Great news! The headline on CNBC read “Payrolls jump in June well above expectations” https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/05/jobs-report-june-2019.html. The article highlighted a sharp rebound in hiring in June, as the U.S. economy had the largest gain in jobs since January. The labor force participation rate increased one-tenth of a percent to 62.9%, its best since March, and underemployment was reported at its lowest level since early 2001.
All good news, right? Well, it is wonderful news for people in the market for work. Demand for qualified workers is very strong. But what about the view of the non-profit working to fill open or newly created positions? Here, the story changes.
It’s not a headline to report that many industries are experiencing a challenging time for attracting new and seasoned talent. Today’s college graduates and early career job seekers have more career path options than even a decade ago. According to a recent article in Money magazine (http://money.com/money/5644053/best-jobs-recent-college-graduates-salary/), the most popular jobs for recent college graduates right now include software engineer, registered nurse, salesperson, teacher and accountant. The non profit is not going to make the list.
So what is an organization to do when they need to bring in new talent? Here are three steps to help leaders win the battle for talent:
1. Recognize that we are in a different kind of “seller’s market” for talent than any time in recent memory. Immediately after the 2008-2009 financial crises, there were many more candidates than there were jobs available. That dynamic has changed. Recognition of this shift informs organizational leaders that it is incumbent upon them to consciously define, design and deliver clear and intentional talent acquisition strategies. This means who the organization targets, how they proactively connect with potential candidates, developing and maintaining a talent acquisition pipeline and assuring that all managers co-own the firm’s talent acquisition objectives.
2. Reframe your organization’s talent management strategy. Talent management strategy is as critical as any other aspect of the organization’s operating strategy. It must include an all-out positioning and prioritization of the organization’s approach to creating and living a compelling value proposition about why a candidate would choose to work at your non-profit, clarity around why it’s a great place to work and understandable career development and pathing options.
Today’s job seekers expect more from potential employers than a paycheck. They need to know that they are doing meaningful work that helps enhance peoples’ lives. Consider a recent Harvard Business Review article that says 9 out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more meaningful work (https://hbr.org/2018/11/9-out-of-10-people-are-willing-to-earn-less-money-to-do-more-meaningful-work).
3. Position HR as a front-line talent management arm. In the current talent crunch, human resources professionals must have a front-row seat at the organization’s strategy table. HR leaders need to co-create and co-own all aspects of the talent management strategy – the employee value proposition, talent pipeline management and acquisition, learning and development, total benefit and compensation programs, career pathing management and talent retention.
In the words of Jim Morrison of the Doors, the time to hesitate is through! This is the day to develop your organization’s talent management strategy to assure you are effectively positioned to navigate the demand for talent today and into the foreseeable future.
Author: David Coffaro, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org