“The Great Resignation” in 2021 created a talent shortage and prompted company leaders to re-evaluate their perspective on hiring and culture. Amid job candidates’ shifting demands and higher expectations, some businesses are learning they’ll need to adapt their recruiting strategies to hire the right workers in 2022.
But while most leaders understand that a positive work culture is critical to successful recruitment and retention, too few know how to build and sustain the human-centric workplaces employees look for from employers today, says Kathleen Quinn Votaw, the author of DARE to CARE IN THE WORKPLACE: A Guide to the New Way We Work.
“The pace of change and challenge over the past few years will continue to define us in 2022, as will the fluctuations of the job market,” says Quinn Votaw, CEO of TalenTrust, a strategic recruiting and human capital consulting firm. “This shared experience of COVID-19 has taught us that what propels growth today is putting employees first and creating cultures around well-being and resilience.
“Employees will refuse to work in any culture that lacks humanity. Far from our history of top-down management practices, we’ve learned that kind, empathetic leaders attract and retain the best talent and achieve the highest levels of success. As we wade into another year of unknowns, 2022 gives us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to rethink work.”
Quinn Votaw offers these tips for leaders to consider for their recruiting and retention strategies in 2022:
Know what job candidates want and deliver. “People choose you because you’ve created a powerful candidate or employee experience,” Quinn Votaw says. “It’s time to untie your culture from the past and focus on what people want from employers today.” She says the employer’s brand and being authentic to it will become more crucial in attracting candidates. “LinkedIn research shows that 75% of job seekers check out your brand and reputation before they apply,” she says. “People want specifics about how you’re handling change and how flexible your policies are.” Further, the offering of remote work, she says, will show those companies are serious about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and new tech tools will help businesses leverage each stage of recruitment.
Build a sense of community in your culture. Employees today experience their companies in different ways: some onsite, some from home, and others in hybrid situations. It can be a dramatic work-life evolution, and Quinn Votaw says leaders and employees alike can find themselves confused and uncomfortable. “A successful forward path begins with being purposeful about what employees experience working for you,” she says. “Recognize that even small changes to your policies can make a big impact on employees’ day-to-day experience. View every individual holistically; work and personal lives should not be seen as ‘either-or.’ Build a community where everyone feels safe being themselves. Appreciate, celebrate and support your employees as the valuable assets they are.”
Practice hands-off management, hands-on feelings. Quinn Votaw says today’s more demanding candidate desires empathetic leadership that doesn’t micromanage and disrespect them. “Fewer employees will put up with the poor management practices of the past,” she says. “The most effective managers recognize that when they lead with humanity first, they empower others to be more authentic, kind, and attuned to feelings. Coach them rather than boss them. And in the interview process, let candidates know in detail what you’re doing to lead virtually as well as in the office. Overall, leaders need to dare to care for their people.”
“Over the past two years we’ve realized that we all fail or thrive together,” Quinn Votaw says. “In this pivotal moment, we have the opportunity to rethink our recruiting and workplaces and break the status quo that has kept us from reaching our full potential.”