The hiring landscape has changed for leaders.
Let’s take a look at what is happening in the employment sector of business.
First, jobs are rebounding fast. Second, many jobs are going unfilled as workers try to avoid jobs that might put them at risk of contracting Covid-19. Third, many Americans are moving out of areas with the highest employment needs. Leaders today must go out of their way to try to attract talent.
After the Great Recession of the previous decade, we had hiring managers who expected candidates to bend over backwards for a role. These hiring managers became less accommodating, often asked potential recruits to go through additional rounds of interviews, and generally paid less interest to how job applicants perceived their process. Often, they “got away” with this behavior because candidates were, indeed, desperate for an opportunity.
But several factors indicate that this downturn is different. And there are warning signs that leading this way may destroy considerable value for their firms.
The Covid job market is not like 2008, nor really like anything anyone has observed or seen since the birth of modern capitalism.
In classical business cycles, the number of openings decrease and the number of applicants increase, or vice versa. But this crisis is one of disequilibrium and structural change. Some industries and firms are devastated while others thrive, are unaffected, or have been able to rebound exceptionally quickly. The job market is experiencing something resembling an accelerated rate of a high rate of jobs disappearing and reappearing at the same time, mixed with an unusual economic downturn.
So leaders today must look at hiring and leading their teams in new ways. I would suggest they take the time to understand how much the right talent is worth. Calibrate this with how Covid is impacting talent availability for critical roles you are trying to fill. Go back to making candidates feel valuable.
Once you have your team, be the leader that also retains them.