What are the main challenges that CEOs face with when recruiting employees?
Today, simplicity has gone out the window for CEOs
In 2016, CEOs have a number of hurdles to leap over, in comparison with the system and practices of of hiring new employees of 15 or 20 years ago. From the challenges produced by the pesky mobile age to the work expectations of entitled Millennials, recruiting new staff is not as simple as it used to be. No longer can you simply post “Hey, job here, it pays $60k and you need a bachelor’s. You will be doing stuff.”
Not that anyone ever seriously advertised that (though, when you think about it…) but the recruitment landscape of today is rife with greater challenges for CEOs than the days of yesteryear.
The wave of Millennials, our next collection of potential employees, have greater expectations of work conditions than the auto workers of Montreal of the 1950s. However, that is not the only challenge that a CEO and their HR department are facing today. To state it eloquently, things have changed. Let us go over the top challenges that your company is facing in the year 2016, and also how to accommodate the new slew of the Twitter/Facebook/Instagram generation.
1. Accommodating Flexibility
Company culture has traditionally been dictated by the CEO and management staff. However, the younger generation that have graduated from college and seek work are expecting a work environment that is more flexible than previous settings. They desire a work environment that suits their aspirations and personal lives.
Having been practically born with a smartphone in their tiny little hands, they are aware that you can use Word and Excel on a Galaxy S7 or iPad. Even Photoshop and Premiere Pro can be used for tasks on their own personal gadgets.
Maybe they don’t want to come to the office every day, and who can blame them? If they can perform the same tasks at home just as well (or perhaps even better if that is a more comfortable setting for work), why come to the office?
CEOs need to understand that this is a reality in 2016, because 50% of remote workers are less likely to quit when presented with flexibility. As the owner of your company you want yourself and/or your management team to have perpetual supervision over your staff while they are working. However, Millennials are expecting greater mobility and flexibility in the workplace than the previous generations, and this a challenge that CEOs are going to face in this and the years to come.
Much of the new workforce is not going to desire a typical 9-5 anymore. Also, 79% of Millennials desire to have fun in the workplace, and 44% believe it increases productivity. They are going to expect to come and go as they please, as long as they are getting the job done. These mercurial young folk are going to wrestle with potential employers that are rooted in tradition.
Old fashioned CEOs are going to struggle with new recruits that are expecting flexible hours and mobility. It is wise to get with the times and accept that you may be required to compromise your conditions.
2. Great, But Are You Experienced?
The recession that began in 2007-2008 resulted in a swarm of experienced and talented individuals eager to start working again. After the global economic recovery, many of these experienced professionals were able to find employment once more. Many of the Millennials may have worthy education, but they lack industry experience.
As Dave Schoenbeck said, in 2016 “the reservoir has dried up. We have rising wages, competitive expansion and an improved business climate that will continue to make sourcing of qualified candidates much more difficult.” A poll taken by recruiter.com showed that 46% of industry leaders this year are struggling with finding highly skilled and experienced candidates.
So business is good, eh? Well, unfortunately, having a rebounding economy is counterproductive for hunting down and hiring a high-caliber candidate. 60% of small businesses reported that in 2016 they are still struggling to find highly skilled candidates.
3. Keeping Up With The LinkedIns
Given that now over 90% of employers are using social media, primarily LinkedIn, to recruit high quality candidates, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain your company’s relevancy online. According to Randy Stocklin, CEO of Sunglass Warehouse, “how to touch on [the] reach of social media and connecting to your correct target audience will continue to be concerns for the remainder of 2016.”
The CEO of 2016 needs to be persistently concerned with their online reputation management. Say a potential candidate hops onto Google and searches your company name and your website is not the first listed link. Well, then you might as well not even exist. Adaptation to new digital technology continues to be a concern for CEOs in 2016.
4. At War With Salary
With the robust economic landscape of 2016, salaries have been rising across the board. In South America, for example, the average salary increase for the past year was 10% higher than the previous year.
This has given job seekers quite some leverage when being recruited by a new company. CEOs are facing the challenge of whether or not to reduce their profit margins and offer greater wages. This infographic from rhfa.mediaroom.com shows, remarkedly, how workers are more willing to leave their positions over salary inadequacy even if they hate their boss!
