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Recruitment and Retention - Meeting the Challenges of the Shrinking Labor Market

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Recruitment and Retention:

Meeting the Challenges of the Shrinking Labor Market

The Issue

As a soon to be recipient of JD/MBA degree from the _________, I have been heavily engaged in the process of putting both my professional and educational experiences to the test in the job market. As a result of my efforts to find way through the maze of career sites, I have become fascinated/frustrated by the recruiting process. In order to squelch my curiosity and gain an understanding of the recruitment process, I have decided to explore the inherent challenges organizations face in recruiting and retaining quality employees. To provide a real world context for my research, I contacted xxxxx, Human Resource Director, at xxxxx . XXX discussed with me his current challenge in hiring a qualified candidate for a Vice President of International Product Development position within his organization and affirmed the increasingly difficult challenge in recruiting the right person for the right position.

Building a high performing workforce has always been essential to maintaining a competitive edge. In light of the predicted shortages of qualified workers in the United States, building and retaining a high performing workforce will become increasing important. In this paper, I will address the critical nature of building and retaining a high performing workforce. In addition, I will make several recommendations to Franklin Covey in order to improve their recruiting and retention process and remain competitive in the increasing shrinking labor market.


A few major trends are unfolding to reshape the workforce of the future. First, potential labor shortages and changing demographics are reshaping the work force. As the baby boomer generation inches closer to retirement, the U.S. moves ever closer to a potential labor shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 1950 and 2000 the U.S. workforce added 79 million workers вЂ" an annual growth rate of 1.6 percent. However, between 2000 and 2012, this annual growth rate is expected to fall to 1.1 percent вЂ" and down to 0.6 percent when the timeline is stretched to 2050.

As baby boomers are expected to retire later, the workforce will become increasingly multigenerational. Different generations expect different rewards, and are motivated by various factors. More than ever, employers will need to customize job opportunities, learning strategies, and reward systems to meet the needs of different demographic groups. They will need to ensure that they are engaging employees at all levels, no matter what their age.

The second major trend impacting recruitment and retention is worker dissatisfaction. A 2004 report from The Gallup Organization showed that only 30 percent of employees were “engaged” in their work, 54 percent were “not engaged” and 16 percent were “actively disengaged.” This means that 70 percent of employees are not engaged on some level. The implications of these staggering numbers on employee productivity cannot be overstated. Unmotivated workers are not concerned with becoming efficient or productive and, of course, they limit the potential of the entire organization. In addition, employees who are not satisfied are likely seeking other opportunities. When they leave, they take their intellectual capital with them; another hit to the productivity of the organization.

Against the backdrop of these trends, the U.S. economy has enjoyed consistent growth, and workers are becoming “more confident in their ability to obtain alternative employment opportunities,” according to a 2006 report from

What does all this mean? Increasingly, companies are finding themselves in a race to recruit and hire the best candidates. Smart companies will take time now to

examine their recruiting and retention activities and ask, “What changes can we

make today to be an employer of choice tomorrow?” It’s a question with real business implications. Retention costs can directly impact the bottom line. “Most HR managers typically only cite the overt costs such as advertising and recruitment fees to replace an employee,” notes in 2006.


Recruiting: Strategy and Operations

An effective recruiting strategy begins with an assessment of business needs both now and in the future. With the data from this assessment, organizations can begin to identify the workforce required to meet organization goals in the next quarter, next year, and farther into the future. Furthermore, by defining the required skills and open job slots, organizations can assess which jobs can be filled by an internal transfer, and which jobs require a search outside the organization.

To capture the best talent, recruiting operations need to be efficient and streamlined. These qualities also help control costs for the entire organization.

With the right data, organizations can size the workforce precisely to meet their needs. When it comes to recruiting, many organizations get bogged down in mountains of paperwork, resumes, and labor-intensive manual tasks. Some level of automation can reduce manual work and allow energy to be spent in more productive activities.

Ideally, a company will maintain a central repository of information about interviewees вЂ" a database that hiring managers and HR professionals alike can access. There, companies can store all the information related to each hire and see immediately if there are any outstanding action items. This kind of technology-enabled improvement not only speeds work for HR, but it also encourages participation from hiring managers вЂ" one of the most important elements in an effective recruiting process.

Another key to an effective recruitment system is streamlining. This process begins with an honest assessment of an organizations current recruiting process. For many companies, technology is essential to streamlining operations. In fact, technology ranks as the number-one operational staffing priority for companies, according to’s 2006 Recruiting Metrics and Performance Benchmark Report. To manage recruiting costs, organizations need insight into what’s driving expenditures and where they are seeing return on investment (ROI). With a true picture of costs, organizations can determine which recruiting



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