The Great “Sansdemic”
On November 17, workforce development expert Jim Morgan was an expert speaker on the topic of the Great Sansdemic. “Sans” meaning without and “demic” meaning people.” In his presentation, Morgan delves into the causes of today’s talent shortages, strategies for finding and keeping employees, and methods for long and short term talent supply chain security.
Causes of the Great Sansdemic
Domestic Migration out of the Northeast and Midwest
According to Morgan, people are rapidly moving out of the Northeast as they are in other regions like the Midwest. Because of this, employers are struggling to retain their employees and attract new talent. In the Northeast, New York is losing the most residents followed by New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The question here is why?
Today, people are considering a multitude of things when it comes to where they want to live and work. For one, the Northeast and Midwest have been losing people ages 25 and under, which is the demographic the workforce is largely trying to target. According to Morgan, the Northeast and Midwest lack diversity, which is one of the deciding factors for where people want to live and work. If you are a person of color, you are going to want to live and work where you are represented. Another cause for this migration is that 25-year-olds are looking to live and work with other 25-year-olds. Unfortunately, the Northeast and Midwest have experienced a rapid decline of young people 25 and under. Because of this, these places are no longer hubs for this demographic. Regardless of the reason, the migration out of the Northeast and Midwest is real and something to be considered.
Regardless of where you live, there are generational differences that drive what people are motivated by. Not everyone has the same demands, and these demands change as we move through the different stages of our lives. At the end of the day, we are living in a candidate world. As employers, we need people more than they need us. Because of this, we need to get creative in our offerings and be willing to adapt to the multiple generational demands.
Strategies for Finding and Retaining Employees
What is Your Candidate Experience?
Answering this question will reveal areas where you need to improve your current candidate experience. Today candidates are looking for:
- An easy web experience
- Simple and mobile-friendly application process
- Succinct and to the point information
- Quick interview process
Be prepared to provide these practices for your candidates and remember what is important to your intended candidate. Interviewers should also be ready to discuss how your organization is flexible and what your DEI initiatives are.
What is Your Onboarding and Employee Experience?
Unfortunately, too many employers do not have a structured process in place to assimilate new employees. According to Morgan, orientation is not onboarding. As an employer, you need to go above and beyond to make your new employees feel welcome and connected. Ask yourself these questions: Do you have all of their technology ready? Are you welcoming your new hire into an empty or full office? Do you have any welcome swag you can give them? Having a good first impression isn’t just for people; it is important for your organization too.
What is Your Employee Experience?
It is imperative that you don’t overlook your employee experience. You need to check in on your current employees as well as making your new hires feel connected. According to Morgan, you need to treat your people better than your best customer. You want to give them a reason to stay. Are the benefits you offer aligned with the benefits they want? Make sure you are periodically checking in with your employees to ensure they are content with their jobs.
Are You an Employer of Choice?
Your company culture can become a great selling point for your organization; however, it can also be detrimental to your organization if your company culture is lackluster. According to Morgan, when it comes to culture, more and more employees are looking for:
- Personal and developmental growth
- Social responsibility
- Work-Life Balance
Your organization should consider these pillars when establishing your company culture.
Did You Adapt?
If the competition is doing it, you need to do it as well. Morgan introduces alternative populations your organization should look into recruiting such as freelancers, prison populations, retirees, interns, outside connections, immigrants, and other niche targets like returning employees.
Methods for Long and Short Term Talent Supply Chain Security
- View your HR department as sales for people
- Stay reviews
- Meet generational needs
- Use employees as recruiters
- Establish a web presence for candidates
- Recruit alternative populations
- Put your people first by focusing on flexibility and mental health
- Visit middle schools and high schools
- Get close with your suppliers
- Serve on advisory boards
- Offer internships and experiences
- Establish the preferred employer brand
- Offer benefits that matter
- Sell quality of life
- Get to the parents, your employees
Morgan explains that this is a big deal, and that it is likely not going to go away. Doing nothing is not an option, and employers who adapt to the changing environment will succeed.