It’s a new era in the workforce as we speed towards 2030 with four powerhouse generations in the mix: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. Understanding what makes your employees of all ages tick is the key to unlocking a culture where everyone thrives.
Amongst travel and hospitality recruitment challenges is a clear and persistent issue: staffing shortages. Talent leaders are struggling to fill empty roles amid low unemployment rates.
According to a 2023 survey by Deloitte, more than half of hotel executives (53%) say their properties have between 25–74% of the workforce they had in 2019. The situation at airports is even tighter with 62% of executives saying their workforce is half its prepandemic size or smaller.
On top of this, the unemployment rate sits at 3.8% in the U.S., 4.3% in the UK and 3.7% in Australia. The travel industry also saw a massive exodus of workers. In 2022, there were record quit rates during the Great Resignation, with the quit rate in leisure and hospitality jumping by a percentage point to 6.4%. So, how can talent leaders hire hospitality and travel workers when the available pool is smaller?
Luckily, the right technology solutions deployed at the right times during the recruitment process can help talent leaders source, attract and screen candidates to find the best talent more efficiently and effectively. In this article, we’ll cover three technology interventions that talent acquisition teams can put into place to tackle hospitality recruitment challenges.
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge No. 1: Our open positions receive few applicants, and many of those who do apply do not have the background or experience needed to succeed in the role.
Solution No. 1: Invest in artificial intelligence sourcing technology to fill the top of your funnel.
Amongst common hospitality recruitment challenges that we see is finding talent with a wide variety of specialised skills across diverse and distant geographies. There is no one-size-fits all approach to hiring travel and hospitality talent. Finding a chef for a luxury property in Lake Como, Italy will look very different from a search for housekeeping staff at a family resort in Orlando, Florida. Finding a flight attendant looks very different from filling a baggage handler role.
With such a tight talent market, employers must target passive talent. During the Great Rehire talent leaders focused on filling roles as quickly as possible, but now they need to focus on finding and hiring more experienced workers.
An AI-enabled candidate sourcing tool can identify passive candidates with the right experience for specific roles and can even identify which candidates would be most likely to leave their current employers. Within seconds, recruiters can build a list of these candidates and share the opportunity. PeopleScout’s talent acquisition suite, AffinixTM, includes the AI sourcing feature, Talent Finder, which can connect employers with millions of passive candidates.
Consider the following best practices for using an AI sourcing tool:
Before searching for candidates, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the technical and soft skills needed to be successful in the role.
Use features, like PeopleScout’s Diversity Boost, that can identify candidates from underrepresented backgrounds to help meet your DE&I goals.
Blend AI with the human touch. By having a recruiter reach out to a sourced candidate with a personalised message, employers can create a positive experience.
Make sure a human makes all final hiring decisions. AI can make the process more efficient, but hiring managers should make the final call.
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge No. 2: Candidates drop out of our process before reaching the offer stage, either by abandoning the application or ghosting the interview.
Solution No. 2: Improve the candidate experience by making the process quick and easy by embracing tools like SMS or virtual interviews.
Hospitality employers must ensure that their candidate experience sets them apart from other employers at every stage of the candidate journey. For candidates, how they’re treated during the hiring process is a preview of what their experience will be as an employee.
PeopleScout research shows that the hospitality industry has a lot of room for improvement in this area. In our analysis of the candidate experience of more than 215 different organisations, the hospitality sector came in last overall with the lowest average scores in every stage except Follow-Up (in which it was second to last). While hospitality organisations effectively showcased their diversity and inclusion efforts on their career sites, only half gave candidates the opportunity to register their interest.
Your candidate experience should be unique to your brand and help you distinguish yourself from other employers hiring for similar roles or skills. Many talent acquisition teams don’t appreciate that candidates don’t perceive the recruitment process as a funnel. They’re the main character in their own story, and they expect to be treated that way. Candidates want to engage in their job search on their own terms. So, anytime they encounter a roadblock to getting the information they want, especially if they don’t know what to expect in the next stage, they’re more likely to drop out of your process.
There are several ways to leverage technology to make the process easier for candidates. First, start with a shortened application. According to PeopleScout research, nearly 40% of organisations asked candidates to duplicate information that was already contained in their resume or CV. Make sure your application only collects the information that is most critical for determining who moves along to the next step of the process.
From there, other technology solutions can be used to gather the additional information necessary to make a hiring decision. SMS can be used for an initial text screening, and virtual interviews, like those available in Affinix, allow candidates to answer additional questions at their own pace while feeling as though they’re driving the process.
Finally, automated communication can keep a candidate engaged in the process. The right technology platform can help by sending automated messages to candidates, via email or chatbot technology, updating them on their application status. You can even craft messages letting a candidate know if they did not get the job, so they aren’t left wondering if you ghosted them.
Consider the following best practices for using technology to improve your candidate experience:
Make sure your application is mobile-friendly and can be filled out in 10 minutes or less. Test your current application to see how long it takes to apply.
Provide candidates with the opportunity to opt-in to receive text messages or emails from your organisation to remain in compliance with local spam laws.
Tailor the type of virtual interview to the type of role. While video interviews may be appropriate for customer-facing roles, others may prefer the opportunity to answer questions with recorded audio.
Make it simple for candidates to understand where they are in your process; this can be something as simple as a progress bar.
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge No. 3: Our assessment process isn’t effective at identifying the candidates most likely to succeed in the role, leading to increased turnover, reduced productivity and disengaged employees.
Solution No. 3: Assess candidates for passion, purpose and mindset.
