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6 tips to sustain talents in the Great Reshuffle

21 February 2022

Introduction: The Great Reshuffle and what it means for businesses

The pandemic is certainly changing the way the world works.

Following a phenomenon known as the Great Resignation, where record numbers of people have been leaving their jobs after the onset of COVID-19, the trend has evolved into what is now termed the Great Reshuffle as the masses search for more rewarding roles offering greater flexibility.

According to a survey by Deloitte, Gen-Zers (individuals born between 1996 and the early-mid 2000s) have overtaken Millennials (those born between 1980-1995) as the generation most interested in leaving their companies. Over half of the respondents expressed their expectation to consider a change of jobs in the coming two years.

In fact, in October 2021 alone, nearly 3% of the entire US workforce (equivalent to some 4.2 million Americans) already quit their jobs (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). But the Great Reshuffle’s impact is much more significant than that. Combining shifting work trends with the overall accelerated adoption of digital skills by at least five years (source: Gartner), organisations must try to secure and future-proof their talent pipeline through effective talent sustainability strategies. How to achieve talent sustainability – especially for Gen-Zers and Millennials

People’s life priorities have changed as a result of the pandemic. They are reconsidering who they work for and why. To continue attracting and hiring the right people, companies must recalibrate and address top priorities brought forward by today’s talent.

Statistics from LinkedIn’s 2021 UK talent research showed attributes of flexible work arrangements, inclusivity of people from diverse backgrounds, and positive work-life balance have each increased in talent-perceived importance since COVID-19 began.

So, companies should engage with talent dynamically in meaningful ways while authentically focusing on career-building, talent development, and other worthwhile (for talent) incentives.

Some of these include:

1. Investing inwards via local talent development. Companies should go above and beyond simply looking for hires, and start exploring and implementing graduate schemes and mentoring programs to cater to what really matters to the talent of today and tomorrow. 

2. Connecting early and frequently. Networking is an increasingly valuable asset in the world of work, and today’s talents appreciate longer-term connections with employers. So, even before job openings become available, it is good practice to outreach to connect with potentially suitable talent regularly, so that they keep your company in mind when the right time/opportunity arrives.

3. Checking talent profiles – online. Today’s talent understands the importance of developing their online profiles, so this ease of accessibility to information is great news for companies looking to connect with talent.  

4. Diversification and inclusion. LinkedIn has identified diversity as the second most popular trend impacting the world of work after COVID-19. A key takeaway of the Deloitte survey calls for company leaders to re-evaluate the role of diversity and inclusion in talent hiring and retention. It proposes moves towards gender and colour-blind hiring systems and processes and supports hiring for skills such as resilience and robustness.

5. Promoting the position, rather than the company. Today’s talents are becoming more interested in an opening’s suitability for themselves than the prestige of any given company or brand, so it is important to emphasise these factors.

6. Not being restricted by talent's physical location. Today’s talent is nimble. Paired with amplified preferences for jobs with remote working arrangements, hirers should demote the importance of potential talent’s geographical locales and focus on developing strategies to offer attributes prioritised by their desired talent groups.

Staying ahead of the game

The pandemic has demonstrated that companies focused on recruiting trustworthy, dedicated and performance-driven individuals have much more easily adapted to the new, flexible future of work. Under these uncertain environments where talent priorities continue to shift, companies must be nimble and ready to face the challenge of developing robust strategies to achieve talent sustainability – for the formation of a win-win environment for both employer and employee.

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