 25% of your sector. As soon as people make over $50,000 a year, the culture, their colleagues, and other variables rise. If you are in the bottom percentage, people will feel frustrated, resentful, and may not take a promotion if it doesn’t seem like it’s going to make a big difference in their paycheck.

2. Long-term Career Options

I was speaking with somebody just the other day about how he continues to put forward more and more discretionary effort because he knows there’s growth potential in his company. Are there opportunities for people to move around and do interesting, meaningful work?

3. Sense of Ownership

How much are people able to have a sense of ownership? And ownership can be conceptual, as well as literal. When we talk about ownership, this is people feeling like they have a sense of control and that they can impact the work. For example, a product has a defect, and they bring forward ideas about how to make that better and that’s valued and heard. If people see there’s a piece of garbage on the floor, they pick it up, and they will put it away because they feel a sense of ownership.  They treat their workplace like it is their own family, their own clients, their own living room. There’s a sense of ownership.

If you’re in the for-profit sector and there is actually an opportunity for employees to own a part of the company, that makes a tremendous difference in their commitment to the long-term success of it.

4. Recognition

Be sure your people feel valued and appreciated for their unique greatness. Are they able to bring their talents, passions, and virtues, and when they do, are they appreciated? It all comes back to people doing meaningful work, that they’re valued, they’re appreciated, and that they have options.

Looking to create your own strategy to address the shortages you’re seeing your workplace? Happy to share a few additional ideas. Jump into my calendar here for a 15-minute culture consult. 

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

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