The eternal struggle between hiring low cost talent or signing the best
The labor markets of the entire world were impacted by three crises in terms of a little more than a decade, since with the International Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 that lasted in many countries until 2014, when in 2019 the growth levels had recovered in global terms, the pandemic arrived in 2020 and as if the world had not already had enough, the Ukraine War broke out at the end of February 2022, with consequences for the energy market for Europe, in addition to causing falls in the GDP of the main EU economies.
It is evident that the labor market is always sensitive to crises, but even more so when in the last decade, and particularly in the last four years, one fall in activity after another has been chained.
The consequences, for example, once the worst of the 2008 crisis was coming out, a continuous growth of the Low cost concept has been observed. It was a logical response (to put it finely) to the fact that families did not have the same income as before the fall in economic activity and the financial crash, but in addition, companies had to tighten their belts, so each Once again you have been more important during crises and also when coming out of them, eagerly seeking a reduction in expenses in the Exploitation Account. And this has caused that during these last years the HR departments handled concepts such as that it was necessary to resort to “low cost” talent.
Undoubtedly, the need of the moment that had led companies to critical financial situations (greater indebtedness) followed by a drop in income, required new contracting modalities. For this reason, low cost emerged as another possible model for any company, although after the numerous hirings of low cost talent, the question arose as to the extent to which this solution was convenient in the medium term. Why? For the simple reason that by not having invested in talent with more experienced profiles or with better training, the cost of hiring and monthly spending on salaries was reduced, but with the aggravating circumstance that the availability of good talent was also reduced, that It is always looking for generating profits in the long run.
Therefore, the panorama since the International Financial Crisis was drawn as follows:
1º) Job offers for functions that required high qualification.
2º) Offers for interns, scholarship holders, etc.
3º) Offers for what is technically known as false self-employment
For 1st) it is generally about functions and responsibilities in jobs that require not only experience, but also a high level of specialization. But the companies, taking advantage of the negative market situation, offered wages that were not in line with the required education and training.
For 2nd) which corresponds to what is also known as internship contracts, they actually require more experience than they should. What happened prior to the crisis was that these types of candidates were advanced students or university graduates who worked for free or with insignificant compensation, because their personal investment was training, learning and being able to build a good CV.
We must remember the difference between internship contracts and those for curricular and extra-curricular internships, the former being much better paid than those for internships, whether curricular or extracurricular.
This also caused a series of abuses by some companies where there was an excess of interns and the time they remained in the company performing the tasks of an ordinary job.
For 3º) it corresponds to workers who issue their invoices but, in reality, fulfill working hours like any other employee with a stable contract in the company.
What was happening in general with the demand for talent during these years after the crisis?
As the short-term vision for seeking immediate benefits in the short term is often said, it had a perfect ally in the form of hiring low-cost talent, but today organizations need to have clear strategies for growth and sustainability in the medium and long term. This implies productivity to increase the level of competitiveness (being able to fight with their counterparts in the market) that requires individual talent and organizational learning.
But in Spanish SMEs, talent management has generally been neglected a lot, although the truth be told, more and more are the ones within this business category that are turning to better workers because they are clear that if not the competitiveness they offer will not will be up to the demands of consumers. For this reason, it is important that companies, when they have found one or more people who do have talent and are well trained, do everything possible to retain them in order to guarantee that aforementioned growth and sustainability. To do this, they must be given the timely and precise training they require in their jobs, whether they are training in the company or attending specialization courses that are tailored to the requirements of their respective functions.
Providing employees with the right technology can boost their productivity in companies
In this fight that companies wage to attract and keep the best talent, technology plays a very important role, that is, the one they already have available and the newly acquired one that becomes essential so that people do not feel that They work in inferior conditions. The more talent, the more concern employers must have to provide the necessary resources for their productivity in companies (personal effectiveness becomes global efficiency). For this reason, in the current language for attracting and retaining talent, it is necessary to refer to high-performance people and teams. This requires education and training. Hence the importance of team and middle management coaching.
