The work world is in the midst of a transformation. What was true yesterday may no longer apply today. Employers, how do you set yourselves apart?
Long before the pandemic, recruiting and retaining skilled resources was one of the biggest concerns of organizations. In fact, in a Léger survey conducted in April 2019 on behalf of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, more than 60% of small- and medium-size business leaders said that labour issues were the biggest challenge for the next three years.
Fall 2020: The labour market landscape has changed significantly as a result of the pandemic. While there is a better balance between supply and demand in certain industries, including sales, human resources, engineering, and marketing and communications, the issue is still as important in others.
While the lack of skilled resources was already a problem before the pandemic, there is a marked need in the following areas:
- Accounting and finance (technician, analyst, assistant controller, controller, manager);
- Information technology;
- Health and social services;
- Skilled trades (manufacturing and construction industry).
Listening to employees’ needs
Organizations actively seeking resources must now deal with a new reality where the requirements of potential candidates have evolved.
The reality for workers in the manufacturing and retail industries has changed mainly due to the implementation of health and safety measures for employees, but the scenario is entirely different for clerical and professional workers.
According to the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, 67.1% of employees were working remotely last June. There is no indication that this trend is slowing down: telework is here to stay for a large majority of professionals.
Not so long ago, telework was on the list of benefits that some employers were willing to offer to those who requested it. So how can you stand out as an employer if telework has become a way of life?
The watchword: listen to the needs of professional workers and adapt to their new requirements. The work world has undergone a transformation in recent months, and priorities are no longer necessarily the same for everyone. As an employer, ask yourself about your level of attraction and differentiation based on the following:
Some employees enjoy teleworking while others find it stressful. The trend to telework is still prevalent, but in the longer term the situation will be more of a 25-25-50 split, with 25% of employees teleworking full time, 25% in the office, and 50% in a hybrid arrangement with a mix of working remotely and in the office;
Managers, watch out for repeated interruptions and micromanagement. Know how to trust your employees. It can be tempting to ensure that your employees who work from home are actually working by providing multiple directive communications, but these can quickly become very irritating and a source of frustration;
A work environment and corporate culture based on accountability foster employee engagement and, therefore, results. Create a work climate that is based on performance or achievement of goals, not on “how”. Focus on the achievement of goals rather than physical presence in the office or number of hours “online”;
Employer brand and employee experience
Consistency between employee and organizational values can make a difference, especially in the wake of major upheavals. Individual priorities have changed. What about the organization’s? Is work-family balance a core value that you believe in?
The Baby Boomer, X, Y, and Z generations are all in the workplace together – can you provide a stimulating environment where everyone can achieve their potential without penalizing others? Teaming up with employees from different generations can be very rewarding, but it can also be challenging – employees at the end of their careers and new recruits don’t have the same needs;
Human nature being what it is, when boredom sets in, people look for ways to remedy it… like changing jobs. Opportunities for advancement within an organization can therefore be a decisive factor. Knowing how to recognize a candidate’s or employee’s potential can generate opportunities and, as a result, help you retain your resources, in addition to motivating them to evolve professionally;
Overall remuneration and benefits
Salary, benefits and other conditions certainly remain key factors to be considered overall. Some people are willing to accept a lower salary if they find the hours or other benefits more suitable. Being sensitive to expectations can lead to win-win solutions for everyone.
Better work-life balance, alternative working hours, integration of technologies, redesigned processes and, of course, new health measures are just a few examples of the changes brought about by the pandemic. As an employer, you cannot ignore this new normal. To retain your recruiting competitive advantage, you must focus on employee needs first, rather than those traditionally defined by the organization.
A crisis can lead an organization to question its organizational culture, rethink certain policies that are no longer in line with the new reality and re-evaluate the organizational ecosystem.
This article was written in collaboration with Huguette Boulanger.
17 Sep 2020 | Written by :