How Leaders Should Recruit And Retain Talent During 2022

The “Great Resignation” is a term that defines what a lot of the market is expecting in the coming months as companies and employees transition back to the workplace. It seems almost daunting at times, especially for business leaders and their partners in Human Resources who are actively discussing the variables and making plans for their version of back-to-the-workplace.  

With over 25 years of organizational leadership experience, Buck Rogers, Vice president of Keystone Partners’ North Carolina office, outlines the concerns and metrics leaders can look into to recruit and keep talent amid the pandemic.  

“This “Great Resignation” movement may or may not happen, but the concern is valid and merits exploration. The variables being discussed are a factor in the current labor market, so we need to take them seriously to not only understand what a company can do to attract talent but also what a company can do to retain its employees.”

“Whether a company is impacted by some major wave of resignations will depend on each organization’s ability to acknowledge and address the concerns of their employees. Leaders need to articulate a compelling vision of the future and inform employees of the plan to reach it, including their role in achieving success. Proactive leaders who get out in front, engage employees, and lead towards a clear and common vision will be able to limit a potential wave of high turnover.”

All organizations, especially those that underdeliver on clear, consistent communication, must consider the impact of four factors that may influence an employee’s decision to resign or not. Here are the top four factors Buck recommends looking into as employers navigate a potential “Great Resignation” into the fall: 


We’re fine working remotely

The pandemic forced us to transition quickly and find ways to get the job done in our remote work-from-home (WFH) environment. Both employers and employees learned over the past 18 months that most roles are successfully conducted remotely. Employees are also enjoying other benefits of WFH, like eliminating their commutes and having the flexibility to spend more time with their families. One survey recently found that 1 in 3 employees will quit if their WFH situations end. Leaders should be careful to articulate their rationale for transitioning back to any in-person setting in ways that show a true need and benefit not only to the company but also to each employee. The continuing uneasiness and changes in recommendations for health protocols add to this challenge. Employees always want leaders they can trust, and part of building and maintaining trust is providing the underlying logic to significant changes in work environments, such as any move back to the office.   

Look at all the open jobs

The fact is that there are indeed a lot of jobs open right now. We continue to see at or above 10 million active job openings according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who are knowledgeable in how to navigate this job market, will by nature, keep an observant eye on what opportunities align with their experience and career goals. The constant news coverage about the high volume of the open positions, and tactics that employers are using to attract talent, like higher pay and WFH flexibility, compels employees to at least see what else is out there. Leaders have an opportunity to directly impact if and how the “Great Resignation” will affect their organizations. Strategic leaders will look at these market variables and attack. They’ll seize the opportunity to go out and proactively hunt for the people they need or may need in the future. This action serves two purposes. First, aggressively backfilling and even overstaffing key roles minimizes the effect of any resignations that are realized. In addition, this gives a company room for growth, either in over productivity growth by additional staff, or by offering current talent opportunities to upskill and strengthen their positions in the company. 

But what is the economy really like right now? 

Threatening to quit if a company demands employees come back to the office is easy to do, but is it smart? Of course, people think about leaving when faced with a change they disagree with, but not everyone is in a position where they will step out and act upon it. Many job seekers are still unsure about the market, current and future variants of COVID, their own stability in this market, and the stability of any company that may be hiring. Adding to instability concerns is the rise in reports of employee exhaustion and burnout resulting from the challenges everyone has faced over the past 18 months. Adding all these concerns to the fact that most people have a sense of loyalty to their companies, teammates, and mission means many people would rather stay than leave. Leaders can significantly lower the risk of resignations by leading in a way that brings people together, valuing individuals, and working as a team to achieve common goals toward a shared vision of success not only for the company but also for employees’ individual careers. 

How does compensation measure up? 

Let’s face it, loyal or not, people are highly sensitive to how their compensation and benefits measure up against the industry and competitors. Nothing triggers a job search quicker for an employee than finding out the new hire who started last week, with less experience, is making a considerable amount more. Recruiters, managers, and even HR staff unintentionally share compensation information that they shouldn’t – money matters, and increasingly so do benefits; perhaps not surprisingly, WFH flexibility is now a highly-valued benefit. Leaders must address this concern head-on and across the organization. Suppose compensation is raised to attract talent in this market. In that case, HR needs to assess the compensation of existing staff to ensure that they stay within target ranges for their experience and performance.  

Clearly, the pandemic has presented Human Resources with new challenges. However, buck notes, “Anytime there are challenges, there are opportunities for leaders to set themselves apart and lead strongly with a clear vision for the future. The leaders who acknowledge and proactively address the many concerns expressed by employees today will be the leaders to lead their organizations forward with limited impact of any “Great Resignation” or increased employee turnover in the market.”

The Tycoon Herald