You know the old adage about the light ahead… “is it the end of a tunnel or a train?” It could be either, depending on your analysis of future talent needs.
The challenges lie in being able to forecast your labor needs and in attracting qualified candidates.
Identifying Your Needs
Across industry lines, the workforce is graying. Filling talent gaps left by retiring workers is nothing new. However, employers across the U.S. are in the midst of an unprecedented wave of retirements.
According to a December 2016 Investopedia article, about 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day. While this affects some industries more than others, few organizations are immune.
So, what can you do? The first step is to take a good look at your employee population to forecast your needs. Your business plan will play a role here. If you are hoping to double production or sales over the coming years, you’ll need to create and fill new positions in addition to replacing retirees. Last (but certainly not least), expect some attrition over time. No matter how wonderful your company is, the days of “lifer” employees are a thing of the past.
Options for “New Blood”
As you’re developing your human resources strategy and plan for handling future openings, you’ll have to weigh your options for recruiting talent.
Some organizations choose to recruit new graduates to their workforce. In doing so, they can keep their salary costs down by paying entry-level wages. However, more time and resources may be needed for on-the-job training. If you instead hire experienced candidates, you’re likely to find they don’t need as much “hand-holding” or training. However, you can expect to pay higher wages.
Rather than relying solely on one type of candidate, a mix of new-to-the-workforce employees and experienced workers can provide your company valuable industry insight, along with a fresh approach to doing business.
Of course, every company is different. The best source for your future talent needs will depend on the nature of the work and roles you’ll need to fill and the training and development resources you have at your disposal.
At the end of the day, if job-seekers don’t find your company attractive, you may find yourself caught in a vicious cycle of interviewing, hiring and conducting exit interviews.
So, how do you make your business one that will help you attract and keep quality talent?
A good place to start is by talking to your existing employees — the ones you want to stay with the company. Find out what they like about working for you and, more importantly, what they see as opportunities for improvement.
Then, take an honest look at the employee benefits you offer your workers. Is your benefits package simply what is expected (medical, dental, 401(k), life insurance…)? If so, you are not differentiating your company’s value proposition. Benefits must attract and excite your target candidate, whether she’s 25 or 55.
When you’re putting together an employee benefits package, remember the type of worker you’re looking to attract and choose benefits accordingly. For example, including long-term care insurance as an employee benefit might help attract and retain 40- and 50-somethings, but it probably won’t help attract new college graduates. A recent HR benefits survey found that more and more organizations are recognizing this need and tailoring their benefits offerings to attract and retain talent.
Don’t Put Off Evaluating Your Future Needs
If you’re not sure what your future needs will be or how you can make strategic changes to attract and retain talent, there’s no time like the present to start exploring your metrics and options.
As an Employer Branding specialist, I help organizations create or support their Employer Value Proposition (EVP), to help them stand out in attracting and retaining top talent. Contact me to learn more today. Thank you for reading!