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Talent Talk: A Three-Part Strategy for Weathering the Workforce Turnover Storm

Last week we likened the coming workforce turnover, which some are projecting to approach 30%, to a hurricane. I am going to part with that analogy because we cannot really fight a hurricane, but we can fight the turnover storm.

For this battle you will need a three-part strategy. You must have a comprehensive plan to keep your good people, you must have a recruitment plan that is proactive and makes use of today’s best practices and technology, and you must take full advantage of alternative workforce options.

I was going to take a couple of paragraphs and talk about employee retention, but after reading Barb Balyeat’s recent article in PlasticsToday, I realized she covered the topic on a deeper level than I could. It is a wonderful article, so I encourage you to read that.

Barb notes that the term the “Great Resignation” is moving into the mainstream lexicon, and offers 10 suggestions for keeping employees trained, empowered, and feeling like the valuable assets that they are.

The “modern” employee recruitment process dates back about 80 years to the start of WWII. With the current severe talent shortage and the coming Great Resignation, radical change is required. If your house is 80 years old, the kitchen and baths have been remodeled; likewise, it is time to remodel your hiring process from top to bottom.

We laid out six best practices that we are seeing in the plastics industry in a previous article. In addition to these, we are seeing a move away from recruiting only to fill vacancies when employees retire or resign and toward a continuous hiring process. Radical? Maybe, but at one time so were countertops made of granite.

The final piece to your strategy is to implement an “all of the above” plan that includes every option. Can you be flexible on certain roles to work remotely some or all of the time? Are there jobs that are difficult to staff that could be outsourced? Are there operations that could be more automated?

Can you bring in temporary employees, with the option to offer them full-time employment? Firms like mine recruit professionals, but I always recommend to my clients that they make relationships with local staffing agencies that can constantly keep their eyes open for those who might have just relocated or are between jobs.

About the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].

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