Spherion Staffing Services recently released its 2009 Emerging Workforce Study discussing how to find, retain and empower today’s workforce to fully leverage their skills and potential. To that end, the Study addresses six workplace strategies:
- More Narrowly Define the Talent You Need: This year, Spherion was able to uncover tangible results from the use of a contingent workforce. For example, 69% of companies agree that the flexibility of the contingent workforce has allowed their organization to remain nimble during economic ups and downs.
- Utilize Tailored Recruitment Strategies: Innovative companies have accepted that greater specialization is required today to adequately source and attract talent. Businesses that know their applicant market, what they’re looking for out of their career and employer, and where to find them will see far greater success in building their workforce. For example, breaking down searches by profession and identifying the specific characteristics of the desired talent may be effective.
- Cultivate Today’s Employees into Tomorrow’s Talent Engine: An overwhelming majority of workers today prefer a job that allows them to think creatively (95%) and to think of new and better ways to do things (88%). Most companies overlook their existing talent base as an answer to the impending labor shortages and knowledge gaps – this is a missed opportunity to unleash a powerful talent engine to propel them well into the future.
- Believe in the Power of Work/Life Balance Programs: Eighty-six percent of workers say work/life balance and fulfillment are top career priorities while only 12 percent of employers believe it is crucial for hiring and retention. We now have more than 12 years of research and feedback from U.S. workers and their employers supporting the same conclusion – workers want and need work/life balance options, and providing such programs directly increases job satisfaction, worker productivity and retention.
- Know What It Takes to Keep Your Top Performers: When it comes time for rebounding, and it will, employers will need to have their star talent in place to drive renewal and growth. Emerging workers, it turns out, are some of the most educated, most driven and successful (both in income and career advancement) workers the labor market has to offer. Implementing key retention drivers such as work/life balance and continuing to invest in the training is a couple of things you can do to keep the gold star performers around after the rebound.
- Close the Gap and Achieve Retention for All: The truth is employers and employees vehemently disagree on what drives retention. Differences in opinion can be good, except when it results in financial and competitive losses. Aligning employee priorities with employer-driven initiatives continues to be a struggle for many companies.
The Study also identifies two cultural shifts impacting business today: The adoption of social media and workers’ desire to identify with a clear mission from their employer, which can go hand-in-hand. Social media efforts can be influential in attracting and recruiting talent, keeping current employees engaged and conveying a company’s brand mission. In fact, the most surprising finding from this year’s Emerging Workforce Study is the dramatic influence that a company’s core values and mission have on its employees. Employees today yearn to be connected to their employer and to something bigger and broader than what’s found in their job description. Organizations that clearly communicate and commit to a mission end up with a highly engaged, highly satisfied workforce. The data shows that 92 percent of workers whose employers have a clear mission and follow through say their job satisfaction is excellent/very good, compared to only 51 percent of workers whose employers have a clear mission but do not follow-through.
Click here to go to the Study’s executive summary.