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3 ways leadership must adapt to workplace expectations in 2022

Hiring Trends

The pandemic and the Great Resignation that’s followed means issues that matter most to the workforce continue to reign supreme in 2022.

With an unemployment rate hovering below 4%, competition for top talent remains at an all-time high, which means employees have become more selective about their workplace.

Vying for this smaller pool of candidates necessitates not only getting more efficient in your hiring process, but also more creative to meet candidates’ desires—like higher pay, more flexibility and/or more responsibility, and a greater focus on employee well-being.

Here are 3 ways leadership must adapt to attract and retain the best talent:

1- Continued flexibility  

Covid required a massive restructure of our traditional ways of working nearly overnight, and companies now must decide whether their future work environments will offer remote, hybrid or in-office options.

According to the 2021 EY Work Reimagined Employer Survey, 96% of employees want flexibility in where and when they work, while 90% of employers agree on the need to provide future flexibility in where/when employees work.

Flexibility around how, where, and when a candidate works is a given for most now—something almost unheard of two years ago. They expect flexibility within their job as much as they expect a 401(k). Companies that don’t offer flexibility will see increased turnover as top talent moves to roles that offer opportunities that align with their desires for more flexibility.

2- Increased compensation

Many companies have had one of their best years ever, and combined with a tight job market, candidates’ expectations have drastically increased. Most are leveraging multiple job offers, ensuring a marked increase in compensation and often more responsibility.

As a result, we’re not only seeing companies provide more aggressive offers, but we’re also watching current employers scramble to retain talent with very aggressive counter-offers.

As a result, employers should continue to be creative when it comes to the benefits and programs they offer, like increased flexibility, hybrid opportunities, time off and family related leave and care benefits.

3- Greater focus on well-being

As many companies continue to maintain hybrid and/or remote working environments, finding ways to replace “watercooler conversations” and create new environments for meaningful connection and employee engagement is vital.

In a recent Forbes article, EY Americas Technology People Advisory Services Leader Juliette Meunier said, “If there was ever a time for strong leadership, it is now. Leaders need to focus on the well-being of their people and be super connectors. With the ‘Great Resignation,’ it’s critical for leaders to stay close to their employees and to help their teams stay connected in a virtual world.”

Forward-thinking leadership will do this by ensuring their company is investing in its culture and people in ways that are meaningful. We often encourage our clients to ask these questions:

Are we creating a clear path for advancement in employee careers?

Do our employees feel like we’re attentive to their needs and career goals?

Are we prioritizing their physical and mental well-being?

The days of coasting are over and companies who want to attract and retain top talent must adapt in these critical ways.

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