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 – 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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