We are in a new hybrid work environment, and as a result, prospective employees are finding themselves reevaluating their priorities. Companies want to hire the best and they want to be in work environments that offer growth and development. In other words, clear expectations for the future.
Good office designs are not enough to attract talent
In the past, employers often enticed prospective workers by telling them that they would be provided with well-designed office space. Is this now enough? Of course not, because the decision of the new candidate will be very conditioned by the technology and other resources that they will have in their job.
In other words, key elements for recruitment and, of course, for retention, since if the company does not comply in the terms that the candidate understood it should, they will look for an immediate exit, even if it were to another sector of activity. Because these types of employees, who know they are qualified and have talent, are not afraid of new searches and selection processes.
They highly value not only being provided with the necessary resources to perform their tasks, but also being provided with the necessary hardware to work flexibly and seamlessly, easily collaborating with their peers. Because the new slogan among employers who are looking for the best talent and candidates who want the best expectation of personal and professional development is that the technology available and the training must foster efficiency, creativity and collaboration.
This trend of opinion that has been prevailing has to help teams generate, capture and act on great ideas that drive the business. As is often said “new blood that also contributes new ideas”. For this reason, any facility in terms of remote work, both work and personal reconciliation and flexible collaboration, are determining elements for the decision to stay when they are already inside or to accept the position when it is being offered to them. Everything that does not go in this direction is currently going to end up affecting productivity and, without a doubt, the experience of employees can also be affected.
ITDMs (information technology services management) that understand this should increase their focus on employee experience initiatives so that improving employee-facing technology is thus perceived by the employee as a benefit. for their tasks and responsibilities, therefore, for the productivity of the company.
Technology as a solution to work in the best possible way
Nobody (both employers and candidates) can doubt that hybrid work has become a permanent fixture in most people’s lives. For this reason, the management of many companies have focused on optimizing a work methodology from no matter where the employee has to act.
Anticipate not only the technology that is to come, when investments are made in new devices that improve the efficiency of one or more tasks, bearing in mind that, as companies are already anticipating, in the very near future a high percentage of their workers They will be hybrids. But the most remarkable thing about this constant challenge for employee learning and greater business productivity is that it will be the people themselves in each of their functions who will be more or less satisfied with the technology that will have been made available to them.
For them, it will be a way to improve their own experience and satisfaction in the workplace. It is important, then, that the new devices or any other resource that has been acquired, such as state-of-the-art software, adapt to various needs and tasks, since there is no single technology for all employees, although some aspects such as diversity of interfaces, as well as expansion options and great connectivity can make all the difference. This can be verified when you want to facilitate data exchange even on the move, up to adapters to expand connectivity in meeting rooms.
Everyone who spends many hours at home based on remote/in-person distribution will require laptop stands that can improve ergonomics, just as wireless mice and keyboards can also increase operating comfort. Undoubtedly, when working in the comfort of the house a great disorder is generated, for this reason it is advisable that the employee dedicated to doing the same task that he should be doing in his position in the company, provide his site with a certain stability without changes, so as not to lose time in continuous movements and so that an operational routine is established.
That’s why many employees turn to docking stations for compact solutions that expand the range of connections without taking up too much space. No less important is that when employees have to travel to the office with their equipment, they need to have specially designed and well-padded backpacks to transport their equipment, as well as locks that protect against theft and data theft.
A more sustainable path
The fight to eliminate the digital footprint is not a chimera, but the essence of the philosophy that organizations around the world are imposing so that sustainability becomes a reality, without setbacks or further harm to the environment and people, when the only thing What must be done is at least to lower pollution levels day after day and year after year.
The commitments made by world political leaders and the world’s most important organizations have been bearing fruit, slowly but surely. As a result, IT managers know they must consider the impact of the number and types of devices to power and sustain their businesses. Whether they are desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, it does not matter, because the sum of all of them contributes negatively to said carbon footprint.
Someone might think that the new hybrid work format is counterproductive for the planet, but the counterpart is more people traveling and consuming gasoline, more downtime due to said journeys, which results, as always occurs, in an opportunity cost of considering the savings that the hybrid methodology provides companies and people in terms of times compared to greater or lesser consumption so that said employees are all in their respective jobs.
