As the pandemic slowly becomes a thing of the past, in-demand talent may feel compelled to make a career jump. According to a report from SHRM, more than half of survey respondents from a recent North American poll have considered changing careers before the end of the year. Whether resources are burnt out, seeking a greater work-life balance, or simply looking for a change of scenery, the giant tsunami of job turnover is coming—and coming fast. 

Preparing for Employee Turnover

Although workforce attrition is an inescapable element of any business, it can prove to be a costly one. Depending on if the individual is in a revenue-impacting sales or leadership role, turnover costs can amount to between 50% and 250% of an employee’s annual salary—a tough pill to swallow for any organization. This begs the question: Is your organization prepared to retain your top talent? Better yet, are you ready to replace your resources that choose to pursue new opportunities? Here are four tips to help your company brace itself for the talent war that lies ahead:

Take stock of your current employees

At a high level, begin to evaluate any employees who may be open to exploring outside opportunities and consider what it would take to retain them. Some team members may have openly expressed their displeasure about the role that they’re in or how their role has changed from what it was prior to the pandemic, which would make them prime candidates to be on the lookout for a new job. Take note of these situations as they arise and keep track of the day-to-day duties that they are responsible for. It would behoove you to also consider internal candidates—if any—that could take their place in the event of a resignation. Rewarding deserving individuals with promotions will help improve your organization’s retention efforts.

Adjust your workplace strategy

By now, your company has most likely made some difficult decisions on whether returning to the office is a suitable proposition. But have you received input from your employees on what they think is best? Conducting an employee survey will enable you to put your finger on the pulse of your collective organization and strategize around the desires of your workforce. If your employees are looking to maintain a hybrid work approach, formulate a plan that allows work-from-home privileges. Establish guidelines that clearly communicate hours of expected availability to team members and create a policy around expense reimbursement for home office expenses.

According to a survey conducted by PwC, over half of employees prefer to work remotely at least three days per week once the pandemic becomes a thing of the past. An article from Forbes recently highlighted that more than 60% of Gen Z and millennials expect hybrid or remote work flexibilities to remain standard moving forward. For persons of color, another Forbes study showed that 59% of respondents listed the ability to work from home as a key factor in whether they will remain in their current position or explore new job opportunities. But if there are resources who are craving a return to in-office work, establish a plan that will allow them to safely do so. Flexibility has become a trendy buzzword in today’s workforce, and each organization has its own definition of the term. Be thorough when spelling out what flexibility represents within your organization.   

Maintain engagement with top performers

Continuing on with the theme of listening to employees, it makes sense for organizations to connect with high-performing resources and inquire about their well-being. Studies show that these resources will often be the most burnt out within your company, which can be a critical factor when employees decide to search for new work. Not only can businesses try to lessen the workload of these resources, but they should also be doing all that they can to provide mentorship, professional development, and additional training opportunities to further their careers. By maintaining engagement with top performers, companies can keep their resources motivated while elevating their overall employee experience.

Develop a pool of passive candidates

When polling a group of CEOs, a recent survey from The Predictive Index found that their primary business concern in 2021 is finding the right talent—especially at the executive level. If your TA team has the bandwidth, consider putting together a pool of passive candidates for roles that may need to be filled in the not-too-distant future. This list of proven and experienced candidates can be easily leveraged by your recruiters. Although passive candidates may not be actively searching for a new job, putting together a formidable sales pitch can help you capture their attention and generate interest in your open role. 

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As businesses burgeon with activity over the next several months, the demand for qualified talent will ramp up quickly. To prepare for the talent war ahead, organizations should act fast when developing robust talent pipelines for high-impact positions. But more importantly, companies need to be in touch with their employees and take stock of their workplace expectations. Ultimately, these talent strategies will be critical in retaining top-performing employees and surrounding them with a positive and virtuous organizational culture.

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This blog was written by Pete Petrella, Managing Director of TalentRise’s Executive Search practice.