For employers and recruiters still smarting from the trials of 2021’s Great Resignation, the prospect of filling jobs in the New Year might be more than a little anxiety inducing. From overworked teams and unfilled jobs to high turnover and frequent ghosting, employing and retaining talent became a bruising contact sport. It was a competition full of injuries and short on wins. Does 2022 promise more of the same?
Based on job growth data, increased consumer spending, and the prospect of more events, travel, and vacations in 2022, plenty of experts believe employers should plan for a marketplace of candidates who continue to have many opportunities and high expectations. Does that mean planning for a frustrating year of hiring and retention struggles? No, it means taking the best talent lessons that this difficult year produced and crafting a highly creative approach to engaging and employing talent.
Embrace the Reinvention Trend
For talent acquisition teams anxious about returning to the recruiting game, here are five lessons in creative job fulfillment learned by Employment Enterprises during 2021’s Great (and terrible) Resignation. Put them to use or let them inspire creativity and audacity in your own talent engagement and employment efforts. Whichever way you choose, remember that the same spirit of reinvention people have applied to their career paths this past year can be leveraged to build a more effective recruiting strategy.
1. Source Like a Hipster: Go Local
The locally sourced consumer trend is an example of the kind of community loyalty and recognition that employers can tap into to engage and find talent. Every local community has organizations, clubs, and associations that attract engaged community members, such as:
- Local and small business associations
- Chambers of Commerce
- Universities, colleges, and community colleges
- Charitable and nonprofit organizations
By supporting and/or advertising through the community, a business engages talent at a more personal level. At a time when people are hungry for more purpose and meaning in their work, discovering opportunities via shared community connections can be a strong starting point.
Employment Enterprises, for example, is involved with the Greater Washington Apprenticeship Network to provide on-the-job “learning and earning” opportunities to job seekers. Supporting an organization committed to connecting talent across Northern Virginia with opportunities to learn, grow, and find top employment is inspiring for our workforce and rewarding for the business.
2. Aim for 80%: B- Is the New A+
Drop the perfection game and focus on finding candidates that meet 80% of the criteria you need. Businesses that are willing to mentor and train to fill in the missing 20% for strong candidates are going to snatch up great candidates who are hungry to learn. Competitors, meanwhile, will lose time waiting for the A+ hire to come along.
3. Focus on Pro Perks: Forget the Ping Pong Table
When it comes to choosing workplace perks to attract and retain talent, focus on lasting value. Rather than game tables and popcorn machines that spice up the workday, job seekers are looking for the kind of benefits and perks that enrich their lives. A 2020 Glassdoor survey revealed that the top perks job seekers want most address work/life balance needs. They include:
- Better health, dental, and vision benefits
- More flexible hours
- More vacation time (even unlimited vacation)
- Work from home options
Want better talent? Turn up the substance when it comes to benefits and perks.
4. Throw the “Books” at Them: Education Pays
Many big-name employers, from Amazon to Starbucks, are embracing student loan assistance and tuition reimbursement, which are numbers five and six on Glassdoor’s survey list of top workplace perks. Any employer that supports employee growth–the kind of growth that might even lead talent to a new position or place–will see more candidates. Job seekers today want to grow and look for employers that will fuel and fund that growth.
5. Rock TikTok (& Other Social Engagement Tools)
It’s a TikTok world and employers need to be recruiting in it. Social media is a powerful marketplace of ideas and connection. Brands and employers that creatively and strategically engage talent communities through social media are building an essential candidate and talent referral stream.
Let 2022 be a year of creative connections and trying new approaches in recruitment and talent acquisition. It’s certain that many job seekers will continue taking surprising and creative approaches in their career choices. If you can’t beat them, why not join them?