How to Beat the Great Talent Crunch
And you thought it was tough to attract and retain good people before the pandemic hit — now that the Great Resignation has taken hold, it has gotten a lot tougher.
Just how crunchy is it?
According to a survey published in the Harvard Business Review, jobs attrition hit almost 30% — a record high — in 2021, and some industries and individual companies have experienced a 100% employee turnover since March 2020. Among the hardest-hit industries were those that serve the meetings and travel markets, which saw business plummet as COVID-19 restricted group gatherings and travel. Now, many event departments that had to reduce their workforces when COVID-19 hit find themselves scrambling to hire as business picks up.
So what can event leaders do to ensure they have the talent they need to get back to business?
Margaret Rafferty, Head of People & Culture, Convene; Bailey Roth, President, Redstone Agency; and Pam Sacree, Chief People Officer, FIRST spoke to Tammy Kockaya, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer with the Event Leadership Institute about how to attract, hire, onboard and retain top talent in today’s tough employment environment.
Attracting and Recruiting New Talent.
It’s a candidate’s market right now, so think about how to differentiate your company from the rest of the herd, the group suggests. What job seekers are looking for now is more than just the day-to-day responsibilities, salary, and benefits — they want to know how working for your company will benefit them as a whole person, not just burnish their resume and bolster their bank account. Yes, work-from-home options are a part of that, but only one part, the group says.
What job seekers are looking for now is more than just the day-to-day responsibilities, salary, and benefits — they want to know how working for your company will benefit them as a whole person, not just burnish their resume and bolster their bank account. Yes, remote or hybrid work options are a part of that, but only one part, the group indicates.
Retaining and Supporting Current Talent
Begin by thinking about who you most need to keep on board right now. Is it new hires? High performers? Those with long tenure? Warm bodies who can do what needs to be done right now? All of the above? Remember that the retention goal can never be zero, they say. Those who are young in their careers likely will want to move on at some point. Others will get offers they simply can’t refuse — don’t be bitter about their loss, the group says. Instead, normalize the concept of turnover and, when someone does leave, celebrate the fact that their time with your company helped them reach the next step toward their dream job.
Instead of the usual superficial check-ins, ask supervisors to have “career conversations” with their direct reports about what they want from their careers, not just what they’re doing well, or not, with the job at hand. What is their ultimate dream job, and how does what they’re doing now fit into their career path toward that goal? If they’re developing the skills they will need to ultimately land that dream job, the time they’re investing working at your organization is well spent, even if they do end up leaving eventually.
That said, people will inevitably leave, no matter what you do. Be sure to cross-train and have a succession plan so that when people do leave, you’re not stuck in a crisis situation.
The pandemic’s impact on the event industry has made the need to upskill and reskill event teams more urgent than ever. To help event teams adapt and succeed in the post-COVID world, ELI is offering talent management audits.
These services include conversations with team leaders around next-gen onboarding and training programs, rethinking role and responsibility distribution, and upskilling to meet the demands of a changed landscape. For more information about our talent management audits, contact us.