How to Win the Post-Pandemic War for Talent

Feb 7, 2023

Since the onset of the pandemic, the workforce has undergone some major changes. People have quit in record breaking numbers, mainly because their priorities have shifted from high pay and fancy titles to a sense of purpose and work-life balance. People want flexibility and job satisfaction, and they’re no longer willing to put their head down and put up with an unhealthy work environment.

According to LinkedIn’s chief economist, Karin Kimbrough, people are now 2.5 times more likely to apply to a job that is remote, versus one that is not. Pre-pandemic, just 1 in 67 jobs were remote, but that number has since jumped to 1 in 7. Companies are realizing that if they want to attract candidates, they need to meet them where they are now. That said, there are still many organizations that are failing to keep up with modern standards – and paying the price on the talent front.

Employee expectations have changed. Here are a few ways in which companies can adapt to meet the current needs of the workforce and attract/retain top talent.

  1. Offer flexibility. Flexibility takes many forms, and offering at least some degree of flexibility can go a long way. If you can’t offer the option of full or even part-time remote work, consider allowing employees to set their own hours/schedules, or to exercise more autonomy over how their work gets done. Show your employees that you trust them and their ability to effectively and efficiently complete their tasks without the need for excessive structure. Demonstrating this level of trust will not only attract talent, but also result in a more confident, engaged, and effective team.
  2. Create a more collaborative work environment. Everyone wants to feel valued, yet so many companies fail to ask for employees’ input. By fostering an environment in which everyone’s opinions are voiced and seriously considered, you can empower your team to feel more connected to their work and to contribute to overall innovation. A collaborative workspace encourages creative problem solving, minimizes things being overlooked, and boosts engagement and productivity. When people are searching for jobs, they seek organizations where they feel their contributions will truly matter – so show them how you really care.
  3. Commit to nurturing talent. Employees are looking out for themselves more than before, and they will no longer put up with being forced into a box. People are seeking jobs that empower their career path in an engaging way – gone are the days of climbing the corporate ladder. Show your employees that you are invested in their professional development and invest the resources in nurturing their skills. Who doesn’t want to work for a company that provides the framework for constructive growth?
  4. Eradicate hustle culture. Nowadays, people are prioritizing their own mental health and well-being above all else. Work-life balance and job satisfaction are driving people more than compensation or title. Jobs that require excessive hours, constant presence on slack/email, and jumping through hoops are simply no longer being considered as options by the majority of candidates. Make sure that your work environment is considerate of people’s mental health and personal time.
  5. Create a sense of community. As humans, we are social creatures, and a little connection goes a long way. Feeling a sense of belonging empowers employees to bring their whole self to the workspace, rather than feeling shy or uninterested. A work environment that encourages friendships helps employees to be more engaged and more eager to show up with a smile every day. Small pleasures, like bonding with coworkers and being fully accepted for who you are, are what people are currently looking for in their day-to-day work life. Show candidates and employees that your organization values its people, and they reciprocate the care.

Organizations that continue to neglect the needs of the post-pandemic workforce will eventually lose their ability to be competitive and relevant. Making slight tweaks, such as those listed above, is a relatively easy way to stay current and attract top talent. Candidates are less persuaded by a pitch of high salary and perks than one that sees the more human side of things.

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