The travel and hospitality industry is all about guest experience, and hotels, airlines, restaurants and theme parks differentiate themselves with the unique experience that they provide. So, talent leaders need to find candidates who not only have the right skills and experience but also a deep understanding of the brand and how it is reflected in the service provided.
For example, in a major city, you may find three hotels on the same street, one catering to a high-end luxury experience in a historic building, another geared toward young travellers with bold art and hit music playing in the lobby, and a third designed with business travellers in mind—with a large business centre, meeting rooms and plenty of quiet spaces for someone to plug in their laptop. Many hotel brands even have this variety of styles within their own portfolios. The service provided in each hotel looks different, and a person who excels at a luxury property may not thrive in a trendy hotel.
By selecting the right assessment tool, employers can go beyond looking at just capability, behaviour and results but also determine whether candidates align with their organisation’s purpose, have passion for the work they would do and whether they have the mindset to adapt to new environments.
By building an assessment during pre-screening that accounts for passion, purpose and mindset in addition to the standard skills and experience, employers can use technology to shortlist candidates based on several different attributes at the same time. This way, employers can get a clear picture of the different strengths and weaknesses of candidates in order to make informed decisions about which candidates are best to bring forward to the interview stage.
By identifying candidates who match well with an employer’s brand of guest experience, talent leaders can reduce turnover and build a happier, more engaged team. In turn, that leads to better customer experience and a better bottom line.
Consider the following best practices for building an effective assessment for hospitality talent:
Identify the essential behaviours for the role to separate those who will actually be successful from those who simply present well during an interview.
Build assessment tools around your organisation’s vision and values so applicants have a chance to form a connection to them from the start.
Self-evaluation tools can also be used to help applicants consider their own strengths and whether the role will offer sufficient opportunity to use and demonstrate them.
Distinguish between good candidates who meet the criteria and great candidates who will take an organisation further.
Finding the Right Talent Technology for Hospitality
The travel and hospitality industry still faces an uphill climb in returning to or even exceeding their prepandemic staffing levels, but talent leaders have additional and improved tools available to help identify, attract and screen candidates. However, in a full marketplace, finding the right tools can be a challenge. Consider partnering with an RPO with expertise in technology that can help identify the most impactful ways new tools can solve your most pressing hospitality recruitment challenges.
There’s a new generation moving into leadership roles that’s poised to change how things are done in the workplace. You may not hear as much about them as Baby Boomers or millennials, but Generation X is the silent workhorse that makes up over third of the workforce and over half of managers.
So, who is Gen X and what exactly are they bringing to the workforce? Grab your flannel shirt, and let’s find out! The last in our series on the multigenerational workforce, this article explores what makes Gen X tick and how they’re stepping up to lead organisations into the future.
Who are Gen Xers?
Born between the early 1960s and 1980, this cohort came of age and entered the workforce in the shadow of the larger Baby Boomer generation. Now, as they move into management and leadership roles, Gen X is ready to put their own stamp on workplace culture.
Growing up as latchkey kids in an era of change, Gen X professionals are more independent and adaptable than previous generations. Gen X entered the workforce during the rise of Silicon Valley and the dot com era, making them comfortable with the pace of technological advancement. For them, adopting new technology feels natural, and they are driving digital transformation across sectors.
When it comes to the workplace, Gen X values authenticity, work-life balance and professional development. They respond better to flexible schedules that allow for caring for ageing parents and children and prefer managers that empathise with those priorities.
According to a study by Stanford University, Gen X prefers to work from home 50% of the time, compared to Boomers at 35% and Gen Z at 45%. Make no mistake, Gen Xers are focused on results, they just believe there are many valid ways to achieve success beyond face time at the office.
Having watched their parents climb the corporate ladder, Xers are focused on carving their own path at their own pace. This cohort is extremely hardworking with an innate sense of independence. If you want something done, hand it off to a Gen Xer and let them run with it.
Gen Xers don’t pay much attention to rank and hierarchy. They prefer direct communication and are more likely to casually ping you on Slack than set up a formal meeting. But don’t mistake their informal style for a lack of drive. Generation X is extremely entrepreneurial and forge their own career paths rather than expect opportunities handed to them.
Are Gen X Overlooked at Work?
Gen X may be overlooked in the workplace due to their easy-going approach. In fact, 79% of Gen X says they’re forgotten in the workplace, overshadowed by younger and older workers. It’s hard to blame them, when Gen Xers are promoted at rates 20% to 30% slower than millennials, despite being strong candidates for leadership roles.
As employers have paid a lot of attention to nurturing millennial talent in recent years, Gen X has gone underappreciated for their contributions to the workforce. With Gen X leading the Great Resignation as 37% more left their company in early 2022 compared to the year before, employers should concentrate on retaining and engaging this valuable cohort as they enter the second half of their careers.
Move Over, Boomers: Here Comes Gen X
As Gen X moves into boardrooms and leadership roles, we are starting to see their impact on workplace culture. Transparency and direct communication are in. Bureaucracy and hierarchy are out. Gone are the days of formal business attire and rigid top-down management. Today’s workplaces are more casual, flexible and egalitarian.
Gen X leaders prefer to mentor and develop talent rather than micromanage. They lead by example and earn respect by rolling up their sleeves alongside their employees. Gen Xers believe the best way to achieve success is by empowering their team.
How to Keep Gen Xers Happy in the Workplace
Here’s how to help your Generation X colleagues gain success at work as they move into leadership positions:
Offer flexibility: Gen Xers appreciate flexibility in their work hours and locations. Consider options like remote work, flexible schedules and job sharing. Plus, autonomy over their time is key. Don’t expect 24/7 availability from Gen X employees. They value their personal responsibilities outside of work and crave work-life balance.
