THE FUTURE WORKFORCE SERIES Talent Acquisition for 2021 and Beyond


Talent Acquisition for 2021 and Beyond

Blog 6 of 6

In this series on our Future Workforce Series, we have discussed recent workforce changes, supply and demand issues, and the new employee mindset. We went over why technology, communication and recruiting strategies are critical to winning the talent acquisition game.

We’ve also examined the value of understanding exactly what type of talent employers need while competing with other companies for the same talent. We then highlighted ways to find solutions that mutually benefit the organization, employees, and customers.

So… how do you pull all this together for rock-star results?

In this final blog, we provide you with our Recruiter Toolkit. It will equip employers with the essential components to drive success during the continuing pandemic and into the aftermath of Covid.

We know there is a supply and demand issue, and you want exceptional employees who can manage the job beyond expectations and help you achieve your long-term goals. You also want recruits that not only fit into but provide role modeling for your culture. We have a process for that.

Here are 5 key factors that are often missed.

We’ve established in previous blogs that you must begin with an in-depth evaluation of what is needed to move the company forward. This analysis is not focused on current employees, their strengths, and the work. Rather, it is an honest review of future needs, skills, and talents to drive performance toward goals and complete the work to best advantage.

Once this is determined, it is evident if we have that expertise in-house or if we must look outside the organization. To search and find appropriate talent, we address the following factors for effective recruiting:

  1. Deeper clarity of candidate motivations

When recruiting, a mistake we often see is that employers (and sometimes recruiters too) do not ask the right questions and do not invest enough time into discussions with potential candidates. We must gain a level of rapport and comfort to get clear on the candidates’ real motivations. We know from experience that you must understand what’s most important to them. Ultimately, these reasons will affect how well they adapt, their performance, commitment, and longevity.

  1. Multi-dimensional candidate assessments

We’ve found that results are greatly improved when we increase our ability to perform multi-dimensional candidate assessments. This will including digging deeper into work experience, skills, and capabilities. You will have created a detailed description of what the successful employee will bring to the table. It’s critical that the discussion covers all relevant areas.

  1. Clear employer branding at all levels

The future employee needs to have a clear picture of what the company stands for, including the mission, vision, and culture. They need to feel confident that they will fit in and that the company’s values align with theirs. This increased clarity is found among the leadership team, within each department, with hiring managers, and further solidified into the job description.

  1. Technology that allows an expanded talent search

With supply and demand a consistent issue, the best results require an ability to use technology to expand your talent pool geographically. It no longer works to only search locally. In our mobile society, there are many reasons employees relocate, near or far, for the right job. There are specific methods to searching and finding a candidate that is an ideal match.

  1. Candid communication about work style preferences

As noted in previous segments of this series, employees have formed definite opinions about their preferred work environment. Many have decided they want to work remotely and won’t settle for less. Others like the idea of having splitting time between home and office, while others want an in-person office setting. Employers must be clear on their requirements and possible compromises, and a heavy discussion on remote work capabilities must be open and direct.

The InPursuit Search Solution

 We’ve all seen obvious shifts in employer-employee dynamics, and we recognize that there are several important factors at play. Here are the necessary steps to winning at the new recruiting and retention game for 2021 and beyond.

 Your Recruiter Toolkit for success

 Have detailed discussions that define the Employer Brand at all levels.

  1. Exercise creativity in building a candidate pool that meets your targeted requirements.
  2. Create a new job design with discussions around how to get the work completed rather than centered on a specific, current employee or on the work itself.
  3. Devote the time for significant candidate communication and relationship building to determine a candidate offer closure.
  4. Recruiters need to know the answers to the following questions:
  • Why are you looking for your next position?
  • What is missing in your current position?
  • What are the driving factors in accepting your next position?
  • What are your compensation expectations?
  • What other opportunities are you considering and how does this one rank?
  • How will you respond to a counteroffer?
  • What are others in your life saying about you making this move?
  • Who will help you make your final decision?

The last 18 months have been difficult for employers and employees, families and individuals. We want to see businesses thrive and move forward with confidence. Of course, this means defining goals and what is needed to reach them. And you need to find—and keep—employees best suited to help you make that happen.

