November is the month when we reflect on the things for which we are thankful. This notion brings to mind an often-neglected aspect of Talent Acquisition – employee engagement (sometimes known as employee appreciation or retention and advancement). While employee engagement is a Human Resources function, it is a key component of any talent acquisition strategy. It has been a buzzword for years, but what does it now mean for you and your organization?
In recruiting, the concept of employee engagement truly took hold around 2013-2014. Finally, the clouds of the recession were starting to clear. LinkedIn was launched. People who had held onto their jobs for years in fear of being unemployed were now being contacted out of the blue for opportunities. People peeked out from behind their drab cubicles cautiously, “Is the market getting better?” This is where we experienced our first talent disruption in quite some time. People began leaving jobs that lacked a sense of community. Their desires no longer were seen as a direct contribution to the organization’s success. Employers unknowingly took advantage of employees and ended up scrambling to increase their retention.
From that moment forward, it has been an increasingly candidate-driven market. With COVID-19, what first were huge concerns about another employment recession became an even more competitive market for candidates. Employers had learned they were able to be successful with remote employees. The idea of remote workers had been on the table for some time, but now there is data to back up its possibility for success. Also, layoffs and reduced hours gave employees the opportunity to reflect on what is important in their lives and careers.
When retaining and building a successful and motivated workforce, the trends leading up to the pandemic are even more important now than they were then. To retain your employees, you must build a sense of community. There needs to be a commonality in which each individual understands how their contributions impact the overall success of the organization.
While salary will always be a part of the equation, you must first look at how to foster career growth and development within your existing teams. Set out a clear roadmap for your employees. Inspire them. How will your organization help them achieve their career goals? How will you show that you care for them as an individual and believe in the work they are doing?
Gone are the days of ping pong tables and taco bar Tuesdays, employees now want to see that you are listening and providing individualized solutions allowing them to be the most engaged and productive employees they can be.
Melissa Miller, Co-Founder, and COO of Weiser Innovations. Weiser is an innovative talent acquisition firm with deep roots in the nonprofit sector and partners with 501(c) Services to provide talent acquisition assistance to its 3,000 nonprofit clients. Contact us today for talent acquisition assistance.