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Employers Need to Heed Current and Potential Employees to Stay Competitive

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Sep 23, 2022


The United States is currently experiencing a labor shortage, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—and that is causing employers to come up with strategies to attract and retain good workers, Fast Company reported.

While the author of the guest article, Amy Leschke-Kahle, vice president of performance acceleration at The Marcus Buckingham Company, won’t commit to stating whether this trend will last, she does state that the “talent market is competitive at every level. And this will continue even as the market conditions change.”

So, it is apparent that job seekers have the power right now. That means that employers have to be more attentive to what these job seekers need and want.

Establishing a unique mission and unique values can help a company’s brand stand out to potential employees, who want to work for companies that have and share those elements of a company’s culture. “The onus is on the employee to showcase that alignment,” Leschke-Kahle wrote.

“Employees want to be treated like grown-ups and be in an environment to do their best work,” she wrote in making the case for a supportive culture. This can take many forms, but culture could entail flexible working hours or paid time off to allow employees to take care of personal matters. These options can vary, depending on the employment status of the employee and his or her individual needs.  

Leschke-Kahle’s perspective on compensation goes beyond the conventional wisdom of offering as much money as possible to a potential recruit. It could disaffect existing employees.

To her, “pay equity” is a long game. “You’ll be sabotaging your existing workforce for the sake of trying to get the new employee to say yes,” by offering that higher salary," she wrote. “Resist. … You don’t want to hire new talent at the expense of losing your tenured employees.”

She also advocated for ongoing feedback as a means of “creating an engaging environment for learning and development.” Citing her company’s research, she wrote, “A recent analysis … showed unequivocally that employees who receive weekly attention from their managers are more likely to be fully engaged, and employees who are fully engaged are more likely to stay at an organization.”

This is consistent with what the newer generation of workers, the cohort known as Generation Z, has told other researchers.