This article was originally published on March 13, 2022 on Medium HERE.
It’s not about you — it’s all about me.
Sound familiar? It should. It’s become the overt, anything-but-subtle anthem that is reverberating across the USA, and even across some other countries around the globe. Call it the unofficial rallying cry of The Great Resignation.
The 10x Agenda Factor: Why We’re Losing the War on Talent
Why are we collectively losing the war on talent? My theory is that it’s the 10x Agenda factor. Keep reading if you want to dig into what I mean by this and what to do to win the war on talent.
Human resources professionals are at their wits’ end trying to fulfill their open job requests. Recruiters are so burnt out and fried from fighting the war on talent that they — in an ironic twist of fate — have now become the most difficult role to fill. It’s gotten so bad that candidates pretty much have a blank slate when it comes to negotiating the terms of the contract; Gen Z in particular as this new generation of rising professionals is highly coveted.
Don’t want to commute into the office? Don’t. Want to wear yoga pants if you do come into the office one day per week? Fine. Unlimited PTO and a 4-day work week? Sure. Prefer to work at 3:00am from your parents’ basement instead of during normal office hours? Okay.
Salaries, of course, have gone through the roof. Employers can expect to pay around 5% increases to existing employees. Numerous HR executives that I’ve spoken to have lamented how candidates are demanding 20–25% above the paygrade set for the job they’re interviewing for. It’s like the housing market: if you want it badly enough, you’ll have to pay above the asking price.
Operating at Two-Thirds: The Imbalance in the Job Market
With companies operating at around two-thirds of their desired headcount and more than 11 million posted job openings, it’s definitely not a buyer’s market. There are a few recruiters out there who haven’t lost their sense of humor despite the crushing burden they’re faced with trying to do their jobs. In a nod towards the satirical, when I ask those recruiters what their current requirements are for candidates they’re interviewing and how proficiency in soft skills weighs in on their decision to hire, they give me a WTF look. They tell me that there is only ONE criterion these days … then they put two fingers against their neck.
“If they have a pulse, they’re hired.”
Ouch. That hardly bodes well for the future of work in America. And back to the soft skills thing (or the lack thereof); even luminaries are having a bit of a fit. Simon Sinek (the “start with why” guy), is lamenting how Gen Z wholly lacks human skills. Not to mention how he frequently reiterates his public disdain for the term, “soft skills.” His comments echo the concerns expressed by nearly all hiring managers and recruiters today, “Gen Z are ill-equipped with the skills required for being a successful human being. Companies have to teach listening, effective communication, how to give and receive feedback … if your company doesn’t offer this, then the future of leadership is not looking good.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, best-selling author of numerous books including his latest, “Twelve and a Half,” delves into the traits that people must have to be successful. Again, he deliberately dodges reference to the term, “soft skills,” in favor of calling them emotional ingredients, but whatever you call them, the point is the same — people need these interpersonal relationship building skills, and they don’t teach them in school. Hence the gap transitioning from school to work continues to grow. Even Josh Bersin is on a mission to rebrand soft skills as “power skills.”
Stepping onto my personal soap box, we need to stop debating what to call these success skills and unify around their critical need. Then we need to collectively advocate that schools change up their educational practices. And yes, we also need to encourage businesses to step in in the interim to “mind the gap” by offering soft skills training for their new hires, but I digress.
Back to how we’ve lost the war on talent — and lost the plot. Despite offering just about every concession imaginable, including baiting candidates with the promise of a new Tesla if they accept the job and stay for one year, hiring has become a losing proposition. Recruiting and retention are no longer tasks assigned only to HR — everyone in the company now has a role in fighting those battles.
Yet it’s not enough. None of it is. Office vacancy rates remain at 28% as a 30-year high in Manhattan. An overwhelming 80+ % of employees across the board don’t want to return to the office (RTO) so companies continue to roll back fixed RTO dates.
Ghosting and No-Shows: The Challenges of Hiring and Retention
More than 76% of employers report being ghosted by their new hires (i.e. the new hire signed a contract and agreed to a start date but the employer never hears from that person again — ever). Candidates are dropping like flies: 37–40% of those with a job offer are a no-show (and a ghost) for Day 1 on the job and about one-third just stop showing up for work after a month or so.
That means that you have about a 50–50 shot of having your new hire still employed with you a month after you’ve hired them. It’s hard to win a war with odds like that. Let’s not forget that the hiring period has been extended by nearly two months versus prior to the pandemic. Or how the cost of turnover is skyrocketing: the most current figures are pre-pandemic at $617 billion per year for American businesses. All that churn negatively affects morale as hiring managers and their peers are now required to step onto the recruiting conveyor belt to interview one candidate after another for available jobs, over and over and over …
… to finish reading the rest of the article, please go to Medium HERE.