Chief Research Officer, Vistage
An April 2020 report from Vistage Worldwide, Inc., showed 92 percent of CEOs had implemented some work from home strategy during the early days of the pandemic. Now they’re figuring out what’s next.
“CEOs are initially going to invite people to return, then they’re going to request them to return, and then they’re going to require them to return,” said Joe Galvin, chief research officer of Vistage, who explained that these policies will have a direct impact on recruiting and retaining employees.
Nearly 1 in 4 American workers want to continue working remotely. That’s the finding from a Gallup web poll of over 4,000 adults in the United States.
Initially, employees wanted to work from home to stay safe from COVID-19. Nowadays, even as infections decline, many want to stay remote because they like it.
The biggest leadership challenge for CEOs during the pandemic was supporting employees who were mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. Now companies need to also focus on retaining those valued employees.
Galvin — who says 70 percent of companies will have a hybrid workforce through the end of this year — encourages small businesses to figure out how to go hybrid.
He says it’s essential for employers to embrace flexibility these days. For many workers, flexibility is now a requirement for them to take a new job or stay in their current position.
During the pandemic, workers weren’t looking to change jobs and employers weren’t hiring, but that’s changing.
A Microsoft study reports 41 percent of the global workforce is likely to think about leaving their current company within the next year. A recent Vistage report showed 66 percent of CEOs plan to increase their headcount this year.
It’s a new paradigm because companies are hiring, giving employees a lot of choices.
“We’re at the start of the next great growth cycle and you need people to grow,” said Galvin, who calls this the Talent Wars 2.0.
Recruiting employees has replaced hiring, as headhunters are attracting qualified talent during this new talent war.
“Recruiting has to be more than just, ‘Here’s the job,’” Galvin said. “It has to be, ‘Here’s the role. Here’s the growth trajectory, here are the competitive benefits, here’s what we’re doing to develop you as an employee, as a leader.’”
A successful recruiting strategy can help positively impact the workplace culture, communication, and innovation. Both companies and employees are realizing that employment need no longer be bound by geography. Since virtual employees can work from anywhere, that opens up a talent pool that was previously off limits.
Once the company figures out their new business model — whether in person, work from home/fully remote, or hybrid – that will dictate how they can recruit prospective employees.
Galvin says the pandemic was a catalyst for change, with companies embracing work from home: “The genie is out of the bottle on work from home, and every employer and every employee is going to make a decision about how they want to work, where they want to work.”