HR pros are no doubt tired of hearing about the tight job market. But the hard truth is, it is tight. At roughly 4% unemployment, it’s a seller’s market when it comes to labor, and employers are rightly looking to do whatever they can to attract, hire, and retain the top talent—or, in some cases, any warm body they can find to fill a seat.
The more specialized the required competencies, of course, the more challenging it can be to find candidates. Fortunately, there are some ways that recruiters can boost the odds of not only finding but also keeping critical talent.
In an article for Harvard Business Review by Lori Goler, Janelle Gale, Brynn Harrington, and Adam Grant titled “The 3 Things Employees Really Want: Career, Community and Cause,” the authors discuss three alliterative factors that—if an employer can offer them—employees will gladly sign on for.
A career is about more than just having a job. As the authors write, having a career is about “having a job that provides autonomy, allows you to use your strengths, and promotes your learning and development.” Employees want to feel secure not about receiving their next paycheck but about their chances for advancement, recognition, and professional growth.
We spend about half of our waking hours at work. Doing so, without a sense of community, will eventually wear on most people. If companies want to keep their people around, they need to be able to provide a sense of community where people can enjoy spending so much time. In fact, Gallup research has indicated that one of the key factors that keep employees engaged and loyal is having a close friend at work.
Particularly when employees reach a certain point in their careers, they want to feel like they are doing more than simply performing a task for money. “Cause is about purpose,” say Goler, Gale, and Harrington, “feeling that you make a meaningful impact, identifying with the organization’s mission, and believing that it does some good in the world.”
In a tough job market, it’s key for employers to create a workplace employees want to be a part of. But that should really be a goal regardless; employees want and deserve a fulfilling environment, no matter what the job market is. The best companies will be the ones that are able to provide that kind of environment and address the key employee needs of career, community, and cause.