Provide opportunities forcareer development: Gen X is highly self-sufficient but still values feeling appreciated. Provide both informal and formal recognition—including promotions and leadership opportunities. Invest in professional training, mentoring programs and clear paths for career progression.
Limit bureaucracy: Gen X resists rigid corporate structures and prefers collaborating in relaxed settings. Eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy that can hamper productivity and innovation. Empower Gen Xers to accomplish tasks independently. Provide opportunities to work on new initiatives and pilot programs.
The Future of Work with Gen X at the Helm
While perhaps overlooked when sandwiched between two larger generations, they bring a perfect blend of independence and adaptability to evolve workplace culture for the better. Talent leaders should take notice of Gen X’s entrepreneurial spirit and prioritisation of work-life balance and career progression.
The skateboards may be gone, but Generation X is still the same pragmatic, diverse and ambitious cohort. Only now they are grown up and calling the shots.
Read the rest of our Multigenerational Workforce series:
Curated suite of modular recruitment solutions helps augment recruitment efforts, deliver fast results and drive lasting business impact
LONDON—6 September 2023—Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) leader PeopleScout is proud to announce the launch of RPO Amplifiers, a curated suite of modular recruitment solutions to help employers augment their recruiting teams when and where they need it most. Whether it’s focused support for peak hiring seasons or sourcing hard-to-fill roles, RPO Amplifiers are designed to help organisations meet immediate talent goals and drive lasting business impact.
“We are committed to meeting our clients’ unique needs with customisable talent solutions—and a full-cycle RPO engagement may not always be the best fit,” said Rick Betori, President of PeopleScout. “The flexibility of RPO Amplifiers allows organisations to scale quickly and augment their existing recruitment efforts, giving them the agility needed to compete in today’s talent landscape.”
PeopleScout’s suite of RPO Amplifiers includes:
Talent Mapping: PeopleScout experts harness research and analytics to help employers make better workforce planning decisions with insight into talent availability, salary benchmarks and more.
Talent Sourcing: This talent sourcing solution helps employers boost their internal recruitment resources, engage with passive candidates and generate a list of qualified, enthusiastic applicants.
Talent Campaign: Surge Support: This project-based solution leverages the expertise of PeopleScout’s recruitment pros when and where needed, without increasing permanent recruiter headcount. Surge Support is implemented quickly and seamlessly, providing all the benefits of RPO expertise on a short-term basis.
Assessment Transformation: This solution helps employers deploy assessments to make the right hires and enhance the candidate experience, leveraging cutting-edge technology and visionary design.
RPO Amplifiers offer scalable, agile recruitment support for organisations in all industries, augmenting existing processes with focused support, backed by PeopleScout’s 30+ years of recruitment expertise. RPO Amplifiers can be added as a standalone service or combined with an existing RPO engagement—whether with PeopleScout or another provider—when extra support is needed.
Learn more about PeopleScout’s RPO Amplifiers here.
In the UK, the government launched a ‘returnership’ initiative to inspire those over the age of 50 to come back to work or to seek a career change. This scheme involves three programmes that help older workers retrain and learn new skills, providing workers with a clear roadmap back into the workplace and encouraging organisations to hire them.
Known as the ‘sandwich generation’—defined by caring for their elderly parents and also dependent children or grandchildren—these older works have a strong work ethic. Customer facing and front of house roles enable them to fit work around caring for family and other responsibilities.
Our recent webinar with Personnel Today featured a panel of HR and talent acquisition experts discussing the wants and needs of older workers and how best to utilise this talent pool’s experience. Keep reading for key insights from our panel discussion and get the latest research to understand exactly what older workers want and what retail and hospitality organisations can do attract this in-demand demographic.
What Do Older Workers Want?
What do over 50s want and need from an employer? Does your organisation know how to attract and engage this older workforce and how to hire and retain them?
Unsurprisingly, monetary concerns are coaxing older workers back into the workplace due to the cost-of-living crisis. However, when it comes to choosing an employer, flexibility takes precedence over money.
Hospitality roles typically attract a younger demographic of workers. However, the flexibility offered by these jobs also appeals to the older working generation. Given that the over 50s are the largest age group with caring roles, flexible and part-time work is a powerful motivator for them to fit a job into their routine.
As well as permanent roles, seasonal and flexible roles are available within the hospitality and retail industries, which can be more attractive to the older working community. Working harder in those seasonal months creates work-life balance, allowing older workers to take time off during quieter periods to recover and be with their friends and family.
Sense of Belonging
Workers in this age rage are still searching for rewarding work. Older workers wish to find a place where they can feel a part of their local community and give back. Over 50s enjoy creating social connections that a customer-facing job in a restaurant or supermarket can provide.
Customer-facing roles in hospitality and retail give individuals the chance to serve and connect with their community. For older customers, seeing employees in shops and restaurants that represent them can boost the customer experience.
Myths About Older Workers
There are plenty of misconceptions out there from employers and colleagues about hiring and working with older workers. Consider these myths busted.
Myth 1: Older Workers are Resistant to Technology
Certain words can be viewed as a turn off for an over 50s audience, including “tech-savvy”, which some see as a way to ward off older candidates. There are older people who will feel excluded because others wrongly perceive that they’re less capable with technology, when in fact they are part of a generation that has seen huge advancements in technology. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is in his late 60s, and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple is in his early 60s.
