Javier García
IOS Offices
Expert Contributor

2022: The Race for Talent

By Javier García Iza | Tue, 09/07/2021 - 14:59

The economies of Mexico and the United States are forecast to grow an estimated 6 percent in 2021 as a result of all the efforts that emerged from COVID-19, along with the digital and technological boom that came out of it. New ways of managing work-life balance took shape, which led to the realization that this is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

Historically, companies have competed to attract the best talent; however, a new stage has been set. A stage in which companies have to adapt to the existing demand of individuals searching for a personal and professional balance by incorporating into their DNA practices related to wellness, development, inclusivity and happiness. Now, they have to compete by being a place where people can be their most productive selves, and most importantly, where they want to go to work (nowadays, former employees in the US continue to receive unemployment insurance, reducing job search and creating a labor shortage that is having a huge impact on the country’s economy).

However, in this effort to stand out, organizations tend to fall under the same mistakes in their recruitment and retention processes, leading to a necessary readjustment through the creation and construction of a love brand; a mixture of monetary and emotional benefits.

One of a company’s most outstanding expenses are its employees. According to a report conducted by research and polling company Gallup, the estimated cost of unhappy workers in the US is between US$450 billion and US$500 billion per year; meaning that only 15 percent of the world’s workers (1 billion) reported to be engaged at work. In many cases, the primary cause of employee turnover is dissatisfaction, which can lead their productivity to take a turn for the worse. According to Daniel Cable, one of the world’s most influential scholars, the main reason for this prevalent discontent is the misinterpretation that most companies make by creating systems and work environments that fail to recognize the human biological needs in the workplace, making reference to Maslow's Hierarchy of needs.

That’s why companies that allow their employees to be creative and provide an environment where they can develop their skills and achieve self-fulfillment have higher satisfaction rates. In contrast, companies that don’t attend these needs have a higher probability that their employees might leave their job if offered a compensation that’s even 10% higher than their current salary, even though salary can’t buy satisfaction. This is a call to action for companies because they could lose valuable staff to competitors in a blink of an eye. 

We tend to believe that companies are the ones interviewing candidates but it is now a bidirectional relationship where companies interview candidates and vice versa. The pandemic has taught applicants that they can choose where ­— and how­ — they want to work. As a result, candidates also interview the company that best matches their needs. The situation is very similar if compared to the acquisition of a product or a service: what are those value-added concepts that will make a buyer choose to purchase one brand upon another? Well, the same thing happens in this scenario: What does a company have to offer to a candidate that will differentiate them from another? What do they need to win the race for talent?

The winning formula can be summarized in the following three key aspects:

  1. Companies must create a love brand that makes them unique by incorporating into their culture self-realization practices, so individuals will be passionate and excited about being hired there.
  2. To make sure they provide the best recruiting experience for candidates. Change, adapt, or innovate recruitment processes; make it friendly, fulfilling and rewarding.
  3. And finally: talent retention. To hold onto their staff by creating an environment where employees can experience the company’s magic.

In order to build a love brand, organizations must identify the needs and drivers that will help a person achieve happiness in the workplace. A survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group and SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), revealed that the most important satisfaction factor for employees is their potential for growth. It is essential for companies to revisit their development programs and make sure that they are aligned with their employees’ career-path expectations. Another important aspect that stood out was having a good work-life balance; therefore, it is vital for leaders to provide this balance to promote a stress-free workplace and prevent burnout. Lastly, some other essential aspects were work appreciation, creating good relationships with colleagues and superiors, job security and wage satisfaction (offering a competitive salary according to experience and skills). 

Having a love brand is a great way to generate candidate referrals from your current staff; word-of-mouth is one of the most successful tools to find culture-suitable candidates for a specific position – or even to find a possible stakeholder. Also, employees’ referrals have a higher HR conversion rate – an indicator that provides insights between the candidates who were offered the job and those who accept it. The company’s efforts should aim to increase referrals by offering an attractive position, allowing an end-to-end enjoyable recruiting process for candidates and managing to retain them.

On the other hand, providing a standout recruiting experience is crucial to initiate a positive relationship with the candidate since it is their first approach with the company. According to IBM, candidates who are satisfied with their hiring experience are more inclined to accept the offer and it also maintains and enhances the love brand. Providing a positive candidate experience is a tool to increase the organization’s hiring rate and quality of hire.

And finally, talent retention is essential to a company’s overall success and efficiency, leading to a decrease in staff turnover, less acquisition and training time invested, an overall increase in productivity, and a larger number of happy customers. This, in return, translates to a higher organizational profitability and reduced costs.

Nowadays, to create a love brand, to find the best talent – and to retain it – is a great challenge but having a clear strategy to achieve it makes winning the race so much easier. That is why since the beginning of IOS OFFICES, we’ve taken a human approach aimed to help the community that surrounds us. Each of our employees has the opportunity to contribute, be heard, live by our values and grow. We also pay special attention to our candidates’ hiring experience and onboarding processes. We make sure they have all the tools to develop their skills by being a platform to help them achieve and accomplish their personal and professional goals.

You know what they say, if you want different results, you have to think and do things differently. It’s time to take a look at your company’s values, to deconstruct and rearrange older processes and practices. It’s time to create a love brand, retain your star employees and achieve the best of successes. Are you willing to change? Are you ready to win the race?

Photo by:   Javier García Iza