We also want employees to find companies that can provide the challenges, growth and interesting jobs they are craving. As important to the employee is a work setting that can instill the motivation, creativity, and performance that lead to pride in a job well done.

I have devoted my career to enhancing the recruiting process and finding excellent matches that make a positive difference to the company, its employees and their families. If you’d like to discuss the new normal for recruiting success, give me a call at 612-810-0406.

And if you’ve found value in this series, please share it with a friend who might also benefit. Thank you!  —David Zimmel, InPursuit Search

THE FUTURE WORKFORCE SERIES Talent Acquisition for 2021 and Beyond

The Future Workforce Series – Talent Acquisition – 5 of 6

In this series, we have discussed recent workforce changes, complications that accompany supply and demand issues, the newly designed employee mindset, and what it means to the employer. We’ve emphasized the need for appropriate technology, communication and recruiting strategies when planning to win at talent acquisition and retention.

We’ve noted emphatically that employers need to carefully assess what type of talent they need, how to attract that talent, and how to compete with other employers for acquisition and retention.

So… how are employers and employees creating solutions?

In this blog, let’s examine what we see when companies navigate the changing workplace successfully and how their leaders differ from those who are indecisive or resisting change. We’ll also gain a view of how the employer’s stance is being received by employees and applicants. And most importantly, we’ll look at what this means to the business and a healthy, competitive future.

We want to see employers come through this dramatic period of history unscathed, but even more that than, we want to see businesses adapt and thrive. With that type of outcome, they will have a stronger business model, more productive employees, a larger claim on the marketplace, and more substantial profits.

From some perspectives, this is a tall order. From our viewpoint, it is not only doable with realistic planning, but imperative for future success. We know that employers and employees can work together extremely well to find solutions that benefit the business, the employee, and the clients.

Resilience leads to a mutually beneficial outcome.

Most of us can remember a time when employers found employees easily, gave them a place to work, an extensive list of duties, and a timetable within established work hours to adequately complete the work. Those days are dead and gone, or as we like to say, “Recess is over.”

We must get down to business, and the past 18 months have changed the game for both employers and employees. We all had to find new ways of getting work done. Creativity was essential and, often, the only route to success. The status quo had lost its value.

Prospering employers are building a deeper understanding of accountabilities and deliverables. Forward-thinking leaders have recognized the positive outlook of business in a pandemic, rather than focusing on the negatives. They are taking an honest look at what needs to get done and what talents are required. They are also taking a fresh look at how to accomplish their goals under a different set of rules.

Employees are leveraging their newfound preferences.

Working from home, employees often went above and beyond, with unquestionable productivity. Failing was not an option. Over time, many employees learned to love the flexibility and convenience of creating their own workspace and schedules. For those contributors, it would be hard to go back. And they aren’t likely to do so.

We hear most employees say they are now seeking a virtual or, at least, hybrid environment. They are quick to add that they will leave organizations that are inflexible and require an exclusively in-office workforce.

Clearly, successful employers have heard this message and understood that changes are needed quickly. These leaders value their achievers and trailblazers and are willing to make adjustments that allow for productivity while honoring their employees’ favored work conditions.

Understand the risks; then make HR adjustments.

When competing for top talent, you must extend an attractive offer. The only way to do that is to make sure your HR policies are aligned with the new standards for top performers. Review your current employee manual with an eye to the key factors now preferred (and even demanded) in the workforce. Are your policies painting a picture from 2019 or do they reflect today’s employee-focused priorities?

Without a new set of standards, your outdated HR policies may significantly increase turnover and limit the opportunity to entice top talent. Especially if your competitors have already made changes to accommodate the new normal, your offer will pale in comparison to what’s being offered elsewhere. And your contributing employees will soon understand that they can find what they want at another, more supportive, company.


The InPursuit Search Solution

 There are several important factors at play. Here are necessary steps to winning at the new normal. It starts with a new mindset for being the best employer and understanding the preferred work conditions for your current and future employees. Conduct a thorough review of your HR policies to build policies and procedures that will accommodate a hybrid workforce. Design more productive in-office workspaces, offering a selection of collaborative work areas and spaces with a quieter environment.