Recognise that all colleagues work differently with technology, so you must be thoughtful in your use of training. In hospitality and retail, workers are likely to be using tills and sales computer systems. Regardless of whether a person struggles with technology, an organisation should have a strong programme in place to support workers as they learn how to use these tools. For example, consider implementing a buddy system of workers and leaders who will happily help new employees in their first few weeks as they learn point-of-sale systems.
Myth 2: Absences are Higher Because of Health Issues
As people get older, their health can decline. However, this doesn’t mean that absenteeism is higher amongst older workers. In fact, older workers are more likely to have higher everyday attendance rates due to their strong work ethic. When you do see sickness or absence, it is typically in the form of long-term leave, rather than the odd day here and there.
Myth 3: Older Workers are Less Productive Than Younger Workers
A study demonstrated that there was no different between younger and older workers in terms of productivity. This study found that with their years of experience and memories, older people perhaps dismiss new information when they process things and instead use past information. It’s therefore important to acknowledge that older workers aren’t doing things worse, they just do these things differently through their years of experience.
What Can Organisations Do to Attract Older Workers?
So, how can retail and hospitality organisation tap into this hard-working talent pool? Here are four questions to ask to ensure your talent acquisition programme is over-50s friendly.
Are Your Candidate Attraction Materials Inclusive for Everyone?
To attract older workers, you must think more creatively and broadly. Use community-based websites to engage with people who live close to your locations. Show how the job will fit into their lifestyle and what it would be like for an older person to work there, rather than a generic message. Create testimonials from your current employees to support this.
Make sure that your imagery is diverse, featuring people of all ages. Look at your marketing materials and ensure that it reflects the community so that over 50s can see that jobs in hospitality are here for them. Take advantage of local community-boards in village halls and supermarkets.
How is Your Candidate Experience?
Retention and attraction are very different. Employers can encourage people to apply for jobs through their advertisements, yet ultimately, it is down to the experience the candidate has during the recruitment process, induction and beyond. The candidate experience is what will make them accept the position and stay at the company.
When younger workers leave education, they’re taught how to answer competency-based interview questions and how to write a CV. The older generation of workers likely won’t have a CV and may not have experience with this kind of interview. Is your interview process age inclusive and relevant to them?
Are You Giving Them What They Want?
Now that we’ve shared what older workers want, is your organisation serious about flexible shift patterns? Over 40% of the part-time workforce is aged over 50. Not only does this part-time schedule work in hospitality, but also in retail, in which the holiday season creates a huge demand for workers.
Different shift patterns in retail can support individuals in their family commitments and lifestyle. Look at your employees’ caring responsibilities, for partners, for children, for elderly parents, and take this into account when creating your shift offerings.
But what else does this generation want from you? Everyone responds well to positive feedback. Both the retail and hospitality industries are great at celebrating successes, shown through brilliant behaviour and examples across organisations.
Finally, show that your organisation values them by offering benefit packages. Health is a priority for everyone as we get older, and health benefits can help to attract them to your organisation.
Does Your Anti-Bias Training Include Age?
Ageism usually gets the least amount of focus across the DE&I plan. Train your leaders and hiring managers on unconscious bias particularly as it relates to age. Ensure there are no biases lurking in the recruitment process to open up talent pools instead of closing them down.
Interested in learning more about engaging and attracting older workers directly from HR and talent acquisition professionals? Check out our on-demand webinar recording with Personnel Today and a panel of experts from Tesco, Fuller’s, Rest Less and Bourne Leisure.
FUTURE OF WORK
DESTINATION 2030: 10 PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IN THE WORLD OF WORK
The future of work is green. According to the United Nations, the global economy is undergoing a “greening,” as industries like energy, transportation and construction adopt more sustainable practices. That process could create 24 million more jobs globally by 2030, putting workers with green skills in high demand.
In this article, we’ll explore the drivers for green jobs and the need for green skills, which green skills are in the highest demand and how employers can find and hire top green talent.
What are Green Jobs?
So, what qualifies as a “green job?” According to the International Labour Organisation, “Green jobs reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimise waste and pollution, protect and restore ecosystems, and enable enterprises and communities to adapt to climate change.”
Demand for green skills is outpacing the supply. According to LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report, between 2022 and 2023, job postings requiring at least one green skill rose 22.4% while the share of green talent in the workforce only grew 12.3%.
What’s causing the shift? According to the World Economic Forum, many countries are working to achieve net zero by 2050. This means that both governments and businesses are driving the green transition.
So far, the majority of green job growth has come in some of the highest polluting industries, such as energy and transportation, and in some of the countries that produce the most greenhouse gases.
The U.S., Germany and India, countries that emit some of the highest amounts of greenhouse gasses, are leading the way in green jobs. According to the World Economic Forum, Germany is adopting more green skills in the manufacturing industry, and the U.S. and India are outpacing other countries in both oil and gas and mining.
But the need for green jobs goes beyond installing solar panels and building electric vehicles. According to LinkedIn, one of the most important sectors in sustainability is finance, and it is lagging behind. In the fight against climate change, huge investments will need to be made in things like wind farms and electric vehicle charging stations, and financial professionals will be in the spotlight. Despite that, only 6.8% of finance workers globally have green skills. However, there are signs of change. Between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of green jobs in finance grew 17%.
With increasing competition for green talent, employers need to have an in-depth understanding of the most in-demand green skills and how to attract, hire and train top talent.
What are Green Skills?
