4 Ways CHROs Are Tackling the Talent Shortage
Written by Katie O'Reilly
SEPTEMBER 6, 2022
From the global pandemic, to the Great Resignation, and now, the talent shortage, HR executives have not been able to catch a break. As this most recent crisis affects nearly every area of business, job postings are stacking up and Chief Human Resources Officers have named recruitment as one of their top priorities for 2022.
Furthermore, we’re seeing this “race for talent” take a stronghold across Evanta’s CHRO communities, and our most popular and highly-rated sessions from our Executive Summits this Spring focused on this issue. One that especially resonated with the community tackled how to stay competitive through inflation.
CHROs understand that quality talent is a determinant for business potential, and according to Gartner, “HR leaders must prioritize the talent segments in which they invest their retention and attraction efforts to drive business growth in 2022.” With all of this attention, we wanted to get better insight into how CHROs in our Evanta communities are experiencing and addressing talent scarcity within their organizations.
Here are 4 key findings from our survey about the current talent landscape.
1. Are CHROs feeling the talent shortage?
An exceeding number of human resources leaders shared that they are experiencing a shortage of workers, with 75% of respondents indicating that their organization has more open positions now than in years past. Nineteen percent report that their current level of open roles is typical of past years, and only 6% stated that they do not have more open positions than in years prior.
When we asked what they attribute their talent challenges to, CHROs specified three crucial elements: the supply and demand for workers being out of balance (59%), the evolution of the new world of work (55%), and that this is a continuous cycle from the Great Resignation (53%).
One CHRO noted how compensation and benefits are affecting hiring efforts, stating, “Affordability is a huge factor for us. We are in a region that, in a relatively short time period of time, shifted from affordable to unaffordable. Unlike other large urban areas in the north or west coast, we did not invest in public transit options to enable efficient commuting choices for service staff. We are leveraging remote work where feasible, but many service jobs require physical presence and we have not figured out how to balance sustainable wages for this population.”
2. Will the talent crisis be a long-term issue?
Although there is agreement that most organizations are experiencing a widespread talent shortage, there is some debate among CHROs about how long it will last. Roughly 33% believe it “will remain this way for the foreseeable future,” while 26% believe it will last for 12 months or more and 24% believe it will only last 6-12 months.
Many HR leaders expressed that talent pools are inordinately stretched, and there will need to be a significant change to the workforce for the crisis to be averted. One explained, “We were not hit by the Great Resignation as flexibility was already high in our business; however, the opportunity to bring in key skills from outside is very slow and difficult. Inflation will continue to drive compensation packages up, further fueling the competition for talent.” Another described his view, saying, “Demographically, it is clear that until AI or robots begin to have a meaningful impact on the amount of labor needed, there will be an ongoing imbalance.”
3. What if there’s a recession?
With talks of a recession happening this year, we were curious to know how CHROs think this might affect their talent outlook. More than half of respondents (58%) said, “the talent shortage will still be an issue if a recession is formally declared.” Nineteen percent of HR leaders said the talent shortage will no longer be an issue in a recession, and 23% indicated they do not know.
Of those who believe this will be an ongoing issue, many voiced how the lack of skilled workers cannot be rectified by a recession. One CHRO said, “The level of resignations will diminish as the economic cycle changes to be less positive. However, demand for high quality, high caliber talent has always been tough. I don't see that changing.” Another shared, “The shortage is around key talent like engineers, developers, etc., for technology companies. That will not be fixed by the recession because companies will do all possible to keep that key talent.”
4. What are CHROs doing to attract and retain employees?
In response to the talent shortage, HR executives indicated that they are continuing many of the recruitment strategies they put in place in 2021 - compared to findings from our survey last fall on the Great Resignation. Promoting company culture and employee engagement is of primary importance for the second year in a row, with 84% of CHROs bolstering their efforts. Additionally, the majority of CHROs stated that they are offering flexible and remote work environments (79%) and competitive compensation and benefits (75%) again this year.
It's not the Great Resignation, it's more about how our organization can become a destination - for new employees to come to and current employees to stay at.”
- Evanta CHRO Governing Body Member
In the comments, many CHROs shared how they can make meaningful change during this time of uncertainty. One mentioned, “The Great Resignation was out of our control. The race for talent involves aspects of our offerings as employers that are very much within our control. As a result, we're paying close attention to what we're doing and how that impacts our ability to recruit and retain our people.”
Regarding employee retention efforts, CHROs are also taking a similar approach to last year. Here are their top strategies:
Overall, CHROs seem to think there’s more to the race for talent than a trend. These are a few more comments from the survey:
I think this will force us to get more serious about evaluating what work we continue - what do we automate, and what do we stop.”
I think we have to create a culture that supports belonging and continue to share why we are the employer of choice.”
Be very clear about your employee value proposition during the hire process - then live up to it.”
To learn more about the survey results, check out the infographic, or you can connect with like-minded C-level executives on mission critical topics, such as talent, at one of our upcoming gatherings.
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