To achieve highly productive team performance, hiring managers must receive the necessary training to improve in-office and remote team efficiency. And to be effective, they need to define complete responsibilities and accountabilities. Employees do best when they understand what’s expected with a concise description of the outcome. For top performers, their creative brilliance and experience will show them how to get there.

Your HR department needs to build a value proposition to attract and retain an effective workforce, knowing that negotiation and flexibilities are warranted for both employer and employee. Along with the changes in policies, job descriptions must be tweaked to reflect the new work parameters.

With positive expectations and a realistic perspective on today’s job market, employers are creating a culture of mutual respect with the help of their employees. In honest conversations, they are learning what matters most to their employees and, together, they are exploring ways to make it happen. The outcome is a workforce that is more enthusiastic, appreciative, and highly productive.

In our next—and last—blog of this series, we’ll wrap up our discussion with our Recruiter Toolkit to maximize your effectiveness in hiring and retaining all-star employees. We’ll also give you the questions that recruiters must know the answers to before making an offer to a candidate. You won’t want to miss this critical piece of the puzzle.

Stay tuned—and if you’d like to discuss the new normal for successful recruiting, call David Zimmel at InPursuit Search: 651-756-8862. If you’ve found this series interesting, please share it with a friend who might also benefit. Thank you!



THE FUTURE WORKFORCE SERIES Talent Acquisition for 2021 and Beyond

The Future Workforce Series – Talent Acquisition – 4 of 6

In previous blogs in this series, we outlined recent workforce changes, critical issues with supply and demand, and the new employee mindset. We discussed how technology, communication and recruiting strategy play an integral role in successful talent acquisition and retention.

After months of working remotely, employees have drawn conclusions about their best work style. They now have distinct preferences and are determined to find a workplace culture that will accommodate their new priorities.

What does all this mean to the employer?

In this blog, we’ll discuss how to best understand the type of talent you need, attract that talent, strategically compete in the marketplace and retain your best employees. If any of those elements are missing in your strategy, you’re missing something very critical.

We want you to succeed with inspiration and purpose. Having a long history of success in the recruiting industry, we’ve seen abundant examples of both misfortune and victories. And from our daily conversations with employers and employees, we’ve gained clarity surrounding the shift that is taking place and how to manage it to a mutually beneficial outcome.

It starts with a forward-focused strategy.

Effective strategy requires annual planning. There are several layers within this model. This first layer provides the overarching goal, a serious look at the talent and skills required to get there, and an assessment of the current employee situation to find the gaps that would prevent you from achieving your goals.

As you set reasonable, yet achievable, goals during your strategic planning process, you’ll discuss company objectives in terms of growth, improvements, innovation, customer experience, finance and others. This broader intention is what will drive your activity and priorities for the year.

You will then define the steps needed to reach the goal and how the organization wants to complete each project. What are the insights, skills and experience needed to best complete the work? Once you know what you need to accomplish, an honest review of your employees will indicate where the gaps are on your current staff.

Knowing what expertise you will need, position profiles can be created. By making this an annual process, you give yourself the advantage of knowing exactly what you plan to do and who you need on the team to make it a reality. This is how your annual talent acquisition process begins.

Recruiting best practices make all the difference.

The second layer of the process includes the actual recruiting. Here’s where you find the person with the skills you need and the personality to favorably fit into your culture. Having the position profile ready prepares you for finding the ideal candidate for the role.

To be effective at this stage, you’ll look at active candidates and will likely find the best candidates in those who are curious but not actively looking. With open conversations about what’s important to them, we uncover their strengths and priorities. From there, we can discuss the opportunity and how it would satisfy their vision for the next step in their life and career.

Now more than ever, employees would like the freedom to work from home at least part of the time. It pays to determine how the future employee can be productive, and happy, in their new role.

Outpace the competition by taking action.