It is easy to mistakenly associate certain green skills to specific industries. Unlike the ability to set a broken bone, which will qualify a worker for a job in healthcare but isn’t relevant if they’re applying for a role with a law firm, green skills are different. Think of green skills more like tech skills in their ability to be applied across a wide range of industries. For example, carbon accounting, or estimating the carbon footprint of different organisations, can play an important role in a variety of industries, from consulting to waste management. While there might be a concentration of workers with green skills in green industries, those skills are in demand across the global economy.
According to LinkedIn, the fastest growing green skill in the EU is climate action planning. A climate action plan is “a framework document for measuring, tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adopting climate adaptation measures.”
Climate action plans exist for a variety of organisations. For example, they exist at the government level, for international organisations like the World Bank, Fortune 500 companies and more. This means employers are competing for candidates across industries.
There are many green skills that are required for jobs in industries not considered green. For example, according to LinkedIn, a knowledge of energy efficiency could be necessary for roles like a plumbing engineer, utilities manager, vice president of facilities or HVAC specialist.
So, what are the most in demand green skills? It depends on where you are. In the U.S., carbon accounting, drinking water quality and energy engineering are seeing some of the fastest growth. While in the EU, sustainability education and carbon emissions round out the top three after climate action planning.
How to Hire for Green Skills
To meet their own hiring and sustainability goals, employers need to understand where to find candidates with in-demand green skills, how to attract them and how to train green-adjacent workers to help fill skills gaps. Here, we cover three options for employers struggling to fill green roles.
1. Skills-Based Hiring
Skills based hiring sounds simple—hiring people based on skills rather than previous job titles. However, according to SHRM, it requires a commitment to change. Traditionally, many jobs list requirements like specific degrees or years of experience that are used to determine if candidates are ready to take on a role.
According to one survey, more than 80% of employers believe they should prioritise skills over degrees. Yet, 52% are still hiring from degree programs because it’s considered a less risky choice. This means that especially in entry- and mid-level roles, candidates with the right skills could be overlooked for failing to meet these specific requirements.
Research shows that adopting a skills-based hiring strategy can yield significant improvements to an organisation’s talent acquisition program—increasing quality of hire, expanding the talent pool, increasing diversity and improving employee retention.
Transitioning to a skills-based hiring process requires a culture change, a transformation in thinking from the top down—from senior leadership to hiring managers—and updates to many aspects of the recruitment process.
One of the most important steps is updating the screening or assessment process. Rather than eliminating candidates who lack certain degrees or years of experience, develop criteria and assessments that objectively measure the skills necessary for the job. Then, screen candidates in rather than screening them out. An RPO provider with talent advisory capabilities can assist organisations moving to a skills-based screening and assessment strategy.
2. Green Adjacent Skills and Gateway Jobs
Additionally, employers can build gateway jobs and look for candidates with green adjacent skills.
Gateway jobs are roles that can serve as steppingstones and give workers the opportunity to gain the green skills they’ll need for a green career. According to the LinkedIn report, one example of a gateway job is in supply chain management. As the industry looks to reduce its carbon emissions, workers are developing the green skills to do the job, even though they may not have had them when they were hired. In fact, 41% of workers who move into gateway jobs have no prior green experience.
An effective strategy for hiring candidates for these gateway roles is looking for green adjacent skills. These are skills that don’t necessarily fall under the green umbrella but would give the candidate the ability to do many functions related to the role. For example, candidates with STEM and digital skills can go a long way toward helping an organisation reach its sustainability goals. Also, experience in industries currently undergoing a green transformation, like utilities, mining, transportation and agriculture can be applied to green jobs.
To find these candidates, employers need a robust souring strategy to identify those with adjacent skills. The right technology solution can identify both active and passive candidates with specific skills, expanding the talent pipeline and predicting factors such as cultural fit, willingness to change companies and future tenure potential.
3. Reskilling and Upskilling
When hiring candidates with adjacent skills, employers must implement reskilling and upskilling programs to fill the skills gap.
According to the World Economic Forum, nearly half of young workers believe they don’t have the right skillset to guarantee them an adequate job over the next decade. On top of that, sustainability transformations happen quickly, and without ongoing training, older workers could be left behind. The good news is that according to PwC, 77% of employees are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain in response to new technologies in the workplace.
Reskilling and upskilling can happen at a few different levels, from government programs to higher education and private employers. However, organisations shouldn’t just rely on external programs. By building effective reskilling programs, businesses invest in services tailored to developing their own workforce while also assisting the global need for more sustainable work.
A Renewable Future
Setting up a green, sustainable future is everyone’s responsibility. As the demand for green skills increases, employers need effective solutions for finding, hiring and training top green talent. RPO providers, especially those with talent advisory services, can be a valuable resource for talent leaders looking to revamp their recruiting programs for a renewable future.
The energy and utilities industry is in the process of a massive transition as providers move to green and renewable energy sources and adjust to changing energy use patterns across the globe. In the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022, which increased the incentives for energy-transition-related investments and core renewables. In EMEA, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has spurred a faster transition to renewables, according to the UK Climate Envoy.
This growth has left a massive talent gap, especially in an industry with an aging workforce. Talent acquisition leaders in the energy and utilities sector need to understand the forces shaping the recruitment landscape to remain competitive.
CHECK OUT THIS INFOGRAPHIC FOR INSIGHTS TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THIS GREENING INDUSTRY.
In this article, the third in our Multigenerational Workforce series, we’ll be focusing on millennials in the workplace, including what matters to them and how best to engage them.
By 2025, millennials will make up over half of the workforce, essentially replacing the retiring Baby Boomer generation. They’ve already made a huge impact on the way we work, including leveraging technology to revolutionise productivity. Now they’re moving into leadership roles and will have even more influence on how organisations operate into the future. So, how can employers harness the power of millennials to drive their businesses forward?
