Recruiting in the “new normal”

Recruiting today is different than it was even just a decade ago. Unemployment rates are at a historic low, and finding and hiring qualified candidates has become highly competitive.

Both employers and job seekers have more choices, and information overload is always a factor. This is what we mean by the “New Normal.” In this article, you will learn about today’s recruiting environment, and what you can do to excel in your goal of building the best team in your industry.   

Employees are more mobile than ever. 

According to recent statistics (Jobvite 2019 Job Seeker Nation Report), 64% of job seekers stated they were satisfied with their current workplace. This number is up just slightly from where it was in 2017 (62%).

However, 82% of workers are open to a new opportunity, and about half have had an interview in the past year. This is a fast-moving, highly-dynamic environment for employer and employee alike.

We will share the implications and, more importantly, what you need to do to build and maintain a workforce that keeps you ahead of the competition.

In the “new normal,” employees (particularly younger employees) are restless and highly mobile both in terms of openness and technology. Moreover, although they are generally satisfied with their jobs, they are apt to interview just to stay on top of what is happening in the marketplace. While this presents a retention challenge, it is also good for you as an employer provided you have the type of strategy we describe in this article.

Company culture is a key factor for recruiting in the new normal. 

Many people think of culture as the manifestation of a company’s personality. When employees talk about culture, they often mean three things:  alignment on a common mission (a clear, compelling vision for the future), work environment (managers who “walk the talk”), and values (such as gender pay equity and the importance of diversity). 

To get a read on your culture, review Glassdoor for candid comments. If you don’t like what you see, make it an immediate priority to create a better and more compelling environment. This may prove to be the best investment you can make in your company’s ability to attract and retain top talent.

While this article addresses all workforce segments, there are a few specific considerations when dealing with millennials. Chances are, millennials are a key part of your workforce now and will be in the future. 

Who are the Millennials? 

Born from 1980 to 2000, millennials are the largest single generation at work today. While they now comprise about one-third of the US workforce, this share is expected to grow to 46% in the next five years. Here are a few realities to keep in mind about this segment: 

  • Raised in an era of layoffs, millennials are different in their attitude toward loyalty compared to the Gen Y and Boomer generations that preceded them. They see the gig economy as a viable alternative to full-time employment. 
  • Like all employees, millennials are highly motivated by pay. But workplace culture, diversity, and flexibility are also very important to this segment.
  • When surveyed about plans to stay with their employer, millennials at firms that are considered diverse and flexible show much higher intentions to stay.
  • Other generations may feel threatened by the growing importance of millennials. Workers are worried about the potential of their jobs being taken by this generation as well as being made redundant by automation.

Other generations in the workforce. 

We talked about millennials, but you also need to factor in other generations who may have different needs and motivations. For example, the Labor Department indicates that the workforce participation of Americans aged 65 and older was 19.8% in 2018, up from 10.8% in 1986.

This 9 point increase in just 12 years is amazing but not surprising. You can encourage the senior generation to join your company and stay by offering part-time work, as well as explicitly planning for knowledge transfer as they prepare to retire.

Regardless of the type of employees that you are trying to attract, the new normal at work means you are constantly in recruitment mode. Companies that win the race for the best workforce will be those who take issues like culture, flexibility, and diversity seriously.