In an economic downturn like the one we currently find ourselves in, the headlines full of large-scale layoffs and economic doom and gloom can make it hard to know where to focus our energies. From the tech layoffs that dominated the headlines earlier in the year, to daily updates on the continuing impact of the cost-of-living crisis on hiring, it’s undeniable that these are tricky times in the world of talent.
Experience tells us that the market 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 become 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. According to the LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2023, 93% of employers are concerned with employee retention, and that ‘providing learning opportunities’ is the number one priority to try and fix this. And 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.
I think we can agree that investment in an internal mobility/development strategy would be a smart move, but where do you start? Research by Aptitude and Workday found that, despite strong interest in internal mobility, only one in four companies are confident with their strategies moving forward and 77% have lost talent due to a lack of career development opportunities. They add that “many organizations have adopted a superficial approach to internal mobility by promoting jobs through internal career sites without offering individuals opportunities and development.”
The key question is: how do you tap into your internal talent pool 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, and which gives your employees something useful to them; i.e. it enables them to learn new skills or access opportunities they may not have known about. At Meet & Engage we can offer solutions for that.
We developed our Nurture technology 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.
Connecting your employee audience with opportunities across your business can unlock potential, improve retention and support reskilling. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org as we’d love to explore how we can help!