Industry Square: Peters: Can You Create and Retain the Perfect Employee?
The ongoing battle for talent is real, and it is upon us every day. Navigating the hundreds of economic and labor dynamics surrounding Millennials, insourcing, outsourcing, healthcare reform and other labor laws creates a complex struggle to find and retain the right people. But we are in the retail industry, and we will always need a continuous pipeline of candidates to fill our jobs: full time, part time, entry-level and professional.
With the decline of the unemployment rate, finding trained and available talent is increasingly challenging. It’s a numbers game, but the numbers simply don’t add up. That doesn’t mean we have run out of people; it means we are running out of people using the methods we used just a few years ago. The reality is, there is not just one way to recruit. Talent acquisition seems to be evolving into a process that decreases the number of possible candidates in search of the perfect fit. While there is value to this strategy, in retail, we need to continuously build a funnel of qualified candidates to account for the seasonal ebbs and flows. The secret appears to be in attracting as many of the “right” candidates as possible. However, what if the real secret is redefining who the “right” candidate is?
Creating the Ideal Candidate
Shifting from hiring to a job description to hiring to a profile was a great step forward in redefining the target candidate population, but creating the ideal candidate is the next step. Using what we have learned from job analysis and competencies, we now need to hire for “teachable” fit. Teachable fit is the concept of hiring people that fit culturally into your organization and have the ability to learn your jobs. You are, essentially, creating your own employees from the talent pool. True, this process is dependent on your ability to design, or at least deliver, world-class training, and may very well come down to budget dollars. However, chances are those dollars are already being invested into sourcing and basic training. Quality training will not only increase your recruiting population, but it will help turn new hires into quality employees. It’s also a differentiator in the marketplace, further attracting more quality talent.