Because of today’s supply and demand issue, we need to take action—quickly. Waiting won’t get you where you want to go. With excellent planning, you will have a clear vision of what you need to reach your goals—and remember that your competitors may have a similar need for that level of expertise.

This is when you need to search far and wide for potential candidates, get to know them, and offer them an attractive package. You need to understand what’s most important to them—and what your competition might be offering. When ready to make an offer, you should know without a doubt that they would gladly accept the offer you have in mind. If not, you still have work to do.

What is your retention strategy?

The third layer involves all the ways you give your employees yet another reason to remain a productive player on the team. Keep your top performers by developing strong retention initiatives. Leaving it to chance is not a good strategy in these competitive times.

Meaningful incentives include promotions, bonuses and benefits. There are individual rewards for desired behaviors and outcomes and team incentives for getting you closer to the goal. Celebrate each benchmark that is reached.

Performance management will reward your employees appropriately. Just as important are the words of praise and appreciation, the interest in them and their family, and recognition among their peers. A handwritten note or gift card goes a long way for many.

The InPursuit Search Solution

 More than anything, it’s imperative to define the right opportunity for the right employee. If that employee is not yet on your staff, with the right tools, you can locate the talent and hire to fill the gap.

Consistent communication plays an important role at every stage—within the team, with employees and with candidates. This is especially important in communications from management to employees and from HR to employees and candidates.

For optimal productivity, expectations must be communicated with a method of accountability that adds incentive rather than anxiety. There are a variety of performance management strategies. Choose one that meets the needs of your leadership and employees.

Engagement surveys, personalized programs and dashboards are helpful tools to understand and connect in a meaningful way. Employees thrive on connection. For executives and line managers, knowing your employees well will help you find the best approach.

In the next blog, we’ll discuss more about what employees want and solutions that will satisfy both the employer and the employee. If you would like to discuss today’s workforce and successful recruiting, call David Zimmel at InPursuit Search: 612-810-0406. And if you have a friend who would benefit from the discussion, please share the blog series with them. Thank you!


The Future Workforce Series – Talent Acquisition for 2021 and Beyond

The Future Workforce Series – Talent Acquisition – 3 of 6

Our introduction to this series outlined the bittersweet reality of the changes taking place in the workforce and the pressing need for serious deliberation on what that means for recruiting and retention. Our second blog discussed critical issues with supply and demand. Now, more than ever, employers need a highly strategic plan for effective talent acquisition.

The last 15 months gave employees plenty of time while working from home to draw conclusions about their best future. They developed preferences around work style, flexibility and commutes, and they are better equipped to pursue a work schedule and environment that generate inspiration and creative opportunity.

A shift has taken place.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the status of the talent pool and how to understand and accommodate their needs. As an employer, your need to attract the best talent requires a solid game plan if you are to remain competitive and moving forward.

Yes, the workforce is changing, and the time to prepare is now. Waiting is not a viable option. We are seeing a much higher percentage of employees ready to consider a new position and make a move. Many of them have adjusted to working from home and created a working lifestyle that they much prefer to the old standard.

Employees who have the drive and ambition to excel in the workplace now understand that they can be highly successful and productive without adhering to an 8- 5 in-office routine. The former practice of being seen eight hours a day, meeting in person and gathering around the water cooler no longer holds appeal for the majority of workers.

Employers have realized the truth of this scenario as well. In cases where workers do not need to be physically present for production or customer service, they can be even more creative and productive than when on the premises under a watchful eye.

Technology has enabled changes.

Technology has played an impressive role in offering employees more flexibility and freedom on the job. With available connectivity, they can readily access the data and resources needed to be successful. At the same time, it also allows them to actively network and increase their opportunities in the marketplace. They’ve been given access to the pulse of the job market and finding options for their advancing objectives.

With technical flexibility at their fingertips, employees had more choices on how to manage their personal life and family schedules. Forward-thinking leaders will leverage technology for effective communication channels that can bind the group together without the physical restrictions of the past.

There’s wisdom in leveraging communication.

While communication has always been important, it is now more critical than ever. This is a point not to be missed. Clear channels of communication will make a significant difference for thriving managers, employees and teams. Not only do these channels need to be open, but they need to be used regularly.

