From prospects and clients alike, we are hearing more and more management teams who are looking at ways to slow down the turnover within their businesses in the Tampa Bay area.  They have come to the realization that turnover slows down their business growth, likely reduces their annual profits and leads to additional internal stress as they have to keep training or integrating new people into their culture.

Now that we have kicked off 2018 and we are still fully committed to our New Year’s resolutions (or at least you all are, I didn’t even bother this year. As a general rule I break mine by January 2nd each year), many businesses are now looking for strategies to slow down or limit the turnover of their staff because the job market has become so hot.  The unfortunate reality of today’s job market is that turnover is a going to be a constant in business, even if you don’t know it, many employees are looking for or considering new opportunities.

2018 Jobs Outlook

Earlier in January, CareerBuilder produced their annual job forecast that found 55% of HR managers have jobs they can’t fill and 58% report they have had positions open for 12 weeks or longer due to the lack of qualified talent.  Conversely, they found that 40% of employees are looking to change jobs this year. (CareerBuilderJobsSurvey)

Why am I telling you this? Simple, because now more than ever, employers need to be looking for two things in my opinion – talent and drive.  I know, I know, I can hear hiring managers yelling now…I don’t have time to train, or we can’t have a learning curve! We need people to be productive on day 1! Period, end of statement.

Advice for Employers with Turnover

For those employers who don’t want to train I am going to argue that more often than not, you will continue to firmly be in the camp of the 58% of people with positions open 12 weeks or longer. Further, I suspect as the year matures, that 12 weeks’ time-frame will only get longer as the unemployment levels get even tighter. You are in a pick your poison moment. Hire someone you need to train or leave the position vacant and place significant burdens on the rest of your staff who may look leave due to the stress and workload. Or it falls to management to fill that role and it takes them away from doing the tasks they need to do grow the business. There really isn’t any middle ground.

Employee Perspective

However, lest move from the employers and move to the perspective of the employee. Let’s be realistic, of the 40% of employees looking to make a change, how many do we really think are interested in a lateral move, even with slightly more pay? I would be willing to argue that the majority of that 40% looking to change positions are looking for growth in their career as well as growth in their paycheck.  Time and time again we sit with people who tell us that their career objective when looking for a new position, is to find a place where they can grow professionally, learn new things and continue to improve their way of life.  The employers who recognize the talent and drive of an employee are going to win in the long term in this position. They will give an opportunity for a person to grow and normally that builds more loyalty than just a lateral move. Think of it another way, if you hire a person on a lateral move, what is going to stop them from changing jobs again when another similar position with even more money opens up?

I have said it before and it is worth saying again. In today’s market, and CareerBuilder has this in their report, employers need to find the time to find that candidate with the drive and talent to succeed. Experience still matters, but it should be secondary in my opinion to talent drive. Yes, you want basic experiences but in today’s market what you should be looking for is the employee who wants to make you look good! They have the “will” to succeed and that should pay dividends in your business over the long term.

People who have what I call the function of “will” are the ones who don’t have an off switch. They will work tirelessly to help your business grow, they will be reliable and trustworthy. Those are the ones who usually go the extra step that will help set your business apart from your competition and they don’t usually have the experience you want because these are the ones who aren’t interested in lateral positions, they want to grow!

As we move through 2018, hiring won’t get any easier. Those firms that have both the eye and flexibility for talent are the ones who will win in this market.  Additionally, those that have efficient hiring processes and realized candidates won’t wait around for them to make a decision have the best chance of hiring top talent. Happy hunting in 2018!

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