Who are Millennials?
Millennials, less commonly known as Generation Y, follow Gen X and precede Gen Z. Millennials were approximately born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s during the rise of technology, making them a tech-savvy generation. They’re the first generation to come of age in the new millennium, hence the name millennials. They are also known to put time and effort into their own personal beliefs and values.
Despite these stereotypes, millennials have been described as self-sufficient, due to solving their own issues and teaching themselves through the internet rather than relying on others for help. They are also known to be confident and curious, which doesn’t always sit well with older generations.
What Matters to Millennials in the Workplace?
Digital & Tech Skills
Having been the first generation to grow up in a digital world, millennials have widespread experience of the development of technology, being both the “pioneers and the guinea pigs”.
This has affected the way that they communicate, with 41% of millennials choosing to communicate electronically instead of face-to-face according to a study by PwC. However, they’re also the last generation to have grown up in a world without the internet in every household.
When considering a job, 59% of millennials claim that technology in the workplace is an important factor. Employers are responding to this by encouraging professional use of social media at work and introducing smartphones as an employee benefit.
Mission and Purpose
Millennials thrive in a workplace that is mission-driven, keeping them motivated and inspired. In our recent report, Inside the Candidate Experience, we found that mission and purpose were the second most important factor for millennials when considering a new job. Those who work for companies with this as a priority feel more accomplished. Millennials want to share their employer’s goals and values in order to feel they are contributing to the world.
The move to a larger collaborative working environment has been provoked by the millennials through the use of technology that has become more sophisticated. A collaborative environment allows workers to speak their ideas freely and feel a sense of belonging as part of a team. One way that employers are emphasising collaboration is through mentorship programmes, which have been proven to increase the happiness of workers and their productivity.
How Do You Engage Millennials at Work?
As millennials slowly take over as the majority of the workforce, employers must learn strategies to keep them motivated and feeling valued.
Be Open and Transparent
From their leaders, millennials want openness and transparency with factual information that can be validated to ensure their confidence.
To guarantee millennials are highly productive, create clear targets with regular feedback and praise. In fact, according to the same PwC study, 51% believe that frequent or continuous feedback is a must on the job. This can help keep them motivated and engaged with their work.
To manage a multigenerational workforce, a strong leadership is a must, as well as recognising that each generation may need different methods of management. From the millennial perspective, 74% expressed that they are as happy working alongside other generations as with their own. It is unsurprising then to find millennials managing older workers.
However, 34% of millennials felt that their personal drive could be perceived as intimidating to other generations.
Effective programmes to encourage interactions between different generations are a must for employers. For example, millennials thrive in opportunities such as “reverse mentoring”, in which they are able to learn from and teach skills to older workers.
Invest in Employee Development
Millennials expect to continue learning in the workplace, with 35% stating employers who offer training to develop was an attractive quality. Opportunities to develop technology skills and interpersonal skills will go a long way to ensure your millennials workforce is ready to step into more leadership roles.
Freedom and flexibility are important to millennials in the workplace. They love to be supported yet also want their own freedom to “be their own boss”. Millennials will happily put in the long hours if they believe they have a purpose.
That said, many millennials believe that success should be evaluated through productivity, rather than the number of hours they are seen in an office. If they meet the deadlines you set, don’t be concerned about the hours they clock in and out. Focus on creating a flexible work culture to maximise millennial engagement, allowing employees to have more control over their working hours and location.
Lead with Your Values
Millennials are searching for more than “just a job” and want to achieve something worthwhile. Akin to Gen Z, millennials also place a company’s mission and purpose as an important factor. They believe that companies and their leadership should be contributing positively to society. Strong corporate ethics will encourage loyalty amongst millennials.
A report from Deloitte found that 54% of millennials research a brand’s environmental impact and polices before accepting a job offer. Ensure your organisation’s employer value proposition (EVP) showcases your intentions to address social concerns.
In our current multigenerational workplace, employers and companies should not only be placing their efforts into motivating workers in their own specific way, but to also ensure all generations are working together and sharing their unique strengths and insights.
To the workplace, millennials bring commitment and collaboration. What will the next generation of workers bring? Find out our top 10 predictions for what we think the working world will look like in 2030 and the best practices to prepare for the future in our Destination 2030 report.
FUTURE OF WORK
DESTINATION 2030: 10 PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IN THE WORLD OF WORK
A plethora of social, economic and environmental impacts are contributing to the emerging global “polycrisis.” Beyond the pandemic, the future impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and overexertion of natural resources will affect global health in the long term. This will impact the work of life science organisations as climate change is increasingly linked to diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Plus, the life science industry is among the largest carbon emitters, with biotech and pharma as the leading contributors. It’s no surprise that life science companies are focusing on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. For talent acquisition leaders, this poses unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to life science recruitment.
In this article, we review the industry’s impacts on the environment, how those impacts affect life science recruitment, and how a green EVP and employer brand can be leveraged as a critical differentiator in your ability to attract talent.
Life Science’s Impacts on the Environment
The average carbon footprint of one life scientist ranges from an estimate of four to 15 tons of CO2 per year. This doesn’t even include the use of consumables, chemicals, production resources, equipment, transportation, energy, and construction and building maintenance materials. There’s no denying that the entire industry’s workforce footprint is quite significant.
