7 Ways to Navigate the Changing Employment Landscape

7 Ways to Navigate the Changing Employment Landscape 1024 536 Rock Creek Consulting Group

COVID-19 has significantly impacted employment, though the effect isn’t yet fully understood.

Undoubtedly, there will be positive outcomes, like employees leaving unrewarding jobs to pursue new challenges. Likewise, some businesses will ‘rationalize’ their workforces to better serve shareholders, customers and employees.

One thing won’t change. Most businesses will still need people to complete certain work. And some of these people will be ‘employed’ (as opposed to engaged as contractors or consultants). For now, finding employees is more competitive, and businesses are working harder to position themselves as attractive employers.

How are businesses approaching these emerging employment challenges?

Here are seven ideas.

  1. Review Organizational Design

There’s an opportunity to get more innovative about organizational structure. Not every departing employee needs to be ‘replaced.’ Perhaps other people can do what they were doing, so-called ‘internal recruitment. It’s common. I’ve personally developed processes and internal infrastructures for companies to avoid replacing a lost team member. I’ve witnessed in real life how that can help internal employees acquire additional skills, build confidence in their job, and feel needed and supported, all while saving the company lots of money. You can do it too.

Maybe you don’t have a departing employee. So what, then? As your business has evolved, you should review roles to see if there’s a role that’s no longer required or can be modified to be more efficient. This is a good evolution. It can allow employees to expand into other roles or take on new functions, resulting in employees spending time on what really matters to the business.

Managers tend to do what has been done in the past, but leaders will take a fresh look at the workplace and make the most sensible decisions for the organization.

  1. Emphasize Job Security

Employees have always valued certainty. It can be even more important than culture, compensation, professional development, team dynamics, and other factors.

While the desire for job security makes it more difficult to attract employees, it also makes current employees more loyal. That can be a good thing… if you have a productive team in place now.

Stand-out employers (and recruiters) will have a solid and supportive leadership team, give assurance on long-term plans, and show a track record of sustaining revenue, productivity, and headcount, even through the recent challenges.

  1. Know the (Employee) Market

Think about the candidate being hired and what they might value. How will you enhance their lives and help them succeed? How will the rewards you offer (both financial and non-financial) distinguish your business? What’s in it for the employee if they join your company?

You can ask existing employees for feedback (formally or informally). However, this approach must be made without bias and companywide. You’ll get one-sided feedback if you ask only your leadership team or your star employees, so a companywide approach is recommended. But let’s face it, asking for feedback companywide could be a scary thought, especially if you’re aware of existing problems. But new employees will indemnify these problems quickly, so opening yourself up to feedback allows management to identify areas of improvement and make positive changes.

  1. Watch the Competition

You can also keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. To some extent, they’re in the same boat as you, and you can learn from their recruiting efforts. Where are they publishing ads? How do they describe their value as an employer? How do they define the roles they want to fill? It could help if you compared their online presentation to your company’s. What would you change? Think about what would attract a candidate to apply for your open position with your company vs. another.

  1. Expand your Boundaries

Some businesses are set in their ways when it comes to hiring. They want employees with specific qualifications, experience, and even maybe a particular personality. That may make sense when there are abundant candidates, but it’s become increasingly worthwhile to seek candidates from other industries with different qualifications.

Yes, you’ll need good onboarding and professional development processes. In many cases, there can be unforeseen advantages with these candidates, who bring new approaches, contacts, systems, and vigor into your organization.

  1. Think ahead

Recruitment will likely take longer than in the past. Successful employers will forecast needs well in advance and streamline the hiring process to act fast when the time is right.

  1. Stay with the times

Organizations that work in an office could emphasize social events and team activities more to ensure a good work-life balance. Nowadays, employees tend to value flexible work-from-home conditions. Working from home is a benefit employers can offer,  and companies realize considerable savings in doing so.

But you’ve got to support that environment if you’re going to offer it. There’s no point in promoting your remote office environment if it doesn’t match the current work style or the job requirements. Not every job is the same. Some jobs can be done from home and others can’t. A careful analysis of the workflows will tell you if it’s feasible and justifiable,  and if it is you may want to consider it.

We hope you’ll find these pointers helpful as you deal with the evolving employment environment. Again, there are as many advantages as disadvantages… and businesses that respond quickly and intelligently are well-placed to succeed.