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Take Care of Your Talent or Else. . .
Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP --  The Herman Group Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP -- The Herman Group
Austin, TX
Thursday, April 22, 2021


The Herman Trend Alert

April 21, 2021

Take Care of Your Talent or Else. . .

This week's Herman Trend Alert was supposed to be about the 4-day work week and how employers will implement it, rather this Alert focuses on a more pressing issue for employers. And though this Alert is about what is happening in the United States, we are certain that there are similar labor market situations worldwide, as we emerge from this challenging global pandemic.

Employers need workers to make their products and/or serve their customers. Without good people, companies are out of business. But what happens when companies are simply unable to hire the people they need? And what do they do about it?

Impending No More

In 2003, I co-authored a book titled Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People. The book forecasted that by the year 2010, there would be 10 million more jobs available than people in the US. According to recent data from online jobsite ZipRecruiter, about a month ago, the number of job openings had skyrocketed to 15 million---5 million more than pre-pandemic levels. For my clients and other employers, I wish that the millions of unemployed were applying for these positions, but sadly, that is not happening.

Why Jobseekers Are Not Jumping at these Opportunities

Millions without work are disheartened, cautious, and especially fearful of returning to work. They are discouraged because they started trying to find new jobs just after they had lost their others. For the first two months, they were really enthusiastic. Now, months later, they are disenchanted with the recruitment process. They are cautious about returning to work because they wonder if the prospective employer is truly committed to keeping them healthy. They remember when, during the height of the pandemic, many companies---particularly those hiring low-skilled people---were not. Finally, with infections rising again in 20 states, they are fearful of bringing infection home to their families. Wise employers will create a task force to ensure that they can address these issues in their recruiting processes.

Vaccinations Will Help a Lot

With the percentage of the US population that is vaccinated rising by the day, the virus will have fewer and fewer available hosts. As this Herman Trend Alert goes to press, President Biden has opened up vaccinations to anyone who is at least 16 years of age. With a decreasing number of host bodies, the virus will eventually disappear---if (and only if) enough people choose to be vaccinated. If we do not get to the level of herd immunity, we will likely have another spike next winter and certainly need to get booster shots to cover the additional disease varients.

Stimulus Checks Played a Part

Factory owners, contract cleaning services, and others who hire relatively low-skilled workers have told me that they believe the generosity of unemployment benefits and the stimulus payments have had a devastating effect on the number of workers they are able to recruit. According to employers, they are staying home, because these candidates can actually make more money not working.

Tremendous Pressure to Jump

With 15 million job openings, the people who want to work are once again in the driver's seat. There will probably be that "unprecedented churning" in the labor marketplace I have talked about often. Many will jump, because they can. They will have their choices of working with those employers who offer the highest levels of flexibility and benefits and who demonstrate they really care about their people.

What Employers Can Do

On the other hand, organizations that want to hold onto their top talent will need to begin taking steps right away to keep their good people and keep them productive. Here are three things employers can do right now to help: First, before it is too late, conduct Stay Interviews; understand why people work for your company, what they are passionate about and what you might want to consider taking off of their plates. Second, conduct an employee survey to "take the temperature of your workforce." If you are not scoring in the 75 to 80 percent range, get help immediately. Address your areas for improvement, before they become excuses for good people to leave. And finally, make sure your Leadership Team is leading, not just managing, your people. Mentor them yourself or get them coaching or send them to leadership programs like the Center for Creative Leadership. You will need empathetic, adaptable leaders to help you thrive into the future.

Next Week's Herman Trend Alert: The 4-Day Work Week

Next week, trying again, I will definitely address the possible iterations and implementations of the 4-Day Work Week with insights from Thomas Michael Hogg, Tony Carnesi, and Brian Gorman, you will certainly gain the insights you will need to determine if it can work for your company? Hint: all three believe there is more to it than just a new schedule.


News Media Interview Contact
Name: Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP
Title: Certified Speaking Professional and Management Consultant
Group: The Herman Group
Dateline: Austin, TX United States
Direct Phone: 336-210-3548
Main Phone: 800-227-3566
Cell Phone: 336-210-3548
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