Moreover, pharmaceutical production is highly water-intense, and waste is poorly managed with only nine out of 118 pharmaceuticals removing their waste sustainably during the treatment process. Approximately 4,000 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are administered worldwide in prescription and over-the-counter medication as well as therapeutic and veterinary drugs. Residues from these drugs are released into the environment, contaminating the soil, rivers and lakes. With drug waste polluting the environment, the Global Leaders Group has created a call to action for all countries to improve measures for the management and disposal of antimicrobial-containing waste, declaring it as a “major threat to public health.”
Four out of the top five (80%) global risks forecasted for the next decade are related to global health and climate change. The opportunities created by the industry to improve their environmental impact through ESG initiatives are huge.
Gen Z and Millennials Care About ESG Initiatives
By 2029, Gen Z and millennials will account for 72% of the world’s workforce. This workforce has placed greater importance on ESG issues than previous generations. Considering the industry’s impact on the environment and the global force of this growing talent, millennials and Gen Z will keep the life science industry on its toes. To stay on top, it’s crucial that life science recruitment teams and hiring managers understand what this workforce wants, what they value and how these components contribute to their employment decisions.
As this talent seeks purpose in their careers, they prefer to work for employers that have set actionable ESG initiatives towards improving their sustainability efforts. Organisations with ESG practices and policies show top talent that they are purpose-driven and progressive, which is a top consideration for this younger STEM-based workforce when applying and working for your company.
According to a study by Swytch, nearly 70% of Gen Z and millennial respondents say that a strong sustainability plan would affect their decision to stay with a company long term. About 30% of respondents report that they have left a company due to its lack of a corporate sustainability agenda with over 11% doing so more than once. Additionally, a 2023 report by KPMG UK showed that ESG initiatives are influencing employment decisions for almost 50% of UK employees, with millennials and younger workers driving the growing trend of “climate quitting” in search of more environmentally friendly jobs.
Employers must understand that candidate attraction is more than high salaries and fancy titles. This workforce wants leaders to fearlessly and publicly take a stance on their ESG initiatives and to make it a part of the workplace culture. Failure to do so will make it difficult to attain top talent, further adding to current life science recruitment challenges due to workforce shortages and widening skills gaps.
Intertwining Your ESG Initiatives into Your EVP and Employer Brand Strategy
With no time to waste, life science organisations need to invest in a “green” employer value proposition (EVP) and employer brand strategy.
“Today’s labour market wants to join companies that make a difference in a real way.”
With Gen Z and millennials viewing social and environmental responsibilities as a key differentiator when considering where to work, it’s no surprise that an employer’s ESG initiatives have become a crucial component of the life science recruitment process. Whether your organisation is already incorporating sustainable practices into your operations and mitigating risks to climate change or planning to do so, this is the opportunity to showcase that. Here are steps you can take that will appeal to your current and future workforce:
1. Define Your ESG Voice
Sustainability buzzwords are not enough, and top talent isn’t buying it. In fact, the European Commission’s National & Consumer Protection survey found that more than 42% of online corporate “green” claims were exaggerated, false or misleading. With “greenwashing” or “green-laundering” on the rise, employers need to establish ways to gain the trust of Gen Z and millennials. Your voice must showcase your purpose and intent. For example, using keywords like “zero discharge” and “risk mitigation,” rather than vague and misleading terminology such as “eco-friendly” or “sustainable,” will have candidates viewing you as more honest and authentic than the competition.
“Sustainability plays a big role for me. An employer that is supposedly committed to it, but hardly knows what to do with the topic behind the scenes, has no future for me.”
Build your internal and external employer brand messaging around the organisation’s ESG initiatives such as corporate sustainability efforts and climate change initiatives. Keep in mind that the internal launch of an EVP and employer branding platform plays a critical part in laying the foundation for the success of the external launch. Bring your EVP to life through transparency and stakeholder alignment. Your employer brand message must be aspirational, future-focused and agile enough to sustain any changes that may come.
3. Weave ESG Initiatives into Your Life Science Recruitment Marketing Materials
Incorporate your ESG-centric mission and values into your career site and explain how those objectives are part of the organisation’s DNA. On social media and other attraction channels, feature content that is relevant to topics like green training and development, environmental advocacy, waste minimisation and corporate reduction of CO2 emissions to attract a wider variety of STEM-related talent.
4. Showcase Your Investment and Metrics
Remember that acting on your ESG initiatives is more than providing donations or partaking in “volunteer hours” that gain you a gold star. Let candidates know how much landfill waste you’ve reduced through your recycling program or that you’ve reduced your carbon footprint by 10%. Organisations that actively monitor their social and environmental impacts yield greater candidate attraction and positive impacts to their triple bottom line.
5. Highlight Employee and Leadership Involvement
Leverage your employees’ passions, concerns and ideas as a compelling way to address the organisation’s initiatives. You can take the output from this to generate recruitment marketing materials, such as employee testimonials, quotes and even videos of leadership involvement or team building initiatives. For candidates, this effort exemplifies a company culture that genuinely wants to make an impact.
6. Green Up the Candidate Experience
Alignment of values is top priority for today’s candidates. However, it can be difficult for them to determine if a potential employer’s ethics align with theirs. To improve candidate experience, incorporate ESG initiatives into your job descriptions. For example, call attention to how the role will help achieve sustainability initiatives and feature any employee green benefits like locally sourced perks or green travel packages.
Most importantly, make sure your recruiters and hiring team are aware of your green values. According to HRD Australia, often times the hiring team is not well-informed on what the company is doing in these areas. A life science recruitment team that is aligned with the organisation’s ESG initiatives will ensure smooth communication and a good first impression with potential candidates.
Can You Keep Up?
