is hiring really enough?!
When I was shopping the other day, a billboard caught my eye. At first I thought it was a Benetton advertisement, like the ones from the early 2000s. Colorful, diverse, cheerful. When I took a closer look, I realized: this is not Bennetton, but BCG.
The Boston Consulting Group. In other words, one of the world’s largest and most influential management consultancies.
This surprised me for two reasons.
The first: They need to advertise on billboards? In the parking lot of a supermarket?
And the second: It doesn’t look like BCG at all. At least not from my experience.
Both thoughts stayed with me for a bit. I come from a strategic consulting background myself, and BCG has always been a shining star in the industry. Their image: serious, classic and, in a way, highly selective. Applicants were lured with the same mantra: Consider yourself lucky. With us on your resume, all career doors are open to you and eternal fame and immeasurable wealth anyway. 😉 …And the best graduates came. And came. But somehow his approach seems to have changed. Not only do they seem to want to get away from this traditional image, but they suddenly seem to have to actively compete for new talent.
The reason is relatively simple: The war for talent. Graduates can simply choose where they want to work. The supply of qualified young talent is much larger and more global. The number of graduates is already lower than in recent decades due to demographic change, while the demand for skilled workers is increasing, primarily as a result of digitization.
The days when recruiters could cherry-pick from the applicant pool are over. In order to recruit qualified specialists and, above all, keep them in a company, companies have to offer their young professionals a lot.
The problem: The institutional factors like the demographic change or the more globalized workforce are not really influencable by single companies. They can only concentrate on doing their best to respond to the changed conditions.
The balance of power between employer and employee is shifting in favor of the new generation. High potentials now belong to the group of scarce production factors and are thus given a more favorable position in negotiations. They appear more demanding and self-confident. So they have to be wooed. But how? A higher salary for sure is a strategy. But does that solve this problem sustainably?! There are different top drivers as well: What do they really want?
Work-life balance, remote work, flexible working hours: all buzzwords, but they clearly reflect where the journey is headed. In addition, strengthening the brand in the minds of potential young employees is now of great importance (I remind you once again of the Bennetton - sorry…BCG billboard) as a study by Manpowergroup proves.
So that’s it? Money plus softer factors and a strong brand?!
In my opinion, there is another factor that often gets lost in the multitude of recruitment channels, shiny branding of the company and the soft factors like a hip workplace: A sophisticated retention strategy. It is easy to forget that the war for talent is not just about new hires. It’s about keeping and developing them. Changing jobs is just a click away - and thus losing your talent is just a click away. Remote working accelerates this. So it’s important to offer Generation Z what really keeps them with the employer. And that’s not only the money, the ping-pong table in the office or a polished brand. They are self-determined and take a closer look at their own development.
Gallup found out that they are most interested in opportunities to learn and grow. They want to develop personally. And they want a manager who truly cares about them. That results in a stunning 80% of Gen Z that prefer on-spot-recognition over formal reviews. And it’s not only the preference for a different management style and a more open and direct feedback culture.
The survey also found out it really has a huge impact on engagement. Expressed in numbers this means that the more feedback an employee receives the lower the turnover rate is (14.9% lower when received daily).
Additionally the engagement rate of employees who receive regular feedback instead of annually is three times higher.
A state-of-the-art people development is for sure not the only strategy for a higher employer engagement as a retention strategy, but it is clearly is a big one.
We do believe that this continuity in giving feedback and managing performance is crucial and that it actually helps best to learn and grow. And it will help as a retention-strategy. The talent will be more engaged if they see individual development opportunities and can take tailored career paths.
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