There is no good company without good people.
Your ability to attract and retain those people can make the difference between having just a good idea and having a generational company. But these days, that’s harder than ever — especially in the tech industry. Just take a look at these headlines from the past few months:
“In a red-hot job market, tech workers are naming their price — and more”
“It’s the Hottest Job Market in 20 Years for Tech Workers”
“Employers bow to tech workers in hottest job market since the dot-com era”
As an employer, you can’t simply react to the current market. Trying to keep up with every new perk that every other company is offering just isn’t sustainable.
Instead, you need a comprehensive strategy that not only helps you attract and retain the best people — no matter the job market — but also sets your company up for future growth.
The Ups and Downs of the Job Market
Over the last 15 years as a human resources professional, I have watched countless talent and culture pendulum swings leave leadership teams scrambling to adapt to the latest and greatest.
I particularly remember my early days in 2008, when the jobs were scarce and the talent plentiful. Hundreds of thousands of new grads vying for the job, any job really, as their loan repayments loomed closer. Employers had their pick among dozens, even hundreds, of qualified applicants.
As the markets stabilized and the labor pool got smaller, companies had to pull out all the stops to attract a new generation of employees: millennials. Cold brew on tap, swanky open concept office spaces with big city views, endless snacks, beer and ping pong. Whatever it took to get your reqs filled and keep your current staff happy.
Fast forward to today and we are in the throes of a global pandemic. As is the case with all other aspects of current life, our employment market is wildly confusing. Work from home options have become not only the norm but the expectation. Safety, job security, flexibility and high compensation packages are all on candidates’ must-have lists. And employees know that jumping ship from their current employer to another can yield big increases to their paycheck, thus entering us into the Great Resignation.
Despite these crazy times, you can still attract and retain the talent your company needs to survive and thrive.
What is Culture?
Throughout my career I have been involved in acquisitions, downsizing, re-orgs and periods of rapid growth. I have worked for the world’s largest retailers (Target and Amazon), a small private tech company, and a high-growth, venture capital-backed healthcare startup. (Fun fact: Not a single one of these companies has perfected team and culture.)
What I have learned is that industry, stage, size and revenue model matter little when it comes to building culture and attracting and retaining talent. At the core of culture and employee engagement is one simple word: trust.
Do your employees believe in the vision and mission and the people leading it? Do employees explicitly understand their role in the company’s success? Do managers have their employees’ best interests at heart? Are they willing to train them, develop them, provide feedback and recognize their efforts? Do you follow through on promises made around compensation and earning potential, benefits and growth opportunities? This is culture. Cold brew on tap is not culture (regardless of how delicious it is).
Make Talent Your Competitive Advantage
I’ve joined York IE to help companies tackle this huge challenge. And I’m excited to learn more about your company and lend a critical eye to all things talent and culture — what may or may not be working, offer tangible recommendations to intentionally build your culture, and provide counseling on every stage of the employee experience. We’ll work together to refine and adjust these recommendations as part of the natural ebbs and flows of your business growth.
With our new services, York IE will help you make talent and culture a strategic differentiator by focusing on these three areas:
- Matchmaking, connections and screening
- Candidate profile development
- Job description review
- Hiring process support
- Interview preparation and coaching
- Compensation planning and analysis
- Benefits review and advising
- Employer branding
- Training and onboarding process development
- Workforce development and career pathing
- Organizational structure analysis
- Performance management and coaching
- Diversity, equity and inclusion strategy
- Leadership development and executive support
Workplace best practices
- Employee relations and people policies
- Compliant employment practices
- Employment lifecycle process
- Employee roles and responsibilities review
- People systems, tools, analytics and reporting
The talent landscape changes quickly. As a leader, you must adapt. External candidates are in the driver’s seat, and your current employees have the luxury of choice. How are you planning to hire and keep them happy? At the end of the day, good people are your competitive edge!