With 2019 quickly drawing to a close, it is abundantly clear that the American workplace is being influenced by what has been dubbed the 'new economy'. It is an economy that continues to grow and is well supported by low unemployment rates and growing salaries. But it is also an economy heavily influenced by the gig and on-demand mindsets.
HR departments and recruiters find themselves in a position of having to adopt new strategies that account for the changing economy. This can be easier said than done, especially for those not up to speed with the way modern employees view their jobs.
We have put together a description of four strategies that forward-thinking employers are now utilizing to stay ahead of the competition. Some of them might apply to the way your company already does things.
1. Support the Business Strategy
Every company has at least one central strategy for growing and strengthening the business. Today's successful HR departments make supporting those strategies a priority. They are no longer hiring just to fill open jobs. Rather, they are purposely looking for candidates who, upon hire, can support the company's business strategy – even if it is just in a small way.
2. Adopt an Agile Mindset
Agility is generally defined as flexibility. However, it means something different in the software development world. Agile software development is a way of developing software that has everyone involved working simultaneously – as opposed to cascading work – so as to allow for better integration, faster completion, and greater efficiency.
Adapting this mentality to the HR department can do wonders for recruiting and hiring. Rather than HR working separate from management, accounting, etc., everyone works together to pursue a common goal. HR works intimately with management to fully understand talent needs. They work for the accounting and understand the budget.
3. Focus on Strong Internals
Headhunters and staffing agencies can serve a vital role in recruiting and hiring. But they should not be a company's primary HR tool. Rather, HR departments should focus on their own internal strength. They should be looking for ways to do what they do better. They should be investing in their own education and career development that puts them in a better position than headhunters and staffing agencies.
A strong HR department looks out for the company it supports whereas headhunters and staffing agencies look out for themselves. Use headhunters and staffing agencies when absolutely necessary but put more time and effort into developing a strong HR department more than capable of supporting the company.
4. Foster Employee Ownership
The final strategy is less about recruiting and more about retention. It is a strategy of fostering employee ownership within the workplace. This is a strategy that actively seeks to involve employees in the direction, mission, and vision of the company rather than treating them simply as human resources.
If there is one thing that has fueled the rise of the gig economy, it is resentment among employees who feel as though their companies do not value them as people. Gig workers would far rather assume the risks of working as independent contractors than toil for employers who do not value them.
Give employees real ownership in what they do and you will simultaneously give them a reason to be loyal to the company. That is how you retain people who would otherwise elect to go the gig root.
The changing economy requires looking at hiring and retention in new ways. Those companies willing to adapt their strategies to account for this new economy will be in the strongest position moving forward.