This has not been measured and we make it difficult for it to be, but there is a clear trend that the prevention measures applied to avoid waste, for example, of paper or ink for printers, are also having their positive mark, because It reduces not only recycling costs, but also environmental impact.
And we return to the starting point, in which the most talented candidates for a position, observe with great zeal that these extremes are taken care of in the company that wants to hire them. We are with a Z generation tremendously sensitive to sustainability issues, to decide also, along with the availability of technological resources and training that the company makes available, if this new position is worth it based on the values that this category of employees defend. Efforts to achieve a sustainable and circular economy in the IT sector have never been more important to reduce electronic waste and use systems such as reuse, recycling and asset recovery.
But do not be fooled, because to achieve clean processes in business operations, you have to start with the decision-making that is made in terms of the supply chain, seeking consistency with a more circular operating model in devices. technological improvements and the improvement of behavior in electronic waste, good habits that are already in operation in large companies that are very scrupulous in terms of their contribution to the fight for the preservation of the environment.
Employee careers ahead
We have become accustomed to referring to current markets as volatile, the economy as unstable, and future expectations as uncertain. In this environment, it is natural for companies to fight to attract talent by convincing candidates with concrete facts, both those they want to promote and retain, and those who necessarily must select from abroad because of their specialty.
But in both situations, what the management of companies in terms of HR in the hiring phase is demonstrating is that they need to put the careers of their employees first. In this regard, McKinsey as the world’s leading consulting firm has conducted new research that offers new insights for employers struggling to fill vacant positions. And this is because, like almost everything that is happening in societies and countries, the pandemic changed everything. Habits and way of doing things. People who have been forced to change customs and companies that have also had to transform quickly in the face of these new scenarios.
According to this study, companies have not adapted to this new reality when hiring. Employers still rely on “traditional levers to attract and retain people,” arguing that this approach will no longer be enough to fill their vacant positions.
It is clear from the research that we need to think more long-term about the workforce, with career development and advancement being the most important factor in determining employee retention. The data is compelling:
– Among people who left their job in the last year, 41% cited a lack of internal opportunities as their main motivation for leaving.
– While 34% blamed indifferent and uninspiring leaders.
Once again, the eternal karma that “the easiest thing for an employee to leave is a bad boss” is put on the table. Because although from time immemorial a good salary was what trapped a person, according to this study it is much less true now than before the pandemic.
But still, while he has lost his top job, compensation remains an important (top) position for employee retention and was the second most cited reason for quitting and going out looking for a new job.
The goal will always be to hire the best talent
The goal of any hiring process is to hire the best talent for the job. For what we have described above, this has not always been the case, and it is precisely the economic and market circumstances that have demanded a change of mind in managers.
But what happens if the best people don’t apply first?
Many companies struggle to attract top-tier talent for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the problem is location. Sometimes the business is not very well known. Sometimes the company has a reputation for being an unsatisfying place to work. Regardless of the reason, every company must be able to attract good people to achieve the best results.
There are many obstacles companies face in bringing top talent to the table and what you can do to solve the problem. The challenge faced by businessmen at the end of the two great crises that we have referred to (we exclude for the moment the War in Ukraine) was balanced because they also had all the power. There was a shortage of jobs and a glut of people desperate for them. Companies had the choice when it came to top talent. Today, the economy has recovered and the labor market has reversed. Now, the demand for trained and qualified people outstrips supply. With so many companies competing for the best talent, it’s harder for companies, especially smaller ones, to cut the noise and attract the best people.
But if it is true that we are going straight towards a recession in the most important economies of the European Union, such as Germany and Italy, although a recession is not forecast for Spain, the estimates of serious international organizations, in the case of the IMF or also the same European Executive Commission, predict a significant drop in Spanish growth.
Therefore, it is the employers who are going to have to make an effort to find the best workers with the highest salaries, in addition to attracting their attention by offering the best place to work. They must promote a challenging company culture for personal development, together with creative advantages and benefits and maintain a fun and active presence on social networks, all of them direct actions that help to differentiate themselves from the rest.