Especially when employees are not on site, managers need to touch base more often to give encouragement, build the team and bridge the gap of miscommunication. This doesn’t mean micro-management. Rather, this means empowering capable, motivated employees to drive results.

With training, managers will learn how to build a cohesive team and lead with confidence within the new norm. Policies and procedures must underscore the benefits of technology and communication as an organization so everyone remains on the same page.

Who is competing more effectively?

To compete for this pool of resourceful talent, employers must clearly understand that employees have options. They are fully aware that they possess the ability to secure a position that complements their professional and personal goals. How can your organization address employee needs while competing in the marketplace?

The InPursuit Search Solution

Companies that fare the best will be those that take the time to understand the new workforce and address their needs through policies and procedures. They will use employee engagement surveys as a Voice of Employee tool to ensure that those needs are being met and that everyone shares the vision and works toward it collectively.

To compete successfully, tweak your policies and procedures. Your communication and internal training with executives, line managers and employees will define your targeted workforce and what motivates them.

Hiring strategy must include thorough research of external candidates. Until you know what drives them, you can’t ensure a good fit for the culture and mission. To make an attractive offer, you need to know more than their experience history and skills. You must uncover what is most meaningful to them on both a personal and professional level.

Equally as important is the knowledge of the marketplace. What other opportunities are on the horizon for them? To better understand candidates within the talent acquisition process, you need to be aware of other opportunities they may be seeking. Once you know what you are up against, you can close the offer process.

If you have comments about this topic and would enjoy a conversation, call David Zimmel at InPursuit Search: 612-810-0406. And if you have a friend who would benefit from the discussion, please share the blog with them. Thank you!


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The Future Workforce Series – Talent Acquisition for 2021 and Beyond

The Future Workforce Series – Talent Acquisition – 2 of 6


We’ve established in our intro blog that the workforce is changing, and there’s likely no disagreement with that statement. The last 15 months have swept through the workplace like a tornado, and it’s no wonder we say, “We aren’t in Kansas anymore.” Clearly, we don’t expect pre-pandemic times to reappear and erase the anxiety of what’s in store for the future.

As new workforce challenges emerge, one of the primary obstacles for the immediate future is the issue of supply and demand. It has become just as difficult to find a good match for professional labor as it is to find unskilled labor. Unfortunately, the old ways of finding professional personnel are no longer effective.

Supply doesn’t meet demand.

Statistics show that employers are having a much more difficult time finding and hiring talent to help them move forward without losing their competitive edge. To make matters worse, the rules have changed, and business owners do not have a neatly typed copy of those rules.

Now more than ever, workers are making demands and setting the criteria for employment non-negotiables. Employees are much quicker to start looking for another opportunity when they are unhappy in their current role. To find a great match, we need to uncover the underlying reasons for their dissatisfaction.

Just because candidates have the capabilities doesn’t mean they will be happy in the role you have open. We need to take the time to understand their motivations and preferences. Here’s where it gets personal and that makes all the difference in finding the right candidate.

Having worked from home for over a year, many employees prefer to keep it that way—at least for the most part. They are saving time wasted on a commute and money spent on parking, lunches, wardrobe and childcare.

Flexibility is the new attraction.

Yes, there are also employees who can’t wait to get back to the office for the collaboration, camaraderie and a renewed appreciation for a separation of home and office. Business owners are learning that employees want flexibility to do their best work without the restrictive nature of “Everyone quiet and in your seats by 8:00.”

With the uncertainty of how to plan for a stable, successful operation, employers must find ways to keep employees happy and productive. Key concerns surround turnover, safety, childcare issues, compensation, etc. Within an extremely competitive market, businesses can look for ways to automate further to reduce manual labor and/or adopt effective strategies to locate, attract, hire and retain employees.

He who hesitates is lost.

Let’s be upfront by saying that you have options. That said, we know that to get what you want, you must know what you want. If you want to leverage your business, you’ll need to leverage your talent pool. To do that, you’ll need the best talent available for the position. Communication is key, and it’s imperative to find out what motivates the candidate.

