Audrey Sevalt, HR Consultant, BBSI

Audrey Sevalt, MSS, SPHR & SHRM-SCP
Human Resources Consultant, BBSI
Guest Writer

If you’ve been in business in Colorado a while, you know that talent is in short supply. In January 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics measured unemployment here at 3.4%. If you have a job opening, the applicants can be quite fickle, unlike years in the past when every job posting yielded dozens of interested applicants. Now, the supply of applicants is often very low, perhaps a handful. They may not show up for an interview. You could extend offer, they never show up. The most expensive and disruptive issue is when a new person starts, you spend time training them, and then they leave.

How can this happen? According to the US Chamber of Commerce, through 2023 there were only 52 workers for every 100 open jobs. The demand is so high that applicants can essentially pick and choose where to work, and they don’t have to follow any protocol mandated by businesses. Additionally, for companies, it’s very expensive and disruptive when good people stay only a short time and then they move on…over and over. Demographers say that the younger workers may stay up to three years in a company, maybe less.

What can a business do to stay out of the quagmire of seeking, hiring, and losing people in a perpetual treadmill? The first step is to better understand what attracts and motivates people. You will find that different generations have differing motivations at work. There are Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z’s in the mix, each with differing needs, preferred communication styles, and use of technology. Do you know what their needs are for a satisfying job? Now is the time to better understand them.

Once you understand what’s important to them, there are a variety of ways to give these workers a sense of belonging with your company by creating a structure around attracting and retaining great workers. It doesn’t have to be an expensive model that you buy off the shelf, it can be simple, common-sense actions that show employees that their leaders value and appreciate them. This blog will educate leaders on the concept of Talent Management and provide tools that you can use today to stem the tide of continuous churn in the workplace.

Woman Pointing

What is Talent Management? It’s the next evolution of Human Resources, where business leaders look proactively at the talent they have and want. It’s a strategic view of people, where leaders can be more intentional about the workplace culture, they can engineer career growth for all types of jobs, and they can decide what their benefits and compensation plans should look like to keep pay affordable to the business. The essential elements of Talent Management are:

Workforce Planning: Looking holistically at your current employee population and open positions, then consider future growth or changes in your company to plan out what talent you will need now and in the future.

Talent Acquisition: Creating a brand that makes job opportunities at your company stand out from the competition. Build internal career growth to include succession planning for key positions and management.

Create and Foster a High-Performance Team: Building systems, processes, and leadership capability to create an environment that is rich in feedback will facilitate continuous communication between the manager and employee so that employees are motivated to exceed expectations.

Career Development: Build career paths for all your jobs so that employees can see growth and opportunity as they see promotions and career progression. Create on-going training opportunities with a variety of venues.

Reward Systems: Build a comprehensive compensation plan that will factor in what’s affordable for the business, yet meet employees’ expectations to see pay raises in the future. Look at your benefits to see if they attract and retain talent, and keep an eye on the ROI of your benefits.

Annual Check up: Are talent practices aligned with the Company’s strategy? Reflect back on the past year to look at what worked, what didn’t, and what needs to start happening in the year to come. Some programs/processes will become stale, so refreshing those elements will keep your company on top of employment trends and keep your company as a preferred place to work.

This is a preview of what we’ll dive into in the future. Next, we’ll talk about the generations in the workplace based on what demographers have studied, along with a brief description of what motivates and retains them.

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