The Changing Landscape of Hiring and Employee Retention

Published on 14th December 2021

During the pandemic, there was a big shift in thinking about employee retention. Many companies switched focus to trying to figure out how to keep their workforce employed during the slow down.  As companies began to feel more confidence about the economic outlook, keeping employees and being able to attract new employees became a bigger issue.

According to the Worldcom Confidence Index (WCI) report of February 2020, Upskilling and reskilling was the number one topic for leader engagement across all sectors.  The #2 topic was retaining talent for all sectors except utilities.

As vaccines became available and cities started to take steps back toward ‘normal’ life, the challenges of employee engagement started to take center stage.  Business leaders will need to take on a renewed sense of purpose, put it at the heart of business and use that clear purpose to attract employees who believe in it.

Our network of communications experts and partners predicted the upcoming Workplace Trends and Internal Communications/ Employee Wellbeing changes that companies will need to address.

Crispin Manners, CEO of Onva Consulting, provided the insight that “the uncertainty caused by the pandemic is a powerful reminder to leaders to ensure they keep everyone in the business aligned and on the same page.”

The June report for WCI showed that retaining talent, upskilling and reskilling employees and employee engagement dominated the top five Worldcom Confidence Index topics. Although Upskilling had a 17 percent improvement in confidence, attracting talent saw a fall of 13 percent.

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This ongoing decline in employee related confidence shows that leaders recognize that they will need to adapt and develop a culture that engages and inspires employees. This task is a bigger challenge with the dramatic change most companies underwent during the pandemic regarding shifting to a virtual work environment.

According to Stefan Pollack, President & CFO of The Pollack Group, “The pandemic reset the clock on what “the office” means, sending some of the world’s biggest companies back to the drawing board on defining their corporate culture.”

Other partners drew attention to other topics like:

  • Revising Onboarding of new associates
  • Flexible and remote working opportunities
  • Possibilities of hybrid working in smaller offices

According to Zippia.com, the employee turnover rate increased from 42.6% in 2016 to 57.3% in 2020. Even for the best employers, this presents a new set of challenges to retain, add and replace team members.

“New employees will have a hard time building relationships within teams that were already established before COVID broke down the ‘office team’ structure,” says Serge Beckers, Managing Partner of Wisse Kommunikatie.

In addition to hiring challenges faced across the job market, Public Relations positions are experiencing exponential growth. As companies need support for brand, crisis and employee engagement, Public Relation firms are being enlisted to support multiple streams of communications.

The need to connect with consumers and create emotional brand stories is propelling the growth in the industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, employment of public relations specialists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

As a result of all these factors, it’s perhaps no surprise that retaining talent was the #2 topic on the October 2021 Engagement Index, and that confidence in the ability to retain talent saw the fourth largest fall since September 2021.

With growth, community culture issues and other challenges, employers are looking for new ways to attract candidates. In addition to standard job posting on career aggregation sites, companies are looking to social media and other networking sources to fill the gaps.  They are getting creative with visibility for career opportunities. Worldcom has developed a centralized careers area and job posting source to enhance their visibility via the Global Partner network.

Find out more about the Worldcom Confidence Index topics that highlight employee change, ongoing evolving employee management and the series of predictions from Worldcom Partners about PR and Content Marketing Trends in 2021. You can also get insights about fighting The Great Resignation.

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