Unprepared employers face three "recruit and replace" phases
The economic recovery will hit employers "like a tsunami", says human capital consultant Anthony Sork. Employers acting too late to stop the exodus of their workers must focus on attaching and on-boarding their replacement recruits.
Recruitment industry unprepared for upturnSork notes that in previous recovery cycles the recruitment industry was reasonably well positioned to capitalise on the surge in demand for staff, but this time around it moved quickly to reduce its workforce and "many [agencies] are now going to be left short of consultants".
He expects that, as a result, the industry won't benefit from the recovery to the extent it has in previous cycles, partly because technological developments - including job boards and social media - give employers greater direct access to talent "and to a much higher volume than we have seen before".
Attaching and on-boarding success unlikelyPhase two will occur "as the wave retreats", Sork says. "A high proportion of employees who were running away from their GFC employer in phase one will have made decisions that were not fully considered. The key motivator in their decision making will have been to 'get away from here'."
Their new employers, he predicts, "will likely do what is historically a poor job of attaching and on-boarding [them], particularly given the market pressure to have them up and running and producing as quickly as possible. The combination of accepting a job that does not meet the two key sets of criteria - 'what I want' and 'what I don't want' - coupled with poor attachment will lead to many of these employees realising that they have made a rash and poor decision".
It is very likely these employees will look to move again, he says. "Employers will also realise the impact that their poor hiring, attachment and on-boarding has had, as their businesses see high levels of fall-outs in the first six months [post-hire]. They will likely realise that their managers need to focus on managing the business and outsourcing will again become the preferred option for a while. Attachment and on-boarding will remain the critical differentiator in whether organisations will be able to break the recruit and replace cycle that will challenge many."
"Pull" forces returnPhase three, Sork says, will see the employment market begin to stabilise again and the return of the normal "pull" forces.
"This is a far more pleasant environment for both employers and employees. The way organisations invest in their human capital will dominate the strength of 'pull' force they generate. It is important to note that those employers that have maintained a focus and investment in their people during the GFC will be far more protected and will achieve this phase faster than others."
Those employers that have maintained a commitment to their people, he says, will experience less attrition in phase one, and will be better placed to secure top talent and minimise the impact of phase two.
"Key to moving to this phase and then ensuring you are creating a culture that is engaging and achieves sustainable high performance is leadership and management behaviour," he says. "Organisations that invest in the behavioural impact of their leaders and managers will position themselves as constructive cultures and achieve employer-of-choice brand value."
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