The pressure is officially back on for talent acquisition teams to engage the right employees and help businesses stay competitive.
Early on in the pandemic, millions of workers were laid off in a race to downsize. Economists predicted a grim year of people scrambling to get their old jobs back—except, that isn’t quite what happened.
Instead, Americans have started leaving their jobs (and not coming back) at historic rates. In fact, according to Lawrence Katz, the Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics at Harvard, “we haven’t seen quit rates this high since 2000, when the BLS started recording the statistics.”
For businesses with an eye toward the future, it’s time to learn from the mistakes of 2021 (like why employees aren’t in a hurry to come back to work) and use that knowledge to stay ahead. When you’re vying for the same talent in a seller’s market, reaching the right candidates and making the right offers once you find them are critical to your success.
Our Guest: Michael O’Dell, Talent.com
On the latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Michael O’ Dell, President of Talent.com. With over 20 years of experience in the recruiting and digital talent acquisition industry, Michael became president of Talent.com in January 2020 where he has been spearheading their rebranding and overseeing U.S. sales operations. He’s also the host of his own show, the Workscape podcast, where guests join him in analyzing trends and the future of the labor economy in the U.S.
When asked how the business of recruitment marketing has changed with fewer people looking for jobs, Michael suggests that there might not actually be fewer people.
“I think it’s a different set of people and a lot of the same people over and over,” Michael says. “Maybe it’s the great reshuffling. It’s a musical chairs of professionals.”
The move to remote, hybrid work from home has also been a major shakeup for those in the recruitment advertising industry – with remote jobs going from being a small part of the ecosystem to an important part of the conversation.
“For the longest time, remote jobs have been part of our ecosystem, but it’s been a very small part,” Michael says. “But come last year, it was like 4% of our jobs had a remote or work from home location. And that I think went up like 20x in a three or four-month period.”
For Talent.com this actually meant changing their search algorithms to make sure that they aren’t just matching the right job to the right person in the right place:
“When you have three major inputs in a search and one of them is finite, i.e., location, you have some pretty nice guardrails. Now, we have to just be better.”
The Big ‘R’: How to retain your top talent
Paying people their worth, being a good human, and paying a living wage are a no-brainer when it comes to retention, but what more can employers do?
“Go and have a conversation with your people,” Michael says. “If you value them, if they’re good, if they’re good to you, be good to them.”
Michael points to a recent LinkedIn survey that shows people are starting to leave for different industries. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to be a one-way street. He discusses how different industries are starting to look for skill sets that they may not have considered before, which is putting increased pressure on recruitment advertisers.
“You’re looking at competition from different industries,” Michael explains. “So, you do have to be better. You have to be quick. If you think you can put jobs out there or source candidates and engage with them for three or four days, you’re going to lose that person.”
A mass exodus in the workforce
There are also those leaving the workforce altogether. Michael has some interesting research about the differences in why some age groups, working groups, and genders are deciding to resign. Baby boomers, he says, have benefited from the stock market over the past couple of years and seen their retirement funds grow, causing many to take a step back and retire.
“And then you have the other side,” he says. “We have some of the lowest labor participation from younger workers now than ever.”
He also notes that some young men are realizing they can work part-time at different jobs and make as much or more than they did full-time at another job, while female workers struggle to find a job that accommodates the fact that they have a proportionally larger share of elder and childcare. Interestingly, people with disabilities are benefitting from the move to remote and hybrid work from home.
“There’s a lot of organizations that have always looked past working from home, regardless of who it is,” Michael says. “And now folks with disabilities have tremendously more opportunities to work in an atmosphere that is comfortable and productive for them.”
I hope you enjoy this special podcast of #WorkTrends, sponsored by Talent.com. You can learn more about talent acquisition 2021 recap and forecast for 2022 by reaching out to Michael O’Dell on LinkedIn. And, in case you missed it, listen to the podcast here.