Are Economic Trends Affecting Talent Recruitment?
No matter how hard you work to control the environment within your organisation, there are economic trends affecting talent recruitment. This means that the CHRO needs to be keenly aware of what is going on to make necessary changes. So what changes do you need to make to your recruitment strategy when forces outside of your control take place?
Here are three examples that could help you decide:
- An Oil Boom
A Bloomberg (1) article reports that North Dakota saw a tremendous increase in jobs with the oil boom of a few years ago. HR personnel had to go outside the local area for workers, and there was also no housing available. The high demand for workers meant that pay was high, but housing was still scarce. In response, companies built housing for their workers. This meant that not only was HR recruiting and hiring, they were acting as landlords, a far cry from the typical day of a generalist.
These out-of-the box responsibilities for HR can be seen in every booming sector — IT workers, for instance during the tech boom. The Wall Street Journal (2) reports that many tech companies fight to get H1B Visas, which allow them to hire foreign workers for difficult to fill jobs. Whether you’re bringing in oil field workers from Oklahoma or tech workers from India, think about what employees need outside of salary.
- Hiring in High Unemployment
When unemployment is high, it seems it would be easy to hire people. After all, you’ve got a huge field to work with. But, the reverse often happens. Companies slow their hiring process when unemployment is high. According to the Wall Street Journal (3), PepsiCo has a goal to make job offers within two months of posting a job, but when unemployment went up, they saw hiring time stretch to 90 days.
Why does this happen? In a Fortune Magazine (4) article, Todd Safferstone, managing director of the Corporate Executive Board, indicates that, as unemployment increases, applications increase and the huge number of candidates can make managers think they can find a “purple unicorn.” In other words, a candidate that doesn’t truly exist. This slows hiring. HR should remind managers that what they need to do is hire someone who has the critical skills, even if that person isn’t the imaginary ideal.
Make sure not to take advantage of your current employees because you think they can’t find another job. FastCompany (5) reports Mercadona, the largest grocery store in Spain, a country with 20 percent unemployment, prospers in part because they make an effort to support and train their current staff. Treating your current staff well can help ensure that you don’t become a victim of a recession.
- Hiring in a High Cost of Living Location
The places people want to live are often the most expensive places. If you’re a global organisation, you need to sell your product globally, which means you can’t just keep raising prices to fund the high salary requirements of your headquarters location. Keeping your costs in check while recruiting the best talent is something that HR often has to deal with.
The NY Times (6) reports that Google, for instance, provides bus transportation for employees, which allows them to live in slightly lower cost of living areas without being responsible for a long drive. Employees can work or sleep on the bus — something they can’t do in their cars.
FlexJobs (7) publishes an annual list of the best companies for remote jobs. If your headquarters are in an expensive area, consider following the example of big names such as IBM, Amazon and SAP. Not every job needs to be done under the watchful eye of the boss. While you may want to keep your presence in Silicon Valley or New York City, you might also find that you can hire high quality people to work from their homes in places where salary demands are not as high.
Economic conditions are a factor every organisation must deal with, but you can work around these issues if you pay attention to what the employees and the management really need in each situation.
By Suzanne Lucas