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Navigating Disruption: Behold the Power of People

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Attracting top talent was a priority for employers even before the latest business disruption event, which added new challenges to recruitment and retention. It’s evidence to suggest the old adage, “Good people are hard to find,” holds true as much now as it ever has. We looked back on our discussions with business leaders on the topic of workforce, talent pool and how tangible experience plays in the balance of effective workforce management. Join us for another edition of Navigating Disruption.

Scoop up high-quality talent when the market recovers.

As we heard from the VP of sales and marketing at a company that manufactures equipment for the baking industry, companies who are prepared for disruption are often in the best position to grow when the market recovers. These companies are also in the best position to scoop up high-quality talent that less prepared competitors might have had to let go of. 

“As far as the workforce goes, we wish we could grow our employee count faster, but the labor market is so tight. We had positions open for six months, and we couldn’t find people. I’m optimistic now. I think the remote working thing is going to become more of a primary consideration when it comes to hiring people, for sure.”

It’s no longer about when and who to hire but where.

As the previous business leader noted, where an employee is located is of less importance now, opening opportunities for a greater talent pool for them to draw from. This notion continues to build momentum and for many is seen as one of the silver linings discovered while navigating our latest disruption. Here’s what the president of a financial institution in the upper Midwest had to say on the topic:

“I think the way that we staff our offices will certainly change for the long term. And we’re learning a lot of valuable lessons about staffing branches and how many people we need on-site. So, I see some of that changing permanently.”

This openness was echoed by the president of an insurance company headquartered in North Dakota who made it clear how flexibility will be valued moving forward and how that opens them up to new possibilities with talent.

“You have to be able to offer the same flexibility that anyone else is offering no matter what workspace it is, no matter what industry it is, if you’re attracting younger demographics. Now we can hire somebody that lives anywhere and say, ‘Look, you work from home two days a week, three days a week and come in here a couple days a week,’ and broaden where somebody can be from. Maybe if there’s an applicant that’s located in Chicago. Well, do you really need that person to move to Fargo, or can they continue and just work from Chicago?”

In some cases there’s no substitute for tangible experiences.

On the other hand, while it can be beneficial in some areas to offer flexibility and remote opportunities, there are situations where in-person talent is necessary. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the world of food production. The vice president of a Midwestern food production equipment manufacturer had this to say:

“Our customers have their own process to make their food products that [are] always different. We have to know that in order to effectively serve them and effectively supply them with equipment, and you’ve got to be there [in person] for it. You just do. You have to see it. We’re working with dough; you got to touch it, you got to feel it. You have to.”

Another business leader, the CEO and co-founder of a furniture manufacturing company, shared a similar sentiment around the concern for being able to add the right people and get them up to speed.

“Now we have to build some new relationships, but now it’s not like you can just get on a plane and go fly and see someone. To me that’s everything. We have to figure out how we’re going to build new relationships; it’s going to be more of a challenge.” 

Disruption doesn’t care if you’re at full strength or not when it decides to strike. Companies that can excel at recruiting and nurturing a workforce with both a “high-tech” and “high-touch” focus will likely have success. If you can be creative in the way you approach staffing and find highly skilled talent and retain them, they’ll be the greatest asset to take on disruption of any kind.

Here’s to hiring in the face of disruption.

Thanks,

PRIME46


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