Building relationships will uncover what is missing in their current role and what will motivate them in the future. In today’s market, how do you find that talent and ensure a good fit for your culture? Your recruiting message must be loud and clear as to why you would be the employer of choice.

The InPursuit Search Solution

From my years of experience, I understand that you need to know the solution before you start searching. It’s a lot like buying a house when you haven’t been in the market for ages. You need to get really clear about what you want.

What are the must-have features? How will it complement your lifestyle? Similarly, once you know what you need for creativity, productivity and a culture fit, you will have a clear target.

When looking at houses, we typically need to look at many before finding the right one. In my recruiting experience, I’ve learned that we need to take the time to look at many candidates before the right one surfaces.

Generally, the first to appear are those who are actively looking because they are dissatisfied in their current role. Although they are looking, they are not necessarily the right fit. In later waves of candidates, we find those who were not actively pursuing a change and are much better suited and interested once they hear about the excellent opportunity.

Doing your due diligence includes getting clear on what you need, analyzing your targeted workforce market and understanding how to access that market. Clearly define what motivates the (hidden) talent pool, including culture, leadership, compensation, role and responsibilities, benefits, flexibility, safety, technology, etc. Equally important—you must recognize how you compete against other employers who will be pursuing the same candidate.

If you’re going to play, play to win.

To gain—and retain—the best employees, you must know how to compete and win them over. Review your talent acquisition processes—to win—by defining your needs and differentiation, moving quickly and onboarding creatively. And don’t forget to appreciate your employees for the great job they do for your company and your customers.

If you have comments about this topic and would enjoy a conversation, call David Zimmel at InPursuit Search.  There’s no time like the present!

Mobile: 651-756-8862 or email:

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The Future Workforce Series – Talent Acquisition for 2021 and Beyond

The Future Workforce Series – Talent Acquisition – 1 OF 6

We’ve seen major changes in the business landscape over the past 15 months, and the imprint will be a lasting one that needs to be addressed. We’ve had conversations, listened to news reports and read commentaries that suggest that we don’t know what it all means or where the solutions lie. In this blog series, we’ll discuss the major areas of impact and how to successfully manage the new normal for an effective workforce.

The workforce is changing.

Recent events have changed the way we do business and how our employees and clients are affected. As the workforce changes, recruiting will need to change with it. Companies, hiring managers, work teams, positions and job descriptions will need to evolve.

Management teams are re-evaluating the traditional workplace environment of offices, workstations, cubicles and conference rooms. They are re-examining work hours, digital options, automation and how to best serve clients while offering employees the flexibility and support needed to be productive.

We aren’t in Kansas anymore.

The pre-pandemic workplace will be difficult to replicate. Some business owners may wish to go back to what was, but the reality is that the world has forever changed. We need to adjust and plan for a vibrant, successful future. That future must be promising for the business, employees and customers.

For business to thrive, productivity is essential, and workers have a variety of personal situations that need to be considered. Some employees can’t wait to get back to work, and some never left their post. For the millions of virtual workers who have worked diligently from home, backyard and vehicle over the last year, many have proven to be highly productive.

It takes a plan to get from here to there.

We see companies creating new work procedures and talent acquisitions processes. Businesses, young and old, are re-designing their How to achieve their Why. Remote workers have tried to carve out a quiet workplace at home, and some organizations are stepping in to help create a more conducive work experience for them at home. Others are creating resourceful options at the office.

One major factor in the success of every business is its employees. We want to hire well, provide education, mentoring and support, and understand what motivates them. That means first understanding the job you are creating and what types of character and skills are required for success.

The InPursuit Search Solution

The Future Workforce Series will provide solutions for employers addressing current and post-pandemic talent acquisition including:

1) Imbalance of the workforce demand and supply

2) How to address the talent pool

3) How we manage communications

4) Creating employer/employee solutions

5) Your Talent Acquisition Toolkit

If you have comments about this topic and would enjoy a conversation, call David Zimmel at InPursuit Search: 612-810-0406. It’s a primary focus for future success!

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