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Overcoming Staffing Challenges: Three Strategies for Leaders

Hiring the right employees can determine the success of an organization. However, finding the right talent for the right role is not always easy. The recent shifts in the way we now work add to the challenges of attracting, retaining and minimizing turnover. Organizations are constantly navigating their workforces’ desires to be onsite, hybrid or remote with the needs of the organization to carry out its mission. Let's explore three challenges and discuss strategies leaders can use to overcome them.

Attracting Top Talent

The first challenge that leaders face is attracting top talent. Attracting top talent is important because employees are an organization’s greatest asset. Hiring the right employees can lead to increased productivity, improved morale, and better overall business results. As the job market becomes more competitive, attracting and retaining the best employees becomes increasingly challenging. Here are some ways to overcome this challenge:

  • Build a strong employer brand: Employers with a strong reputation are more likely to attract top talent. A good employer brand can be built by creating a positive workplace culture, offering competitive compensation and benefits packages, and providing meaningful opportunities for growth and development.

  • Tap your social networks: Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can be powerful tools for attracting top talent. Use these platforms to showcase your company culture and job opportunities.

  • Partner with recruitment agencies: Recruitment agencies can help you to attract top talent by providing access to their extensive networks of qualified candidates. Although this can sometimes be a more costly option than sourcing and selecting potential candidates yourself, the time saved and quality of candidates put forth, may be worth the cost.

Retaining Top Talent

The second challenge that leaders face is retaining top talent. After investing time and resources in recruiting the best employees, it's important to keep them engaged, inspired and motivated. Here are some strategies for retaining top talent:

  • Offer competitive compensation: Compensation is a key factor in employee retention. Ensure that your compensation packages are competitive with the market rate for similar roles.

  • Provide opportunities for growth and development: Employees are more likely to stay with a company if they see opportunities for growth and development. Provide regular training and development opportunities and create clear career paths for your employees. Providing opportunities for growth and development shows employees that their organization is invested in their long-term success. It also helps employees develop new skills and stay engaged in their work, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and better overall business results.

  • Provide greater work flexibility. Workers’ desire for a remote or hybrid arrangement will remain unchanged. According to research by Ladders, remote opportunities increased from under 4% of all high-paying jobs before the pandemic to about 9% at the end of 2020, and to more than 15% by 2021. According to their projections, 25% of professional workers will work remotely by the end of 2023. If organizations can accommodate, they must consider hybrid options to attract and retain top talent.

Dealing with Employee Turnover

The third and final challenge that leaders face is dealing with employee turnover. Losing key employees can be costly, both in terms of time, resources and institutional knowledge. According to The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), on average it costs a company 6 to 9 months of an employee's salary to replace them. For example, an employee making $60,000 per year costs $30,000 - $45,000 in recruiting and training costs to replace them. Here are some ways to minimize employee turnover:

  • Conduct exit interviews: Exit interviews can help you to identify the reasons why employees are leaving. Use this feedback to improve your recruitment and retention strategies.

  • Provide regular feedback: Regular feedback is important for keeping employees engaged and motivated. Ensure that employees receive regular performance feedback and have clear expectations for their roles.

  • Foster a positive workplace culture: A positive workplace culture is essential for retaining employees. According to LinkedIn, 70% of candidates are unwilling to put up with a negative workplace culture. Encourage open communication, recognize and reward employees for their hard work, and provide opportunities for social interaction outside of work, as available.

In today’s workplace, constant change is the norm. While leaders can do their best to plan for what might be ahead, the ability to stay flexible, quickly adapt and adjust will better equip leaders to navigate their organization through its staffing challenges more successfully. With the right strategies in place, leaders can overcome these challenges and attract, retain and develop top talent, and build high-performing teams that drive organization success. Learn ways leaders can enhance staffing strategies with assessment tools. Click HERE.

A version of this article was also published in the May issue of Careers in Government.

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