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Bringing in New Talent: Business Trends

Lately I've been talking a lot about trend spotting and looking ahead at the employment market. Recent employment numbers are giving us some good insight into where these trends are headed. In my last post, Bringing in New Talent: Employment Trends, I focused on what these numbers mean to the solopreneur, or the seasoned professional ready to step out on his or her own as a consultant. I would like to explain what these new trends and opportunities mean for businesses. What should they be considering as these new trends take hold? How should they be looking at attracting and retaining the best talent?

Bringing in New Talent: Business TrendsAs I’ve mentioned before, many businesses have been putting off important projects they need to accomplish. In addition, they have not been willing to commit payroll dollars to bring in the necessary talent to take on those projects. I would contend that they would be willing to bring in temporary talent, committing expense dollars rather than payroll dollars, in order to get those projects done.

Another big business trend is beefing up human resources departments. HR departments are bringing on more people in order to bring on more people! If you think about it, before a business can start to hire, they have to hire the people who can do the hiring. Businesses are adding people who can recruit now in this turning economy. Another thing to keep in mind is that the biggest bump in hiring, as it relates to a demographic, is between 25 and 34 year olds. If you've tuned in to the show before, you’ve heard the Gen Y conversation I often have, and the biggest bump in employment numbers are around that very specific demographic.

Here are three things I think every business should consider when looking to bring on the best talent:

1.    When you consider hiring an independent consultant, look at the opportunity to mentor some of these young people coming on board. I’m talking about the 25 to 34 year olds who are joining the work force at the highest number of any other demographic. Who is going to provide that experience and problem solving? There is a new math that businesses are looking at and it is simply: How do we get as many hands and minds on the team as possible without increasing spending? For example, if a company has $180,000 to spend, do they go out and get a 30-year veteran who would take the entire $180,000? More often today, businesses are hiring from the Gen Y demographic, and would instead hire two people for around $60,000 each. Then, the really smart businesses are also reaching out and bringing on one experienced person as a consultant and paying him about $30,000 or so. Do the math: Instead of $180,000, now they’ve only spent $150,000 and have hired three more people to get things done. They are saving money and getting the talent they need. This brings together both experience and young talent, so there is both succession candidates and growth.

2.    Look at the projects you need done now and the descriptions for the jobs you are hiring for. Make sure you have that in place. Not the way the job looked five years ago, but what does your business need now? Also, is your on-boarding plan up to date? What you did during the last hiring frenzy is completely different from what you should do now. An analogy I often use is that if you were buying a new computer to replace one you purchased 12 months ago, you would look for completely new and updated features. Your needs change that fast.

3.    Absolutely critical for every business, is to make sure your current talent is secure. Make sure they are happy and don’t feel put upon or overworked. Be aware that when you bring new talent on board you don’t give all of your time, energy and attention solely to the new people, excluding the ones who have been with you from the start. Remember that if the market changes and new opportunities arise, your current work force has the option to go after those opportunities. There was a 60 Minutes episode recently that talked about the new demographic of people looking for jobs. It pointed out that many advertised job openings are requesting only currently employed people apply. They really don’t want people that have been unemployed. My point to the matter is that if you are a business, understand that there are people out there actively advertising for your currently employed talent. Make sure that the people you have on board are happy, productive and engaged!

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