In 2023, there’s a fine line to tread when it comes to managing your talent.
The trend toward an economic downturn shows no signs of slowing down, and there are more unfilled vacancies than there are unemployed workers. Some employees are leaving their positions and staying out of the work pool, while others seek employment in different industries.
In a volatile work climate where talent is hard to come by, and even to retain, what can you do?
Look Within for Emerging Talent
Before you put together your strategy for bringing in fresh talent, it’s worth taking a look within to see how you can improve your internal talent management.
Even with top talent on your books, the chances are that you won’t be able to find employees whose skill sets perfectly align with every available job. The key to a healthier talent management strategy is to accept this and refrain from trying to fit square pegs in round holes.
Work with what you have rather than trying to horseshoe an employee into a role that isn’t a great fit for them.
To create a talent management strategy that stands the test of time, you have to be proactive and flexible in your thinking.
1. Conduct a Skills Audit
Start with a skills audit based on performance data you’ve collected on your workforce and build out a clear picture of where each employee’s strengths and weaknesses lie. A great way to do this is to use remote work time tracking software, as you can draw upon time data that has been automatically collected and consolidated into easy-to-digest reports.
2. Identify Suitable Internal Talent
From here, the idea is that whenever a job becomes available, you would scan through your employee performance tracking system data and find employees who have the base skills to perform the roles and responsibilities. Remember, we’re not looking for a perfect match - because it’s rarely the case that you’ll have the ideal candidate internally every time.
3. Create Upskilling Opportunities
Once you’ve identified the talent, you can ease them into the role and create an upskilling or mentorship program to get them up to speed with everything involved in the job. That way, you’ve saved money and nurtured existing talent into a new role.
Plus, you’ve created a streamlined route to career progression for new and existing employees alike, which could increase engagement levels.
Reconsider your Value Proposition
When talent seems incredibly hard to lock down, a change of tact is often the best way to change your fortune.
A simple reframe can go a long way.
Rather than focusing on what value top talent can bring to your company, flip the script and uncover your unique value propositions that can interest and entice talent. While it may seem like a given that people will want to work for your company if you’ve enjoyed success, the modern work climate has shifted priorities for many.
In the past, you could bank on finding candidates that were incentivized by a healthy salary and the job security of a long-term role. These days, many candidates in the job market are looking out for other factors in the job description, such as:
- Work schedule flexibility: Given the discovery of remote work for many during the pandemic, the rising popularity of many alternate work models leading to the highest productivity levels, and the resounding success of the 2022 four day work week carried out by 4 Day Week Global; it’s safe to say that few people are enamored with the 9-5 in 2023.
- Perks and programs: In 2023, the concept of perks has evolved. Whereas it used to be free coffee and snacks at the office, if you have a virtual work environment, you need to innovate. For example, you could offer free access to mindfulness apps, health and fitness video sessions, or eLearning programs.
- Training resources: In a world where there’s always new tech waiting around the corner to make some skills less useful than others, such as AI chatbots like ChatGPT, workers want access to training programs and mentorship opportunities to keep up with the changing tides.
By shifting your priorities and dispensing with rigid hiring criteria that rules out all but the most qualified and experienced, you can cast a wider net and source fresh, untested talent. Seek to include candidates that can do the job you’re asking of them well rather than focusing only on those with the longest resume or portfolio.
While some accommodations may seem hard to justify, such as flexible work arrangements, embracing this kind of change is essential for building a culture of company-wide resiliency. This is crucial for navigating challenging economic times and continuing to attract and retain talent in the long run.
Prioritize and Redirect
Since we’re likely heading toward an economic downturn in 2023, many companies are already considering - or have started - with layoffs. Big tech has already let employees go in their thousands, from Google to Meta, so you can imagine the cascading effect in the coming months as many companies look to cut costs.
However, mass layoffs aren't necessarily the best way to proceed in an economic downturn. While layoffs certainly help you cut costs quickly, they can also:
- Reduce employee morale (especially if the layoffs are unexpected)
- Lead to resignations
- Put off prospective talent from applying to work for you
So what’s the alternative?
Audit the company and find out what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can show resilience in the face of economic uncertainty in 2023 and beyond.
It might not sound straightforward, but it can be.
Focus your energy on discovering what you’ll need in the immediate and long-term future in terms of skills and other factors. Once you’ve identified indispensable talent and skill sets, safeguard them at all costs, as these are what will ensure you continue to thrive while other companies falter.
If necessary, prioritize certain skill sets, and redirect talent within the company to make sure you aren’t spending too much time on activities that aren’t moving the needle.
Monitor Employee Activity with Insightful
In uncertain times, you need resiliency but also the stability that comes from reliable systems. It’s important to have a robust way of monitoring remote workers when transitioning to new ways of working and navigating a potentially devastating economic recession.
Productivity monitoring is made easy with Insightful.
As a pc usage monitor platform, you can use Insightful to monitor computer activities and evaluate workforce productivity effectively. When you monitor computer activity remotely, you can create productivity reports based on time data that let you know who’s working well and who may be struggling.
With the data you collect from software to log computer activity, you can then determine how best to reshuffle internal talent to get the best out of your workforce.