The post-pandemic economy is booming, and you’re right in the middle of it with more projects than ever before. The problem?
Staffing them. The demand for talent is so competitive that you either can’t get candidates to agree to an interview or worse: you get halfway through the process, and they ghost you.
Companies can’t rely on prestige, reputation, money, or culture to help them staff up in this job market.
The pandemic changed the way people work, and candidates are demanding employers adjust. Employers with the most attractive perks – which aren’t what they were two years ago – and the best hiring process win the best candidates.
Here are a few ways you can adjust your policies and hiring procedures to land the candidates everyone in your industry is going after.
Work Perks: Old vs. New
Eight-five percent of employees still feel that workplace perks are as important or more important than they were before the pandemic. However, what employees want and value has changed.
Old perks include:
- Free in-office snacks or meals
- Health and fitness reimbursement
- Company-sponsored social events
- Travel or parking reimbursement
- Unlimited vacation
When the workforce left the office, some of these perks disappeared or became less meaningful. Workers challenged the necessity of being in the office and re-assessed their life and work priorities.
In November of 2021, resignations reached a record high, with about 4.5 million people quitting their jobs. Talent shortages affected almost every industry and companies scrambled to staff up so they could keep their customers.
Still trying to replace the headcount they lost and fill new positions, companies are offering creative, modern perks to attract talent.
New perks include:
- A hybrid work schedule: Nearly 60 percent of employees prefer a hybrid work schedule, compared to 32 percent who want to be fully remote. The pandemic allowed “remote-capable” employees to compare working from home full-time to working in the office full-time, and they decided they prefer a mix. The hybrid work schedule, in which employees split their schedule between working from the office and working from home is by far the most preferred. This can be more logistically challenging than choosing one or the other, but companies that offer a hybrid work schedule are winning more candidates.
- Flexible work arrangements: Employers are offering more flexible work arrangements, which allows employees to create a better work-life balance. For example, employers are encouraging employees to prioritize family obligations, create work schedules that work best for their lives, or work from anywhere.
- A 4-day work week: Thousands of employees are testing the 4-day work week, in which employees work 32 hours over four days for 100 percent of their pay. Businesses can go through training with the 4 Day Work Week Global program to learn more efficient ways of working and get matched with companies who have done it before. Ninety-two percent of workers support a four-day work week and say it would benefit their mental health and productivity. Companies that pay employees by the hour or offer billable-hour services can still accomplish a 4-day work week by working 10-hour days, 4 days a week. Companies offering a 32-hour, 4-day work week pilot program or the more traditional 40-hour, 4-day work week are using it as a huge selling point for new hires.
- Elevated parental leave programs: Many employers are stepping up their parental leave programs. More women than men left their jobs during the pandemic and fewer have rejoined the workforce. This has caused many companies to re-evaluate their programs and benefits that disproportionately affect women. Companies are offering extended paid maternity leave, paternity leave, and flexible work arrangements to new parents in an effort to attract and keep women in their workforce.
- Mandatory vacation days: The “unlimited PTO” program was the sexy new benefit about 15 years ago. It looked like a great employee benefit, and employers didn’t have to pay out accrued PTO days when someone left. However, many employees ended up taking less time off than they did with an allotted number of days. Employees didn’t take advantage because they either weren’t encouraged to or didn’t feel like they had earned the days. Many companies are sticking with the unlimited PTO but are adding a minimum number of required vacation days to encourage employees to take days off.
- Bucket-list challenges: Progressive companies are creating Bucket List Challenges. Companies can completely customize how they set up their programs, but the idea is to encourage employees to complete challenges or enriching life experiences. A few example bucket list items include: traveling to a different country, running a marathon, riding a roller coaster, learning a new language, singing karaoke, skydiving, scuba diving, going to a concert, taking a cooking class, etc. Employers offer a reward when a certain number of items are completed, help cover costs, or encourage time off to pursue the endeavor. Some employers also create career-related bucket-list challenges.
Companies are getting more creative and bold with their employee benefits, but all modern benefits trend towards a better work-life balance because that’s what candidates want, especially the younger generation.
Hiring Process: Old vs. New
A traditional hiring process might take about 6 weeks, with a phone or video interview, and up to 3 in-person interviews. Offer letters follow within a week or two and then the candidate would have a few days to accept. Candidates often are asked to fill out online applications in addition to providing a resume and then a week or two later the interview process starts.
That process does not work in this job market.
Companies need to be quicker and more efficient. Here are a few ways companies are modernizing their hiring practices:
- Automating communication: Companies are setting up automated email and text reminders for interviews, as well as answering FAQ and asking for additional information from the interviewee. This could include personality, experience, and other questions to give the hiring manager more insight into the person they are interviewing.
- Practicing data-centric recruiting: Companies are tracking statistics to improve their hiring processes and make better hiring decisions. When they have statistics, such as how long the hiring process takes from start to finish, percentage of candidates that complete the process, and when and where fallout occurs, they can improve their processes.
- Making offers quickly and decisively: Offer letters come within 24 hours of the final interview, companies are presenting their best-offer comp packages immediately, outlining a career path for the prospective hire, and giving candidates a call to action with a deadline.
- Sealing the deal with perks: Employers are using many of the work-life balance perks mentioned above to seal the deal. According to a January 2022 survey by Paro, the majority of professionals say work-life balance is more important to them than compensation. The study shows that knowledge workers favor jobs that offer both flexibility and autonomy. Employers are highlighting how their companies offer those throughout the interview process and in their job offers.
The Great Resignation has professionals voluntarily quitting in droves in search of better jobs. Employers who get what modern professionals want and are willing to offer it won’t have trouble getting and keeping top talent!