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Surviving ‘The Great Hire’ 2021



After the Black Death in the 13th century England was transformed


This was a devastating global epidemic of bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. The plague arrived in Europe in October 1347 and over five years, the epidemic would kill more than 20 million people in Europe. At the time that represented almost one-third of the continent’s population.


Plague led to severe depopulation and a scarcity of labour


The Feudal System collapsed, and the world began a brand-new post pandemic chapter in its history. It may sound dramatic, but we may well see a shift in behaviours, expectations, life perspectives and the way we work over the next decade as we learn to live with Covid and its impact. We may well see a ‘Great Hire’ phenomenon as companies start to return to pre pandemic levels of consumption and need. Will you be ready to recruit and also retain any new hires you make?



Photo: Christina@wocintechchat.com

If attitudes to work and working practices have changed what trends might we see within recruitment?


I think that employee retention may well be further up the agenda than perhaps it has been. With some companies demanding that all employees return to the office this may prompt an exodus from some. Many people have become used to working from home. Commute times are non-existent and for some they have seen an improvement in work life balance alongside a rise in productivity. With coffee shops and non-essential premises now open for business doing a quick work stint in a café could add the social aspect that has been missing.


How do you win the employee retention battle?



In my experience as an executive search specialist, I have seen trends come and go. During the 1990s there was a real war for talent. I have seen the Millennial generation grow up and demand a different set of work benefits. Although this is a general observation, they are quite keen to maintain a work/life balance and have the flexibility to complete work to suit their lifestyles. The 9-5 timetable appears positively anachronistic, and many home workers have found that first thing in the morning and last thing at night suits their lives more effectively. Therefore, I think it is worth companies thinking hard about the flexible options they might offer as part of a package. Photo: k


Should we rethink what constitutes a 'competitive package' these days?


We talk about competitive salary and benefit packages but are they put together by the company with little liaison with employees? What truly represents a competitive package these days? We know for a fact that salary isn’t the only driving factor when it comes to executive hires.


o Have you considered career advancement opportunities for your new hire?

o What are your benefits really worth?

o Have they been reappraised recently?

o How good is your initial hiring process?

o Do you understand the type of candidates that are now applying for senior roles? Do they view life differently compared to Baby Boomers for example?



Generation X employees, for example, are more motivated by health care and insurance than financial stability


Many people have worked as freelancers and are used to the ‘feast and famine’ approach to finances. They have learned how to cope and are not excited by predictable monthly salaries. They are looking for tangible benefits that improve life, experiences and their general state of mind. They almost have a ‘bootstrap’ mentality that will actually benefit larger companies become leaner.


Photo: Leon


How effective is your post hire process for example?


If you have put in the effort to hire the best people at the very start of the journey it makes sense to look after them when they start to work for you. My role allows me to develop a relationship with many of the candidates I meet on an initial search. I find that getting to understand the motivation and experience of candidates in the first few months of their job contributes to the longevity of the contract.


Consider the following as a starting point for a new post hire strategy:

1. Excellent communication is essential

2. Anticipate the kind of questions that might be asked

3. Empathise with candidates in every respect

4. Ask questions and listen to answers

5. Act on concerns and take them seriously

6. Practically demonstrate support and understanding

7. Consider small touches like a personalised welcome pack

8. In fact, personalise information don’t just offer a handbook

9. Help candidates develop their internal networks


Sometimes I find clients work hard to find new employees but almost fail at the final hurdle when they don’t take the time to help candidates settle in


I have some top tips when it comes to refining a post-hire strategy. I would be interested to know whether you think I have missed anything. Do let me know. Meanwhile should you need assistance in developing and further refining how you treat your new executive hires please do give me a call and I would be happy to talk through an alternative or completely new approach.