With Gen Z and millennials shaping the future of work, employers cannot afford to trail behind the curve when it comes to ESG. Additionally, as early-career candidates and graduates are a top source for talent in the life science industry, organisations that do not have visible and measurable ESG metrics risk alienating this top talent. Focus on incorporating your ESG initiatives into your organisation’s EVP, tweak your employer brand messaging to reflect what your workforce wants.
The demand for skilled tech and digital talent is growing at an unprecedented rate in response to the emergence of new technologies, making the competition for talent as tight as ever, with both tech and non-tech companies vying for the same qualified candidates. For the tech sector, it’s a time of transformation. For non-tech organizations, it’s a golden opportunity to fill their technical skills gaps. But for any employer looking to attract top digital talent, it is essential to first understand what candidates are looking for in a new employer.
In this article, we explore the opportunity for non-tech organizations and offer insights into what tech and digital professionals are looking for in a new employer.
Plenty of Demand Despite Tech Sector Shifts
The tumultuous labor market and recent economic landscape have been a rollercoaster for all HR leaders, but those in the tech sector have experienced particularly high highs and low lows. Recent layoffs at tech companies are being categorized as a “course correction” by many publications, and it seems the “growth-at-all-costs” attitude has finally caught up with tech organizations. Over 160,000 professionals were laid off in 2022 according to Layoffs.fyi, with additional cuts taking place in 2023.
This demand is being primarily driven by traditional companies, rather than software companies or other tech organizations. In fact, the majority of people in tech occupations (59%) don’t work in the tech sector.
In our digital-first world, every company—from apparel brands to car insurance companies—has tech at the heart of their business as they develop mobile apps and ecommerce consumer experiences. In fact, the biggest and fastest-growing industries for tech professionals are finance, manufacturing and healthcare as these sectors increasingly digitize their operations.
The ratio of tech and digital workers employed outside of the tech industry will continue to grow. Many workers recently laid off from Big Tech firms have highly sought-after skills, creating an opportunity for more traditional organizations to land tech and digital talent.
Will Former Tech Workers Re-Evaluate Their Options?
Given the extent of the downsizing in the tech sector, many workers will think twice about going back to a tech company in the future. Traditional employers, that previously couldn’t compete against the high salaries and quirky perks that Big Tech could provide, now have more to offer tech workers—including stability.
Tech workers are trading the excitement of startups for the steadiness of more traditional employers. The unpredictable nature and funding rollercoasters of tech firms have left many tech professionals seeking a saner pace. As traditional companies embrace AI, blockchain and cybersecurity, workers who have left the tech sector can still leverage their tech and digital skill sets, but with a greater sense of security.
What Do Tech and Digital Talent Want?
When they’re ready for growth again, Big Tech will have to rethink their approach to engaging tech talent and attracting them back to the industry. So, what do tech and digital workers want from their employer and their job? Here are three top considerations that organizations across sectors should focus on to attract and retain tech and digital talent.
Flexibility & Work/Life Balance
Many tech workers who experienced the fast pace and intense work culture of startups now find themselves burnt out and are prioritizing more work/life balance. Flexible contracts and remote working are important to tech workers, with 29% citing flexibility as a top priority when looking for a job. Yet, 48% of tech sector employees said that they were feeling pressure from their employer to come into the office more often.
Recent Gallup analysis shows that employee engagement is lowest among on-site employees, with the biggest dip seen among employees who are capable of working remotely but are required to be on site. Flexibility is not just a perk to offer employees; it should be viewed as a critical way to increase productivity. Organizations can reap the benefits of flexibility in the workplace by continuously monitoring their flexible work program and addressing any challenges experienced by employees or hiring managers.
Digital Skills Development
No one is more aware of the speed of technological advancement than tech and digital workers. And this can lead to anxiety. In fact, 29% of digital employees globally believe their skill set is redundant now or will be in the next one to two years, and 38% believe their skills will be obsolete in the next four to five years.
With an abundance of job opportunities available, these employees won’t hesitate to find an employer that will invest in their career development. So it’s concerning that only 27% of employees said their organization had plenty of opportunities in place to help them to learn new skills. Learning and development programs are not only an important part of retaining talent with tech and digital skill sets but can also be an effective way to attract talent.
Start with a skills audit and compare the findings to your business roadmap. By uncovering the areas where your workforce needs the most training, you can then take steps to develop an upskilling program. For example, PeopleScout worked with a longstanding UK financial services RPO client to lead a reskilling program to help the client evaluate their customer service staff in bank branches and call centers to find candidates for their tech skilling program. We were able to identify over 1,000 employees who are now participating in a 12-month “bootcamp” to build digital and tech skills and move into new careers within the organization.
Organizations must find out how to communicate their employer value proposition (EVP) in a way that resonates with digital talent. Make sure your attraction content emphasizes the give and get for people in tech roles at your organization including learning and growth opportunities, your tech innovations and projects, well-being initiatives and more. Plus, more and more candidates are paying attention to organizational values and mission. If they can’t determine if their personal values are aligned with the company’s mission, they won’t apply.
EVP is not all about attraction, but also about employee retention. From a retention perspective, it’s crucial that employers continue to showcase how you’re investing in your employees beyond compensation and benefits. This helps to boost feelings of engagement and to build loyalty.
As the pace of digital transformation accelerates, it is difficult to envisage a company attaining its full potential without a strong foundation of tech and digital talent. Demand for this crucial part of the workforce won’t let up soon. It’s mission critical for organizations to understand what makes this group tick in order to attract, hire and retain tech talent. To get more strategies for attracting and hiring tech and digital proessionals, download our Recruitment Handbook for Tech & Digital Talent.