The Great Reset: HR Managers and Candidates Have to “Reset” Expectations for Better Career Outcomes

The Great Reset became a global trend in June and July 2020 when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was its peak. The pandemic was then projected as an opportunity to build a better, sustainable future with imaginative measures — the great reset in work and life that was required for a great outcome. Fast-forward to 2022, two years after this trend became a global phenomena, we are seemingly nowhere as far as improvements at the grassroots levels are concerned. In fact, workers and HR managers are both facing the brunt of The Great Resignation, The Talent War and many such organization and industry-level phenomenon that have taken the shine off “the Great Rest” promise. According to a recent CompTIA report, both employers and workers are trying to figure out the best reset possibilities and expectations from career paths and work-life relationships. With 77% of the US-based workforce looking for more flexibility in their job and career, almost an equal percentage of HR managers  (74%) feel hiring would be the biggest challenge across respective industry in the next 12 months or so! So, how could organizations find a middle-ground to meet expectations of their employees without jeopardizing the hiring tactics envisioned by their HR managers?

To answer this question, CompTIA conducted a survey and published the findings in “Workforce and Learning Trends” report [May 2022]. It found HR managers see hiring as a major challenge and a persistent constraint shaping the modern workforce and employee training landscapes.

What employees might need to stay back in the organization?

It’s an established fact that organizations prefer to retain employees over losing them to a competitor. Longer the employee stays, clearer the objectives become in career path management and mobility planning for the employee, supported by manager and the employer. Acquiring a new employee to fill up for a vacant position could cost company at least 20% of the base annual salary paid to the former employee holding that same position — a costly mistake in hiring and recruitment business that could be easily controlled with proper employee training and expectations management.

In their order of highest impact [1- highest/ 5- least], these are the top factors that pose the biggest challenge to recruitment and retention of candidates, as per HR managers:

  1. Rising salary benchmarks
  2. Work-life balance
  3. Remote working expectations
  4. Talent war with candidates fighting it out for hardcore technical and soft managerial skills
  5. Career advancement and mobility planning

What’s Harder: Attract Talent or Retain Talent?

The Great Reset has exemplified the scope of HR recruitment and training models required to hire, train and retain workforce. In the technology business, hiring a skilled professional at mid-level and senior-level would be seemingly tougher than what it is for beginner level hiring. When top talent leave from an organization, it more or less means that they have reached the threshold of their mobility roadmap in their current role and hence, they leave for better opportunities. This is a global phenomenon– and the post-COVID -19 expectations of employees have only accentuated this trend further. It has definitely emerged as the biggest factor driving the Great Resignation trend in the technology businesses. If the organization is unable to identify and provide a strong mobility roadmap with ample opportunities for learning new skills, gaining more experience in different job roles and functions, and trying something new, good talent would escape. So, retention of talent is totally an insider’s job— HR leaders should be surgical with their training and development programs to retain good talent. People who learn new things at workplace see this as a positive experience, and therefore, they are much more happier than at places where learning is limited or nil.

Tech-savvy HR Managers Laying More Emphasis on Reskilling and Upskilling

Digital transformation has done many good things for the organizations in the new post-COVID-19 world.  It has definitely provided an impetus to technology-driven human skills management, putting the emphasis on constant upskilling to meet newer demands at workplace. This includes soft skills development too.

However, HR leaders still feel there is omnipotent presence of the talent and skills gap, which limits the employees from growing in their respective roles. This is backed by the 63% of the HR professionals by CompTIA that felt increasing the skills of existing workforce is a top driver and motivation in achieving the objectives of the Great Reset. This internal training and skills development programs removes the need to hire outside talent. Backed by a strong culture of training and development for reskilling and upskilling, employers could strengthen their retention strategies, cut down hiring costs, and remove obsolete roles and functions from their organization. Bootcamp training programs organized for 7 days up to 12 weeks of varying intensities prove to be major catalysts in retention strategy.

HR Technology News: Tech Employment Remains on Solid Footing, CompTIA Analysis Reveals

The Great Rest will Optimize the Need to “Overspec” on Skills and Certifications

Super talent and unicorn talent are sought by every HR manager in their hiring drives. But, do such professional really exist? And, why do companies look out for such candidates in the first place?

According to McKinsey, super talent is upto eight times more productive than an average individual!

The relationship between quality of talent and business performance is dramatic.

Now, the productivity gaps between the super talent and average individual increase with job’s complexity. Indeed great talent is hard to find and worse, even harder to replace when they leave. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a super talent or a unicorn employee out of your existing pool of workforce. Instead of hiring from competitors and adding fuel to the Talent War, if business leaders internally train and upskill their existing employees, business outcomes can be dramatically improved.

Moreover, HR managers are lagging in their understanding of the technologies that their organizations are hiring for, and there is a massive need to train such HR professionals in digital skills and business lingo. This could be leading to a miscommunication between hiring and retention when candidates and employees actually upskill and acquire certification. This could be seen as overspecing ny HR professionals when a skilled employee mentions skills and credentials than what it is actually necessary for the particular job.  30% of the HR professionals actually acknowledged about the confusion all the overspec-ed certifications bring to hinder hiring process.

Now, technology skills and durable skills can’t be equated at the same plane, yet CompTIA’s report highlighted why organizations attach more importance to Durable Skills development and see them as part of the overall corporate culture.

Embracing Digital Tools, AI and Virtual Reality for the Great Reset

Adaptability, digital competence, fluency and people management-– all of these play an important role in the Great Reset.  HR managers, if they are to find, hire, retain and engage employees with digital skills from super talent workforce pool, they have to embrace what we call the tribe of digital nomads. With future of workplace becoming decentralized and hybridized in the post-COVID era, business leaders must acknowledge the role of career agility and people analytics management playing a key role in the Great Reset.

Businesses can use People Analytics tools effectively to improve talent management. By adding People Analytics skills, 74% of the HR Managers see adding more muscle to their data-driven HR Technology systems in the coming months. CompTIA provided a key relationship between the adoption and use of HR Technologies for various processes in hiring and retention. This includes the visible benefits and perceived concerns associated with the use of Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Virtual Reality (VR) and Analytics, Web3.0 and so on. From compliance to regulatory assessments, hiring managers have a full horizon to view and understand when it comes to matching the expectations of employers embracing the Great Reset for their organizations.

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