Business leaders: Talent retention strategies to consider in 2022

How can you attract and retain the right talent

The Great Resignation, precipitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has emerged as somewhat of a counterintuitive trend, with employees choosing to step down from roles that they didn’t find fulfilling, even in the midst of one of the worst depressions of the labour market in recent years. This has created newer challenges for employers, as a large number of employees are looking at switching jobs, hoping to find opportunities that are better suited to their newer, post-pandemic priorities. Companies are now faced with the dual task of- retaining their existing workforce, while also attracting new talent to create and maintain a steady pipeline of skilled resources.

Compounding this charge on two fronts is the growing gap between industry requirements and the skillset of talent pool. In contrast to the massive job losses reported during the pandemic, industry reports also indicate the rising hiring tussle between MNCs and start-ups for talent with the right skills and experience to scale up. In addition to record levels of employee churn, companies, especially in tech sector, are also grappling with right skilled talent to meet the increasing demand of steep digitisation curve in the post-Covid era. While incentives like bigger packages and joining perks have been resorted to, their attractiveness is short-lived, and not sustainable in the long run. Therefore, it is imperative that companies look beyond such short-term tactics and adopt a more comprehensive long-term strategy towards hiring and managing employee expectations.

Some emerging trends that will shape the talent acquisition and retention strategies are:

  • Increased focus on Upskilling and Reskilling – Given the persistent skills gap in the industry, organisations must start focussing on creating or expanding training programmes towards imparting and improving requisite skill levels of both existing and new employees and encouraging upskilling as a consistent behaviour. In addition to keeping in-house talent relevant through continuous learning, companies can also explore ways to expand their potential talent pool, by tapping into cohorts that could be trained to meet job requirements. Greater participation by corporates in college campuses, for e.g. ,can help in creating an integrated curriculum that can produce industry-ready graduates.
  • Emphasis on building a Culture that translates virtually – The pandemic has led to an unprecedented phenomenon, of teams working together without ever having met in person. Companies therefore, need to work on ways to personalize the hiring process, adopt advanced collaboration technologies, and look at an integrated well-structured employee on-boarding process to ensure new hires experience organisational culture despite working remotely. Existing organisational programmes, such as buddy systems, fortnightly team catch-ups, and so on, can be transitioned online seamlessly, leveraging right collaboration tools. Further, with the advent of the Metaverse, the possibilities for creating a customised employee experience are boundless.
  • Overhauling Organisational Framework to accommodate Flexibility – As remote and hybrid models of work will continue to be the norm, there is an urgent need for organizational overhaul to centralize all functions and align employees with company values and goals. In addition to flexibility and adequate investment in collaborative tools and security infrastructure, organisations that creates support for employees working from demanding home environments also stands to gain long-standing loyalty and attention from existing and potential employees. In addition to mandated allowances and time offs, companies are looking at offering fully functional work stations in smaller towns, childcare support for working parents, and so on, to boost employee morale and participation.
  • Creating Internal Mobility – The Great Migration, or the Great Shuffle, as some have dubbed it, is characterised by employees, who were thus far content in their roles, are now seeking newer opportunities for career growth and advancement. While the trigger can be number of reasons, viz. need for greater flexibility, higher remuneration, or the desire to explore an entirely new area of work, the need of the hour is for organisations to find the right strategy to meet these changing expectations to nurture and retain valuable talent. Internal talent rotation can go a long way towards cutting overheads related to lateral hiring and onboarding new talent.
  • Growing demand for Staffing & Gig Services – As attrition increases manifold across industries, and consistent demand for skilled professionals remains a challenge for recruiters many organisations are starting to rely on external providers to step in and close the gap. There is a marked increase in the demand for Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) from large enterprises, to leverage benefits of on-boarding talent via staffing firms, allowing them access to best of talent for the job at hand, while not losing sleep over remaining administrative processes. This model can benefit MSMEs a lot, as it frees up their limited resources for scaling up, while resourcing and onboarding of contractual, temp. and gig workers to staffing solutions providers.

[author title=”” image=”http://”]Guruprasad Srinivasan, Executive Director & Group CEO, Quess Corp [/author]

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its member

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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