Recruiting and retention in today’s market means abandoning old ways of thinking

Posted On July 28, 2023

Businesses in pretty much every industry are having difficulty finding enough employees these days. It’s not uncommon for an employer to need to fill dozens of positions quickly – sometimes even more.

Dr. Josh Duplantis’ job is to help fill those vacancies. Duplantis, our guest in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” is the Dean of Workforce Development at Coastal Alabama Community College, and he says filling your workforce needs these days means abandoning old ways of thinking.

First of all, the days of just advertising a job and sifting through resumes is over. “You’ve got to go way further than what most people are used to in today’s type of market,” he said.

For some businesses, that means overpaying to draw qualified candidates from competitors or from out of state. For others, it means “borrowing” employees or broadening their searches beyond their usual parameters.

Most companies, however, would generally prefer to attract young talent and allow it to develop and grow within the company. In such a competitive job market, Duplantis says employers need to be prepared for that talent to have some demands.

Aside from the usual enticements of a competitive salary and benefits, Duplantis said the top talent generally wants three things:

  • Truly engaged leadership
  • A clear path to a brighter future
  • A bigger vision – a company that’s making a difference in society

That second item, upward mobility, is something a company needs to have a model for before it gets into a hiring crunch. Instead of the old seniority models, Duplantis said many companies are utilizing more of a competency model in which employees can progress upon mastering certain core competencies.

Schedule flexibility is also in demand, he added, but that doesn’t necessarily mean working from home. Remote work can be one tool to provide the flexibility a candidate desires.

Of course, another aspect of maintaining workforce is retaining the talent you already have. Duplantis said many companies are exploring incentives to get employees to delay retirement, or to phase down gradually into it, taking more time off or shifting into less stressful roles within the organization.

Any of these measures can help, Duplantis said, but the one thing companies can’t afford to do is stand pat and assume it’ll all work itself out.

“This is not a phase. We’re going to be in a tight market for a long time,” Duplantis said. “It’s got to move away from ‘I can’t afford to make that investment in human capital’ to ‘I can’t afford not to.’”

Categories: Blog, Recruiting, What's Working with Cam Marston