Meet & Engage

Career Ladder vs Career Lattice

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Making the most of your employee talent pool in a difficult hiring climate

2023 has started in much the same way as 2022 ended, with the media full of stories relating to mass layoffs. It started with the tech giants – Amazon announced 18,000 redundancies, Microsoft 10,000, Google 12,000, Meta 11,000 – and as we move into February in what we know will be another economically challenging year, businesses in other sectors are scrambling to reorganise and slim down too.

At the time of writing, Asda have just announced a potential 3,700 job losses and, according to research from employment law and HR consultancy firm WorkNest, more than two fifths (44%) of employers could be looking at restructuring or redundancies to cut costs in the next 12 months. More than a quarter (27%) of businesses are already looking for cost cutting measures, while 35% are unsure what impact the cost-of-living crisis will have on how much money they need to save.

On a more hopeful note, we know downturns don’t last forever and that despite a huge number of redundancies in 2022 – suggest around 90,000 in total – between Microsoft, Google and Meta, they actually hired over 92,000* people between them in the same time period.

Companies that develop their workers will retain more of their workforce diversity and become more agile and efficient in responding to changing market conditions

Things will pick up again and no doubt our favourite ‘war for talent’ phrase will be back in rotation in no time at all. But right now, we know the downturn is making itself known and hiring is being frozen in terms of growth as well as back-filling. There are solutions to the conundrum of how to fill roles during a hiring freeze however, and you absolutely shouldn’t forget about your most engaged existing talent pool – your employees.

Looking inwardly will result in the appearance of low growth, but the benefits of taking time to assess the talent which already exists in your business and put in place strategies for retention and development will pay dividends for all.  According to the Korn Ferry ‘Talent Acquisition Trends 2023’ report, companies that develop their workers will retain more of their workforce diversity and become more agile and efficient in responding to changing market conditions.

In a phase where external hiring is severely limited – or outright denied – what better way to approach recruitment than to focus on upskilling, reskilling, and developing your current workforce?

The ‘career ladder’ has been replaced by the ‘career lattice’


In their recently published ‘Talent Acquisition Trends 2023’ report, Korn Ferry stated that ‘thanks to a dynamic job market, professionals are no longer thinking of career growth in traditional terms. Instead, they are ditching the ladder for the lattice, making moves to other areas within their current organization, signalling a growing internal mobility trend’.

Internal movement feels like a win-win to me; the business can maintain operational levels and ensure they have the right people in the right roles for the future, and employees get to grow and develop without the upheaval of a move.  A recent article by Radancy states ‘the advantages of internal hiring are well documented, such as reducing hiring costs, increasing time-to-productivity and supporting better retention. And for the candidate, career progression, variety, increased job security and a sense of belonging’. And if you think that’s hard to argue with, a recent study by Better Buys found that employees overwhelmingly agreed, with 92% thinking that access to professional development opportunities is either important or very important.

92% of employees think having access to professional development opportunities is either important or very important

Hopefully we can agree that investment in an internal mobility/development strategy would be a smart move, but how do you engage with your internal talent in a way which ensures they are both informed and engaged? The likelihood is that your employees are busy, especially if they are taking on additional tasks to cover gaps. At times like these it’s important to provide information in a way which is respectful of the challenges of their time and mental capacity. At Meet & Engage we can offer solutions for that.

We developed our Nurture technology to help in such instances. Based on the understanding that bite-sized content in visual forms – videos, memes, pictures – delivered via an always-on social style platform, is much more appealing to people than long emails or word-heavy websites, we build our clients bespoke ‘Nurture Tracks’ which enable them to get their messages to the right people, in the right way.

By utilising Nurture Tracks in combination with our automated chatbots, you can create a central ‘hub’ where employees can easily access information about opportunities, available training and upskilling, as well as stories from other parts of the business. Through this information you can inform and inspire your people about the ways in which they can continue to build a career with you.

Your integrated chatbots can answer basic questions and signpost to the right information 24/7, whilst quick pulse checks and feedback questions can gauge satisfaction – meaning you can remain reactive and responsive to your employee’s needs.

We know this approach works; our clients regularly see hugely positive feedback and statistics. Here are a couple of inspiring examples:

  • Using our chatbot technology to gather feedback, a Global Consultancy Firm asked their Early Careers candidates if their Welcome Hub Nurture platform had helped them feel more prepared. 95% of users responded yes it had.
  • A UK Utilities company used our chatbot technology to assist their Experienced Hires: 70% of candidates opted to leave feedback on their chatbot experience and of those, a whopping 91% left smiley face feedback.

If you are considering options for enhancing your engagement with your employee populations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Solutions team on as we’d love to explore how we can help!

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