If you have time, please refer to my last blog which is the first part of this and sets the scene.
We are entering a period of seismic change at the human level, and I wonder how many people really know it. You may not have really thought about it, but I bet you have noticed something.
Just how difficult it is becoming to attract the right calibre of candidates to your firm these days?Your brand is strong, you have a good package, but you just can’t seem to find and secure the right staff? Good people just don’t seem to be looking anymore, do they?
It’s not just you. Ask any leader of any organisation today, and they will tell you the same. Funny, isn’t it?
That we can have massive unemployment rates across Europe, while at the same time we can have so many open positions?
And recruitment looks easier now more than ever, right? We have Linkedin, Job Boards… With all this ease of access, and the high numbers of the unemployed, there must be candidates everywhere.
Wrong, I’m afraid. Globally our companies are in a massive state of change. And if you hadn’t ever noticed the link between the quality of your people and your company’s performance, I believe you will start seeing it pretty soon. The cauldron of change has created a heady mix: offshoring, the crisis, technology and the pace of change have created the perfect storm. And I haven’t even mentioned Generation Y yet.
Because, for the last few years, the kind of jobs available, are those which the unemployed can not get. Their jobs are out in a lower cost centre, or being automated, or processes are simply too complex to be re-trainable. The skills you really need can’t be taught quickly, and for the most part, the skills are not the hard thing to find, it’s the personality.
Business is not flowing that freely yet
The type of people you are looking for are not the ones you can easily find. You need people who add value, in fact, create value. They are innovators, problem-solvers, they are committed. Since the crisis, you don’t have time to train, and if you are going to hire now, they need to make it happen, because business is not flowing that freely yet.
Offshoring has taken away the need for the lower levels of the production line, and with it, our expectation of the kind of jobs we will do. How many call centres do you think there are there in the UK anymore? vs India? How many Transfer Agency departments still do the bulk of the processing in Luxembourg? Or is it just oversight?
Somewhere along the way with all the offshoring, people forgot about working hard and keeping simple skills like attention to detail at their core. I am not talking about the unemployed. Commitment, care, and being humble on your way up are secondary to experiences and titles. Among technical needs, we aim to find committed people who Care. And it’s harder than you think to find. I estimate they are only about 5% of the working population. And they are the high-performing people everyone wants. And guess what? They are almost never looking. They are busy making things work.
Generation Y, asks why
I have lost count of the number of times clients now tell me that all their younger mid-levels want the title, but don’t expect to work for it. They are much less builders and are more focused on experiences. Can we blame them? Generation Y’s have grown up with overworked parents (being the children of the post-war baby boomers) and this leads them to wish for more than ‘just a job’. Here is a generation who has never known, hardship or recession, and does not fear redundancy or repossession. Their parents made sure they didn’t have to – by working twice as hard. They expect the best blend of an enjoyable life with a fulfilling job. The result is a generation that believes they can have it all.
This generation will constitute the majority of the workforce within a decade.
I nearly laughed by head off when I heard that most graduate trainee programs now include a potential for a 3 month sabbatical.Sorry but, did you say a sabbatical, at 23? When we are just coming out of a global recession?
Start planning for your people needs now, work on succession planning, your bright young stars, the ones who are committed. Identify them and show them their path. Manage performance issues out now, and share ownership to keep team spirit alive. Offer working flexibly for the right people. No matter how much you digitalise the process of hiring, nothing, absolutely nothing, will replace human contact. If you have a good recruiter on your side, they will be your litmus test, your ambassador, your confidant, your support. They will tell you what the market says, and if they are good, they will give you the most honest feedback about your hiring process you have ever had. They will even tell you when not to hire people.
They will help you run the people problems out of your business, they will help you run your business. When the world is changing, make sure you have the right people by your side, and keep them there.
At Funds Partnership we are currently working on a project with the Luxembourg Red Cross, to seek out youngsters who may have skills but have fallen through the system. We aim to re-orientate the ones who have the potential re-enter the workforce with some training. More on this later.