the new employer war

By Lucie Mendes, founder of recruitment firm Scalliance

Tribune. Labor shortages and waves of resignations are putting extreme strain on the hiring market. Having become the government’s second priority and employers’ nightmare, recruitment difficulties are taking a toll on business performance: slowing their growth and affecting their ability to negotiate energy crises and raw material shortages. For over a year now, recruitment services have been in full swing: investment in sourcing and employer branding is reaching new heights in an effort to deliver applications to an ever-growing number of online job offers. But employers may only find that there aren’t enough applications to fill their positions.

As in 2021, many recruitment projects will be abandoned in 2022 due to lack of candidates.. We’re talking about 300,000 recruitment failures again this year. Because the paradox of the economic context we live in is this: despite the crisis and uncertainties, job creation is at record levels and unemployment is at a 40-year low. To complete the picture, the level of resignations has exploded since 2021, even unlike the US, we would be in a “big rotation” dynamic rather than a “big resignation” in France. Specifically, workers benefiting from a dynamic job market and a favorable balance of power with employers are no longer reluctant to resign to find a better one. The result is the same for employers facing a constant increase in turnover: they now have to fight as hard to keep their employees as they do to recruit new ones.

And when it comes to employee retention, companies are the most innovative and most offensive today. The equation is simple: to avoid having to search for candidates in a tighter-than-ever talent market, you need to start by retaining employees.. GAFAMs, led by Google, Microsoft and Apple, have announced massive pay rises and bonuses for their key employees. In France, companies have also leveraged salary increases to compensate for the loss of purchasing power due to inflation and to adapt to the growing claims of in-demand candidates: an average of +3.5% and up to 16% in 2022. business sectors such as hotels and restaurants are in decline.

But the salary is not enough; we need to offer a better working experience. It is clear that now it is necessary to work to adapt to personal life. Startups are experimenting with new forms of flexibility, such as 5 weeks with 4 days of pay or unlimited paid time off. Even large groups are embarking on bold practices like paid vacations at Orange and Accenture. Overall, reflecting the employee experience is important for all employers. In order to retain key employees, lured by the sirens of the market, some companies even develop more targeted retention policies, from preventive interviews (outside the context of annual interviews) or loyalty bonuses to real protocols for offers for certain categories of resigning employees.

Companies are not left out in the field of recruitment. Recruitment challenges are not new, and employer branding and procurement policies are already well studied. However, a more proactive approach to recruitment is required: employers now need to target all available employees by more or less direct solicitation, regardless of whether they are market-conscious or not, whether opportunities are targeted through digital marketing. or by contacting potential candidates directly through Linkedin or online CV libraries.

The budget of headhunting firms for key positions is also constantly increasing. But this will not be enough; and it will be necessary to be more gentle with the candidates. Whether it’s by opening up the selection criteria, whether it’s agreeing to develop the skills you lack at the start of the role yourself, or dealing with them from the first contact to personal follow-up during recruitment. Candidates with a strong market position now behave like customers ; they can choose their employer outside of the post. For the most determined companies, the recruitment bonus (known as the “welcome bonus”), which was previously reserved for senior executives, is widely used in the market to win the decision of candidates who are hesitating between several offers. Once in office, nothing is achieved. Probation breaks are becoming more frequent, and recruits are increasingly asking for renewal in case of doubt. In any case, recruitment is the subject of more attention and monitoring by employers.

Of course, we have experienced talent wars in the past, but this combination of factors and their unprecedented scale makes us more like a new phenomenon. employer war. Because the first consequence of a shortage of candidates is not so much that it becomes impossible to find candidates, but simply that there are not enough for everyone. Therefore, candidates must now be sought among competing employers, and this competition is no longer limited by sector of activity or profession. In addition, in relation to other companies, an individual optimizes their candidate or employee experience and fights to attract candidates against competing employers. When companies try to retain or retain their departing employees, it is also to counter opportunities offered by other companies. This unprecedented situation reminds us that as we approach full employment, we will find that competition between companies extends to the talent market and is no less crucial to their survival.

Lucie Mendes
Founder of recruitment firm Scalliance

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