Sourcing and Retaining Skilled Talent

Timothy Parent
Timothy Parent
November 1, 2021


The Great Resignation, The Great Realignment, The Great Reshuffle… Regardless of what it's called, it represents the same thing: a radical paradigm shift in the job market. 


A poll from Monster shows that 95% of workers are at least contemplating a job change. There are many reasons people are leaving their jobs, but it is less productive to dwell on why people are leaving than to understand how to source and retain talent in this challenging new environment.


According to People Keep, it costs 100-150% of an employee’s salary to hire someone for a technical position, while it could cost up to 213% of an employee’s salary for a C-Suite position; but it isn’t just recruiting, onboarding, and training costs but also the lost productivity and engagement, customer service and errors, and the cultural impact on your organization that really threatens companies with high employee turnovers.


Employees have had adequate time to pause and prioritize what is truly important to them, and these three factors seem to be the most important to skilled workers: flexibility, benefits, and values.


FLEXIBILITY: Flexibility means a choice to work from home part-time or full-time, as well as flexible hours. According to McKinsey, 30% of workers are likely to switch jobs if their employer doesn’t offer remote work as an option. Employees love living where they want to, not having to commute, spending more time with family, and the deep work they are able to do without being distracted in an office setting.


BENEFITS: Traditional benefits are no longer enough, especially when multiple generations of American workers are straddled with student loan debt. Taking advantage of the tax-free loan contributions of up to $5250 until the end of 2025 will help attract college-educated talent that have massive amounts of student loans to pay back.


Another great benefit to offer is a Health Savings Account (HSA), especially since it offers a triple tax advantage: contributions are tax-deductible, growth is tax-free, and distributions are tax-free for qualified expenses. Unfortunately, only 9% of Americans currently invest their HSA accounts, but as MarketWatch notes “Your HSA is not a savings account, it’s an investment account.” And even if you already offer such benefits, employees may not see the actual value in them unless they know how to fully take advantage… A simple email can help employees unlock the full value of their benefits while also helping employers retain said employees.


Additionally, paid family leave and childcare, wellness stipends for physical and mental health, and unlimited PTO are seen as valuable benefits that also show that a company genuinely trusts and cares about their employees.


VALUES: According to the Harvard Business Review, managers and employees both want to work for a company that prioritizes diversity, and 86% of employees believe diversity will become even more important as company requirements change over time. For Gen Z and Millennials, working in a diverse and inclusive workplace is not a preference... It's a requirement.


In addition to DEIB, prospective employees are also considering the values of the business and the nature of the work itself. According to a survey of more than 14,000 people in 9 countries, the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) found that over half of the respondents said that they left their jobs because they either wanted to find more purposeful, meaningful work or they wanted to work for a company that better fits their values.


Companies should thereby consider alternative methods to finding the right talent, but that is just half the battle. Internal marketing and communications should be central to any company that is willing to adapt in order to source and retain talent. If a company is going to offer or already does offer flexibility and benefits that matter, then these resources must be communicated clearly with employees. If a company is living its values and investing in finding more diverse, skilled workers to add to the team, that should also be communicated because it’s something that employees care about.


It is fundamental that executives and HR departments start to create the kind of company that a more thoughtful and empowered employee will want to work for. As the landscape changes, companies that adapt and empower will be the ones that are able to source and retain. (edited) 


Photo by Emmy E from Pexels

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