The Future of Talent is Really Back to the Basics

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By Aimee Pagano, Global Head of Talent at VMLY&R

When it comes to talent topics critical to our industry these days, we hear common themes: the great resignation, the great reset, the great reshuffle, quiet quitting, the future of work and the workforce of the future. These trends, or buzzy phrases if you will, indicate one thing – employees are on the move. 1 in 5 workers globally plan to leave their jobs in 2022* (world economic forum). About 4 million people continue to quit their jobs monthly in the US this year. *(source, EDsmart) This movement can have a negative impact and cost to our businesses.

What is everyone looking for, and how do we ensure that we deliver what our talent and ultimately our businesses need amongst all the disruption? 

To answer that, we need to reframe our thinking. Despite more innovative & efficient technology in the workplace making things better, we must not forget the basics of what employees need and want enabling retention.

  • Communicating our employee value proposition (EVP) to employees and potential employees so they understand why it is special to be part of the organization and what’s in it for them.
  • Setting clear role expectations, KPIs, and goals so employees know what is expected of them, what success looks like, and how they can develop with experiences and skills to move forward (laterally or upwards) in their careers.
  • Transparency about what opportunities exist in the company and how employees can apply and be considered. This is known as internal mobility.
  • Communicating on a regular basis with our employees so that they know all of the above and feel connected to the business purpose, their manager and their team. Some are calling these “stay interviews,” but it’s basic good management to talk to your employees about how they are feeling — what’s going well, what’s not, what’s next and how to get there. Additionally, give managers the tools to have those conversations productively.

Why does getting the basics right matter? Because these simple foundational things lead to connection between the organization and the employee which can benefit the employees and the business in the following ways:

Increase retention: Many sources, including LinkedIn, indicate that one of the top three reasons employees leave an organization is lack of career development. Having a career map and understanding how to develop can change this. And with the cost of turnover on average being 1.5 times an annual salary, and average time of one to three months to hire a replacement, consider the cost avoidance from retaining employees.

Improve employee engagement: Regular conversations, between managers and employees can strengthen the connection between the employee and the team, the organization, as well as a sense of belonging and understanding. If an employee senses someone is concerned about their career and well being, they are more likely to feel a connection to the organization. This can be as simple as an email or a coffee chat just to check in on regular basis.

Tap Existing Workforce:  Internal mobility is the key to retention, engagement, faster time to productivity and delivering talent on demand (like the amazon prime or uber for talent!). There is a business need, and we want to find the best diverse talent immediately. This can be achieved by tapping into our existing workforce. The advertising and marketing industry has a workforce of approximately 8.6 million people globally, 13% of which changed jobs in the last year.  Our industry talent flows show that the top sources of new hires continue to come from within our industry. So your leavers are going to competitors! Imagine what a difference it would make if you retain those movers by advertising internal opportunities. This is critical to the business and the future model of the workforce; we have much of the talent we need to fill our existing roles already, and we have opportunities that can ensure the talent we hired stays within our organization. Although you want a healthy percentage of hires to be external ensuring we are bringing in fresh new skills and more diverse talent, we should prioritize hiring internal talent wherever possible and make it easy to find those opportunities.

Ultimately, if we focus on getting the basics right of delivering an amazing connected employee experience and continue to innovate we can solve for the future of talent, and impact our businesses in a positive way.