It's a candidate's market out there. With job openings on the rise and unemployment on the decline, it's been a very merry year for applicants in Procurement and Supply Management. Even if they've spent 2018 pouting and crying, world-class talent should expect a number of gifts from prospective employers.
Here are some of the season's must-haves for job seekers.
1. A Purpose
Back in 2015, Harvard Business Review and Ernst & Young conducted a study into the importance of purpose-driven business. Business leaders, they found, strongly agree that a clear purpose makes for more satisfied employees, more successful initiatives, and more loyal customers. Purpose, which the study defined as "an aspirational reason for being which provides a call to action for an organization . . . and provides benefit to local and global society," is also a distinct asset throughout the recruiting and hiring process.
Applicants want to know that they'll quickly make an impact both internally and externally. At work, it's important their efforts are tied to a clear ROI that resonates across the business. Perhaps more importantly, however, they want to work for an employer that defines purpose in non-financial terms. Young professionals are increasingly passionate about social issues and increasingly skeptical that business leaders feel the same. They are eager to work for businesses that not only behave ethically and responsibly, but also lead the charge in encouraging other businesses to do the same.
Recruiters and hiring managers should work to underline their company's purpose during every stage of the staffing process. From the job listing through to on-boarding, emphasize the importance of the business' shared vision. Take care, too, to remind the candidate of the essential role they'll play in carrying out this mission. Continually emphasizing purpose will both attract leading applicants and ensure peak performance once you've brought them on-board.
While the rise of remote work suggests that young professionals are increasingly independent, that doesn't mean they're looking for hands-off managers. Quite the contrary. Millennial professionals are accustomed to a never-ending feedback loop. They're constantly in touch with their peer network, and there's no reason their interactions within the office should be any different.
Consistent communication and ongoing feedback are as important as ever for maximizing both results and retention. Gallup has repeatedly found that annual performance reviews are no longer sufficient for communicating expectations and driving professional growth. They report that a staggering 87% of employees describe themselves as disengaged. More regular feedback is a low-cost way to reverse this trend and better appeal to top-notch candidates.
It's important that organizations get off on the right foot with candidates. Consistent communication throughout the hiring process sends a clear message. It not only suggests engagement, but it sets an expectation for an applicant. More specifically, it provides a sense of what your company's approach to communication and feedback looks like. On the end of the spectrum, a drawn-out process characterized by radio silence sends a far less positive message.
It's abundantly clear that the classic nine-to-five model is outdated. Entitled millennials aren't the only ones looking for more variety. This year's Global Talent Trends survey found that more than half of professionals wish their employer offered more flexible options. Flexibility is particularly important to parents in the professional world. A 2016 FlexJobs survey saw 84% identify flexibility as the single most important factor in making a job selection - even higher than salary!
The definition of work-life balance is evolving and the expectations around it are changing. Professionals of all ages know that a more customized approach to their day-to-day can help reduce stress and even boost their productivity. Too often, however, flexibility is treated as a privilege rather than a central component of company culture. Doing so might suggest a lack of trust that will only compound an employee's frustration.
Flexibility should come up early in the hiring process. Like more regular feedback, it's something that just about every applicant wants but relatively few will go ahead and ask for. Hiring managers might even consider establishing a flexible interview process that empowers the candidate. A remote interview, for example, provides the candidate a sense of comfort and communicates trust on the employer's part. While companies must remain wary of applicants or employees who abuse flexibility, they'll generally find that leading professionals validate their trust.
Are visions of a stressful hiring process dancing in your head? Reach out to Source One's Supply Chain staffing specialists today to start building a best-in-class team. Happy Holidays!