Flex Work, Retention, and Generational Recruiting

Oct 15, 2008

In part 3 of my 4-part interview series, I interview Barrie Brian Piazza, the Human Resources Director for Glemser Technologies and chairperson for the Northeast Human Resource Association’s Flexible Workplaces Committee.

How do you feel recruiters should respond to the situation of the “Silver Tsunami” if it is actually unavoidable?

BBP: I think recruiters should start thinking about the “solution” and leaders inside those companies need to understand the new definition of a “job” and how they can be ahead of the curve with a progressive and flexible approach to hiring. I also think retention figures in here just as strongly and ensuring that there is not only a good hiring/recruiting strategy, but an explicit retention strategy. The retention strategies have to be equally progressive and flexible.

What role do you think recruiters play in helping their clients make a hiring decision?

BBP: It’s a coaching role and it’s in their best interest to hone their coaching skills in terms of weighing all that has made their candidate successful in the past and how they are bringing that into their new/current role. In many ways it’s like dating, but it’s more serious. Understanding the foundation of the relationship to predict its future success is a start. So suitability and how a candidate truly feels about their options all are areas for coaching.

Having recently had the benefit of outplacement services, that process of having a coach help review and weigh all options and support me through the process was extremely helpful. Recruiters can likely build life-long relationships (and a great referral business) if they take this same approach.

What advice do you have for companies that aren’t taking the possibility of this event seriously?

BBP: It’s time to wake up to this event and a lot of other demographic and workforce shifts that are upon us in the nearer term. It’s time to focus on being an “employer of choice” for real. It’s time to take the employee experience very seriously.

It’s time to have employees play the largest role in attracting new talent (which is why the employee experience is so important). It is time to invest in building infrastructures that can support flexible and creative approaches to getting work done with innovative scheduling and work practices with innovative technology. Overall to compete in general and most importantly to compete for and retain good talent, organizations have to think globally on many fronts and have to balance long-term and short-term goals while investing in evolving workforce dynamics. They are not going to wake up one day and face this challenge. It is already upon them.

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