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Workplace dynamics have significantly changed in the last few years. Employers have been forced to respond to increasing worker demands for workplace flexibility, well-being initiatives and inclusive cultures. In addition, workers are becoming more vocal about management styles they are no longer willing to tolerate. This has resulted in many employers continuing to struggle to attract and retain talent. To address these struggles, many organizations have started altering their approach to workforce attraction and retention.
This article discusses current recruitment and retention trends and provides several strategies employers are using to help address and overcome such struggles.
Recruitment and Retention Struggles Continue
Employers continue to grapple with recruitment and retention struggles due in large part to changing employee preferences. According to a recent study by Willis Towers Watson, 83% of employers reported difficulty attracting employees, while 74% reported difficulty retaining employees. These are the highest figures in the past 12 years. Many organizations are still dealing with the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which reshaped workers’ expectations, including where and when they work. This has forced many organizations to adapt their recruitment strategies.
Moreover, the tight labor market increased competition among employers for key talent, pressuring organizations to offer attractive compensation and benefits packages. Despite these efforts, nearly 75% of employers are experiencing talent shortages and difficulty hiring, according to a 2023 survey by global workforce solutions company ManpowerGroup. As these trends persist, employers’ recruitment and retention struggles continue. This is forcing employers to develop new and innovative approaches to address these challenges.
Employees Are More Selective in Where They’re Willing to Work
Workplace environments and management approaches are impacting where employees choose to work, according to a recent survey by online employment solution company Monster. The survey results revealed that certain employment practices and behaviors create anxious or negative feelings among employees, which employees consider red flags. The survey also found that the biggest employee concern is being micromanaged by supervisors and managers. Other red flags included:
- Excessive meetings
- Inflexible work hours
- Team bonding exercises or out-of-office events
- Mandatory assignments during the interview process
- Inability to negotiate benefits
Awareness of these concerns can allow employers to evaluate whether any red flags are present in their organizations and make necessary changes to improve their recruitment and retention efforts.
Strategies to Address Recruitment and Retention Struggles
Due to these ongoing struggles, many employers are responding with multiple strategies as well as focusing on emotional intelligence in their attraction and retention efforts. This is leading many organizations to shift to taking a holistic approach to attracting and retaining workers by focusing on customizable benefits, positive work environments and meaningful work assignments and duties.
Employers can consider the following strategies as they respond to their ongoing recruitment and retention struggles:
- Prioritize onboarding. Employees who go through a structured onboarding are 58% more likely to remain with the organization after three years, according to a study by the Wynhurst Group. By including onboarding in an organization’s overall engagement and retention strategy, employers can better communicate their values, foster a positive relationship and communicate expectations to set employees up for success. Onboarding is also an opportunity to educate employees on the full range of available benefits, ensuring that employees are aware of all the benefits available to them.
- Create meaningful connections. Making sure employees have meaningful workplace connections can help employees feel supported and valued. It also tends to increase workers’ loyalty and commitment to an organization. Employers can do this when new employees join the organization by assigning mentors, scheduling regular check-ins and organizing team-building activities.
- Utilize employee engagement surveys. Employee feedback can be a valuable resource for employers to understand their workforce. Surveys can uncover underlying issues, such as decreased productivity or high turnover rates, and create actionable change that drives progress within an organization. Employers who effectively utilize employee surveys may see many benefits, such as increased employee engagement, job satisfaction and retention.
- Train managers and supervisors. Managers can significantly impact employee engagement, job satisfaction and productivity, and retention. When managers lack important interpersonal skills or emotional intelligence, they can contribute to high rates of turnover. Organizations can train managers to have strong interpersonal skills (e.g., connection, honesty, respect and communication) so they can better recognize and respond to employee needs.
- Improve workplace culture. Toxic workplace culture is the top reason employees quit their jobs, according to a recent survey by employment website FlexJobs. When employees feel overworked and underappreciated, they’re more likely to look for new opportunities. Employers can create a positive and healthy workplace culture by promoting mental health and well-being and fostering open and transparent communication.
Employers who successfully address the reasons employees choose not to accept job offers or quit their jobs will likely experience less time to fill open roles and reduced employee turnover rates. This can help organizations reduce hiring costs, improve employee morale, and give a competitive advantage over similar organizations that are unable to address their ongoing recruitment and retention challenges.
For more workplace resources, contact RISQ Consulting today.