Winning in today’s difficult job market

Oct 09, 2022

Creating a recruiting culture and focusing on retention are business savvy strategies to help your organization continue to thrive in today’s job market.

In 2022, finding talented individuals is more challenging than acquiring customers and building new business. Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and retiring baby boomers, the job market has become extremely competitive and there are simply fewer potential employees to choose from. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022 job openings in the United States exceeded 11.5 million, compared to 7.5 million in 2018. To win in today’s difficult job market, companies must implement two key business strategies: developing a recruiting culture and prioritizing employee retention as the most important recruitment tool.

Recruiting culture. Developing a recruiting culture means making your entire organization a part of the talent acquisition process. To develop a recruiting culture, recruiting must be top of mind for current employees – not only managers or recruiters, but for all team members from project managers to field staff to senior leadership. Some practical ways to build a recruiting culture are:

  • Include a recruiting update during every management meeting. These reminders will keep managers aware of recruitment needs and prompt them to continue networking – not only for business, but for top talent.
  • Set monthly recruiting calls with hiring managers to discuss open positions. Hiring managers have a lot on their plate; that is why they are looking to hire, so this call helps hiring managers concentrate on their most pressing needs.
  • Provide employee referral bonuses. Be sure that employees are aware of the policy in place and how they can take advantage of the bonus.
  • Develop an internal transition program for current employees to relocate to different locations across the company footprint.
  • Take every opportunity to talk about the importance of recruiting.

Employee retention. In the past year, employees’ attitudes and approaches to work have changed drastically. They expect more from their employers, so businesses must get creative to attract and retain the best talent. Companies that have a successful retention strategy focus on the following:

  • Building trust and providing purpose. To many employees, working for a company with purpose is key to feeling fulfilled in their job. It allows them to see how their own role contributes to the company’s greater goals and feel like they are part of something larger than themselves. This sense of purpose has been shown to boost employee satisfaction and motivation, as well as trust amongst team members which in turn benefits the bottom line of the business. A Society for Human Resource Management survey of more than 9,000 workers in 12 different countries shows that a workplace culture with transparent and clear communication that builds trust is one of the best ways to ward off high turnover.
    When actions are aligned with the organization’s values, that builds trust while also contributing to purpose-driven work. When employees feel like their work has significance, they are more likely to be productive and committed to their organization. Prioritizing employee engagement should be a key goal for any leader who wants to create a thriving business. Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and environmental, social, and governance initiatives can provide purpose and build engagement. These are initiatives that communicate the values of the organization.
  • Employee development. Developing your employees is essential in providing opportunities for growth. Even more important is communicating those opportunities. It is one thing for a career map or path to be available, but do your managers have open dialogue with direct reports about these opportunities? In addition to providing career growth, it is crucial to provide training and development opportunities to expand their capabilities. These trainings encourage employees to learn new skills that will serve them as they grow in their career and investing in them through programs like tuition assistance can make a big impact on employee loyalty.
    While employees can leave for many reasons, according to the SHRM survey, one reason employees leave is inadequate management. Investing in management training for managers and leadership is another way to support your retention strategy while also building soft skills for your employees. Practical ways to build people management skills include:
    • Providing training to reduce negative interactions.
    • Performing regular anonymous surveys to all employees to assess management performance.
    • Providing assimilation practices that promote socialization – this includes a strong onboarding and integration system. Look for opportunities for staff to build relationships and connect with local team members.
    • Enforcing fair treatment from all supervisors.

Now is the time to focus on and invest in your employees. They are your best advocates and brand ambassadors even when they are off the clock. Creating a recruiting culture and focusing on retention are business savvy strategies to help your organization continue to thrive in today’s job market.  

Amber Milot is the director of mergers and acquisitions for ECS Group of Companies. Prior to her role, she was the director of talent acquisition for ECS for five years. She can be reached at 

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