This Is What CEOs See As the Biggest Threat to Success, According to Research | Tech Blog
Companies are scrambling to cope with the today’s talent crunch. Here are three simple ways they can not just survive it, but thrive in it.
BY Ilya Pozin – 28 Jun 2018
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
If you think attracting and retaining customers is your key to business success, you’re wrong. Instead, your efforts should focus on attracting a different audience — employees.
In a competitive marketplace, leaders are constantly on guard for threats to achieving the success they and their team have been working for. A lack of top talent is one threat that seems to be difficult to root out, and it can even delay or destroy business success.
In fact, “The Worldcom Confidence Index 2018” report dubbed this the “Year of the Employee,” and most business leaders in the survey agreed that a lack of talent was the most significant threat to their companies. Compared to last year, 43 percent more leaders now are making employees their primary target audience.
That kind of attention is intended to ensure that employees are competent and competitive, particularly in an era of critical regulatory compliance (e.g., the General Data Protection Regulation), worries regarding cybercrime, and other complex mission-critical issues. And don’t forget: Without employees, you can’t serve those customers you’re working to attract.
“A Candidate’s Market”
In a recent interview with NBC News, Michael Fraccaro, Mastercard’s chief human resources officer, described the current job market as a “candidate’s market.” The Confidence Index report underscores the idea that job seekers now have the upper hand: Only 6 percent of business leaders surveyed are actually optimistic about the talent pool.
Why is a lack of talent such a crucial concern for American business leaders? The nation’s low unemployment rate means there are fewer people consistently seeking work. Compounding the issue is the fact that the Baby Boomers are retiring at a time when U.S. birth rates have also been low, meaning there’s an even smaller workforce available to fill jobs. For all these reasons, CEOs must have tactics to cope with the declining talent pool.
Some CEOs are less worried about the number of job candidates in the pool and are more worried about a skills gap because, as CNBC has reported, tech is becoming an increasingly integral part of most jobs. This gap could continue to grow, considering U.S. college students aren’t exactly swarming to computer science programs. This state of affairs means it may be a challenge to find, attract, and retain employees, let alone those who have the skills you seek.
3 Ways to Proactively Address Talent Scarcity
If you haven’t already, it’s time to join the majority of business leaders and make this the year you prioritize employees in your company. CEOs who start implementing these simple but effective strategies today will be able to create big momentum in the years ahead.
1. Grow talent from within.
If you’re worried about not being able to attract top talent with the right skills, you can start internal programs to build up those desired skills within your company. Focus on training your current employees, and as they move up the ladder into more specialized roles, more entry-level positions will open up. Those roles may be easier to fill, especially if you promote your company’s focus on providing professional development opportunities. That’s always an attractive prospect for job seekers.
2. Take a Utilitarian approach to recruitment.
Adapting Utilitarian philosophy — “the greatest good for the greatest number” — could benefit your recruiting efforts. In practice, concentrate on finding the best talent for roles that have the greatest impact on your team. Also, be willing to rethink your job titles and descriptions to ensure your team has a strong foundation. You may be overlooking cybersecurity roles because they won’t create revenue like your sales reps or build brand loyalty among the public like your marketing team members. However, cybersecurity experts are the only ones who can prevent potentially catastrophic data breaches, meaning they are protecting both your customers and the reputation of your company — and therefore its shareholder value.
3. Your EVP will be the MVP of your recruitment strategy.
Recruiting talent is not a matter of luck or reciting magic incantations. The best employees are attracted to the best workplaces, which can be showcased through your employee value proposition, or EVP. A strong EVP means that a company treats its employees well — and not just in terms of compensation. That employee treatment can encompass things like a respectful team ethos, appropriately challenging and mentally stimulating work, and doing something that the staff can believe in and identify with. If you boast a strong EVP, you’ll have a better shot at attracting the limited top talent available.
By fostering talent within your team, putting the best people where they can make the most difference, and striving to make your workplace attractive to the best and brightest, you can get through today’s talent crunch successfully.