where has all the talent gone? | Blue Sky

where has all the talent gone?

The Good Ol’ Days

It seems like only yesterday all those young fresh faces were lined up around the corner, CVs in hand, hoping to get a chance to work for your organisation.

It was a hirer’s market.

A simpler time, when you could dictate to your staff, and they would merely obey for fear of losing their jobs. 

Fast forward 20 years, and it is an entirely different image. Many things have changed the landscape we find ourselves in, from the economic crisis, science “fictionesque” advancements in technology and AI, to the demand for flexible working and work-life balance, not to mention transformations around equality and inclusivity.  

For bosses from the old world, this is a logistical and legal minefield.

74% of the workforce is open to making a job move. (Source: Jobvite)

It is becoming increasingly difficult to fill positions – 65% of recruiters claim talent shortage is the most significant challenge in hiring. (Source: Jobvite)


The cost of the war on talent

With an ever-increasing ageing population, especially with subject matter expertise, organisations should be concerned about what next. How will they attract the engineers and software programmers of the future?  

What worked before won’t work now. 

Competition for talent is fierce…some have even gone so far as to call it a “war” with large organisations poaching the best people from their rivals. Time and money haemorrhage from an organisation when talent walks. The loss of expertise is substantial and the time it takes to fills positions is growing longer and longer.

Eight months is the approximate time it takes for a new employee to reach full productivity. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

The average time it takes to fill a given position is 42 days. (Source: 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking Report, Society for Human Resources Management)

Andy Issott wrote an article detailing the cost of finding a new employee. He has a fancy formula to help figure it out (check it out here https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/true-costs-hiring-uk/). 

On average an organisation can expect a cost per hire to be around £50,000 and then you still must get them upskilled and performing at BAU which takes on average around eight months…being very optimistic and depending on the level of skills required! 

That is a lot of downtime and money that most cannot afford now.


So, what are top talent looking for?

82% of professional’s state that “culture is a potential competitive advantage”. (Source: Deloitte University Press)

The answer is both simple and complex. There are numerous variables at play, especially when it comes to attracting top talent, but one of the primary variables of attraction and retention is an organisations culture.

We’ve all heard the stories about Facebook, Google, Apple…at first, they seemed a bit “hokey” and far-fetched. Something dreamt up by a millennial! What could they possibly know? They only just got out of nappies? Foosball tables, hanging chairs, indoor gardens and ergonomic meeting pods all felt a bit out of touch with the average organisations reality. How can you possibly allow so much personal freedom when there are clear deadlines and KPIs to meet?

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a meditation corner to create a culture that attracts and retains talent. It boils down to the mindset, capability and practices of your leadership team.

There are nine key things that leaders do to create and sustain a culture that inspires and engages their employees…making advocates of them all!

  1. Engage People in the “why?”, be curious, listen
  2. Visibly Demonstrate Actions that show commitment to the vision/strategy
  3. Create a culture of permission and empower your people to shine
  4. Clear the path and create space for the changes you are asking your people to make
  5. Get rid of barriers and silos to create a collaborative working environment
  6. Create accountability with yourself and your teams
  7. Stop focussing on metrics that don’t matter
  8. Create an environment of positive critique
  9. Share your story about what good looks like

38% of hirers ranked a “fun, engaging, company culture” as the most attractive quality of a business. [Click to Tweet] While this parameter is loose, a possible suggestion for promoting the culture of a workplace involves familiarity among your employees, seek to build a community among your employees. (Source: MRInetwork)


Social media…friend or foe?

In a day and age where everyone has a digital voice, it is even more critical for organisations to strive for a culture that nurtures and encourages the growth of its people as well as its bottom line. We’ve all done it…typed in a company name to see what people think of its CEO, working environment or rewards scheme, and that is precisely what those who are hunting for a new work home are doing.

The average job seeker reads at least six reviews in the process of forming an opinion on a company. (Source: Glassdoor)

What would they read about your organisation? What are your employees saying about the place they work? What are you going to do about it if it’s detrimental?


To change or not to change?

93% say that they recognise the need to make a change, or are already changing, their strategy for attracting and retaining talent. But there’s still an enormous gulf between intention and action; a staggering 61% of CEOs haven’t yet taken the first step. (Source: CEO Survey by PWC) 

Recently I went to my doctor, turned out I had an infection. Had I left it longer things would not have turned out as well as they did. 

The point is, we all know when there is a problem…even if it’s just a niggle. There are two choices; you can acknowledge and consciously make a choice and take action to change, or you can ignore it and allow things to deteriorate beyond repair.  As we should all recognise by now nothing stays the same, change is our only constant. 

The question is will you proactively manage that change or bury your head in the sand and let it all fall apart around you?

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