With a global rise of 4% for starting salaries, job seekers know they can ask for more than their last job. The challenge is whether or not CEOs are willing to tighten their belt a bit to attract the already slim pool of highly qualified talent.
On one hand, hiring talented staff does cost more, and CEOs need to increase the salaries they offer to new candidates, which will initially reduce the company’s profit margin. On the other hand 38% of employees are most likely to quit over an inadequate salary, it ends up costing the company 20% of the annual salary they were being paid to refill the position.
It may very well be wiser to pay a higher starting salary to attract talent, but even more importantly to retain them.
5. Passion & Vision
Another challenge that CEOs face is whether an interviewee shares the company’s vision and passion. Both are difficult to quickly read during the interview process. Only 26% of candidates feel they are given adequate background information on the company they are applying to, which is mistake on the part of the company.
Perhaps the candidate is just looking for a job, and maybe they have the skills to perform the role for which they apply. However, if they do not share the same emotional investment in the work as the CEO and staff, they will likely not last long. 33% of new employees quit their jobs within six months.
Journalist and startup founder (katiewagnersocialmedia.com), Katie Wagner says “As a business owner, you understand that your staff will never care as much as you do, but finding people who are motivated to work hard, be part of a team, and really help create something that didn’t exist before – that’s the key to success in the early days.”
Employees, especially the experienced ones, work with a ton of tools, methodologies, and knowledge. Nowadays, many CEOs face the problem of smooth onboarding. Following the hiring process, the CEO and staff may understand all of the tools and processes of the company easily, but a new hire can easily feel left hanging in the wind if they don’t understand the “why” behind it all..
The first 90 days are critical for a new hire to become familiarized with the company’s operating standards and company culture. 73% of companies in 2016 have upgraded their onboarding methods, which shows that they have noticed a problem in their former practices.
Onboarding is training beyond training, and 60% of professionals believe that training should be performed in the workplace, but 49% of employers believe it should be a shared responsibility. This creates a problem.
As CEO, it is your responsibility to create and oversee a smooth onboarding experience for your new hires.
7. Transparency Is Your Friend
A huge, no, no, no, enormous issue CEOs face this day is company transparency. Employees desire that they work for a company that they can trust, and transparency solidifies this a lot. Everybody fears the unknown, so the more a new hire knows about the company they just started working for, the more likely they are to stick around.
Millennials want their company to be transparent enough to be part of their social media. They want to be proud of where they work, proud enough to take a smiling selfie at their job. Being a transparent company enhances the company culture and gets new hires personally invested in their work.
Since time immemorial, the business world’s company culture revolved around secrecy. There was a clear distinction between boss (The Man) and employees (Ants). This culture was cold, frightening and confusing for workers. But those days are now over. Or, they should be, for you.
The reason why CEOs have been avoiding transparency is for fear of seeming less bossy and losing the weight of their title. However, in 2016, this can no longer be the case for companies that are hiring the next generation of educated workers.
Everybody has Facebook, even your sweet old grandmother. A candidate or a new hire can check out their boss’s personal account any time they desire, and they likely do. They want to get to know their boss. They want to know what their CEO likes, what music they listen to, heck, even what their cat looks like.
This has led to a longing to be friends, pals with their boss. Having transparency in the workplace allows this. It is a boon to establishing a relationship with your new hires that will motivate and keep them around for longer than if their boss remains some mysterious specter of a person behind a guarded and locked office door. There must be a balance between vocation and humanity.
Transparency means that the CEO is keeping his staff informed about all work related matters, even executive strategy and decision making. It also means less emails and third-party messaging. Engaging with a new hire directly, in person, to deliver instructions or guidance builds loyalty and trust.
Don’t make the mistake of avoiding transparency. Your company will seem less attractive to desirable candidates and your retention rate will falter.
There’s no doubt that times are changing in the business world, and faster than ever before. As the CEO, it is your responsibility to remain adaptable and informed to steer your company toward success. Learn from the mistakes of your predecessors, and don’t forgot to say “Hi” to your peers on Facebook.
Pavel is a doctor who happens to have an MBA degree and a strong passion for writing. "I am a do-it-all kind of person: When I am not writing, I am busy curing people, when I am not curing people, I tend to kill WCG competitions. Life is fun, and full of wonders: Do what you enjoy most, even if it’s everything at once."