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Managing Partner - West Shore Partners LLC / Redmitten.com
Dan Hanyzewski is Managing Partner of West Shore Partners LLC / Redmitten.com, a niche consulting firm focused on delivering high-end solutions to a range of Human Resources, Procurement, Operational, and Finance clients. He's currently engaged with Kelly Services to assist Kelly’s Outsourcing and Consulting Group in building out additional capabilities in employment branding, recruitment strategy, and contingent workforce management.
Did you know that every week in the United States, some 10,000 people are retiring, or are about to retire? The composition of the workforce is transforming—it's aging rapidly, and as a result vast amounts of company knowledge and experience is departing the workforce altogether.
In 1980, 51% of the workforce was under the age of 35. By 2011, half of all U.S. workers were over the age of 45. The aging workforce is already upon us, and this means a shortage of younger workers, as well as the need to keep workers employed for longer. In fact, labor-force participation by people over the age of 55 is going to need to increase by 25% if the United States is to simply maintain current levels of productivity.
Fortunately, we're in a longevity revolution of a kind that's never been seen before. A hundred years ago, the average life expectancy was 47; today it's 77. We've seen a 30-year increase in 100 years! With so many people living longer, can't we just keep people employed for longer? Won't this solve problem of the war for talent?
Theoretically it would, except that all of these people need to have the right skills to ensure they can contribute over their extended life span. In places like Australia, India, China and even Canada, there are a great number of employable people, but there are not enough of them with the necessary skills that organizations are trying to hire. So, it's not so much about a lack of people, but rather a lack of the right skills at a time when the workforce is aging rapidly.
Given this unbeatable, global demographic reality, all organizations are going to be competing in a tougher talent market. So, what can they really do to ensure they have the talent they need into the future?
Well, there's plenty of discussion at the moment about 'brand' and its growing importance as a talent attraction and retention tool. And I think there is enough evidence to suggest that smart companies really are winning the war by placing more focus on 'branding'. Yet, branding must be looked at from both the company and the employee perspective. It's not just the organizational brand that matters, it's also how strongly and accurately organizational brands can identify, attract and relate to the 'right' employees.
Gallup has studied the psychology of brand relationships. They have also spent more than three decades assisting organizations to successfully recruit, select, and retain top talent, while researching the effect of employee strengths in the workplace. They say that to be effective, an employment brand needs to perform optimally in each of these dimensions. Ideally, employment brands should:
A strong employer brand begins with a promise that is credible, compelling, and connects to the applicant. Once hired, the employee should build a deep-seated relationship with the employer by embracing the employment brand through the everyday employment experience. If the relationship is powerful, the employee will become an engaged employee and ambassador of the brand. They will encourage others to apply by talking to them about the employment promise and the authentic experience it represents.
Yet, it's not just about saying and doing the right things, it's about finding ways to connect with the right candidates in the first place. And this is where the real war for talent is going to be won and lost: our ability to find and connect with the candidates that are right for us. So, when we talk about recruitment and the importance of branding, we're not just talking about "employer branding", we're also talking about "employee branding"—the people at the other end of the process.
Truly effective 'employee branding' communicates candidate-centric recruitment messaging that attracts right-fit candidates that are hardwired to find fulfillment in your distinctive work culture.
Employee branding conveys the essence of your workplace and the art form and key analytics that harnesses the dynamic chemistry between a job and an employee that reveals your unique recruitment proposition. This is how you transform a job applicant into a candidate that you know is compatible with your company culture—and more importantly, compatible with the role and culture, and have the best opportunity to thrive in it.
These are exhilarating times for those who love the competition and understand what type of war is ahead of them.