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Poaching | Talent Management Concerns for Global Business

Poaching is an increasing talent management concern in the global community. This article substantiates the rising trend and discusses solutions to safeguard from the same.

Finding the right talent for your company is becoming increasingly difficult in today's rapidly changing global work environment, with new business avenues opening up all the time. And retaining highly sought-after talent is even more difficult. Extreme competition frequently results in the transfer of talented employees from one organization to another, with talent heads offering better packages and poaching your valuable assets. This is a definite setback for your company, not just putting a temporary halt to your work and progress but also utilizing precious time and money in searching for and training recruits.

The recruiters of company heads need to be aware of this trend, which is more prevalent in the technological arena, where technologists are always on the lookout for better opportunities.

An alarming percentage of the workforce is ready to switch jobs, which is not good news for their present and prospective employers. Freshers (94%) and Gen Z professionals constitute 87% of professionals who are keen to make a switch according to a Linkedin Survey based on responses from 1,111 workers in India. The main reasons for the offer are cited to be a lack of work-life balance (30%) and not enough money (28%).

Imagine finding the right fit for your organization and spending precious company hours grooming them for the role, just to lose them to another company in a short span. The poaching threat is real and, by the look of things, is here to stay for now. The war for talent picked up speed post the pandemic, with many companies opting to continue with the work-from-home mode or adopting the hybrid work mode. The realization that recruitment need not be contained within geographical limitations has opened the field to the recruitment of diverse candidates from around the world.

Skilled Workers Benefit, Poachers Rejoice!

According to McKinsey’s report for 2020, 20% of the workforce could soon be working remotely, for at least 3-5 days a week. This aspect could be a significant benefit for skilled workers. However, this process is not impenetrable to poachers because borderless work opens up more opportunities for the talent you hire, who are no longer restricted to their respective locations.

Poaching talent has hit the Indian business sector equally hard, and a lack of skilled middle management has created a gap in the recruitment pool, making it difficult for organizations to fill required positions. A pan-India survey pegs middle to senior-level management as the driving force for business growth, and with a dearth of the requisite talent in-house, 64% of companies are forced to look externally, often poaching talent from other companies.

So how can you stop your skilled workers from beingpoached?

Recruitment in India via poaching has reached alarming heights, with the matter even reaching the Supreme Court, compelling firms to consider entering into "no-poaching" pacts just like that between Reliance Industries and Adani Group.

The pact is more of an ethical nature than legal, as poaching of talent is not illegal as per Indian Company Law.

Alternatively, it is more practical to work on making your company poach-proof, just like Kellogg’s India did recently. The FMCG industry is well known for containing highly skilled talent with their excellent talent development processes, mentoring and grooming them to become future leaders. The rich talent pool is a magnet for poaching across all sectors. As Nimisha Das, director of HR, Kellogg, South Asia reveals that emerging sectors always consider sourcing talent from the FMCG industry as they are readily available and at reasonable hiring engagement prices.

Kellogg’s India’s poach-proof method:

  1. Revealing the growth path at their global organization.

  2. Comprehensive development process via talent mapping of their inherent skills.

  3. Talent evaluation to create a space for developing future leaders.

Programs focused on leadership and talent development with tie-ups with global institutes like Harvard Business School and INSEAD.

Kellogg’s has managed to keep the attrition rate under control, as low as 7% till last year. Following Kellogg’s way, companies can draw up plans for their companies to combat this alarming trend. Let us also look at some time-tested ways to control the rising poaching of talent.

1.Making your workforce poach-proof with a proactive stance:

Being reactive to this trend is akin to losing the war before you begin the fight. A proactive stance towards retaining your workforce is what you need to adopt. The talent war began before the pandemic, and many companies are still struggling to hire and retain workers, particularly the younger generation. As per a LinkedIn study in 2018, a whopping 86% of millennials will opt for a job that better aligns with their values and life views, even if the job is less paying than their existing one.

  • The solution lies in creating a more worker-friendly environment and culture that aligns with the changing times.

  • Invest in your employees by organizing periodic skill development programs that enhance their career growth opportunities. Acknowledge, appreciate, and reward them, not necessarily financially but by offering more flexible workspace and hours, volunteer opportunities, and conversations regarding their career and targets.

  • Along with the usual perks like off-site get-togethers, team-building exercises, personal celebrations, and health benefits. The more you engage with your staff, the more engaged they will be with the organization and its target turnover.

2. Innovate consistently with work-from-home and remote working:

The work-from-home culture allows more room for distraction than in-office work. This calls for innovative planning and implementation. For example, Zoom Free Fridays to rest and restore work-life balance and build boundaries that have been erased with the advent of remote work culture, as announced last year by Jane Fraser, the CEO of Citigroup. As per a LinkedIn pre-pandemic study, the majority of the workforce had opined that working from home would reduce the possibility of their changing jobs.

It is essential to clue in with your staff to anticipate their needs and potential sources of dissatisfaction and innovate to devise new ways and outlets for them to vent and feel included. A concern for their well-being is an investment you need to make for better work culture and productivity. Being seen and valued is a human need, which when adequately addressed will result in higher loyalty and retention.

3.Personalisation with remote work culture:

The phrase "one big family" might sound clichéd and old-school, but this is the need of the hour. Connecting with your employees personally, preferably on a one-to-one basis, establishes the sense of belongingness mentioned in the previous point. Emotions play a large role in determining retention, as being valued and having a personal connection makes it difficult for the worker to leave the company. This connection holds more water now when the workforce is facing burnout due to the changing work culture and increased work hours. Let's face it, the remote work culture is here to stay, and with it comes less human interaction, leading to feelings of isolation and overwhelm. In such a scenario, making an effort to connect with your staff and valuing and appreciating their hard work is more essential than ever.

  • Praising them for a job well-done or personally congratulating them on a deal struck.

  • A simple, "We are lucky to have you, and your talent and hard work are valued by our company." will have a huge impact on employee engagement.

  • Simply asking about their health and family will go a long way in making them feel seen and cherished.

4.Salary and Compensation:

As per a survey by Glassdoor, one of the dominant reasons for job switching is the salary packet. Out of the 1400 software engineers surveyed, 76% cited this as one of the main causes of dissatisfaction and job change. It is a known fact that the companies with the highest employee retention, productivity, and morale are the ones offering a package consisting of salaries and incentives. A handsome salary is surely a major incentive, but you can also compensate for their hard work without raising their pay packet.

5.Provide a sense of purpose:

Humans gain a sense of importance from being a part of something big and important. Make them feel valued by showing them their impact on the company’s progress. Involve them in decision-making; create a space of autonomy where they can take decisions, make mistakes, and learn and grow from their mistakes. For instance, a developer will be deeply gratified to be a part of decision-making and know the impact of the code they create on the world. Don't forget to give credit where credit is due, and don't exaggerate or embarrass them for their mistakes. Compassion is a valuable leadership quality.

6. Let Employees Take Ownership:

Taking a cue from the online creative marketplace Etsy, whose work philosophy is "Easy deploys = developer happiness." The company allows the developers creative freedom and space, as well as the right to ownership of their codes. Moreover, they encourage their employees to experiment and not be afraid to make mistakes, and help them learn from their mistakes. You can implement a similar work model in your organization and tailor it to your specific product or service. A sense of ownership among the workers extends into a deeper commitment and loyalty toward the company.

7. Build a Vibrant Community with Less Detachment:

A community that works and plays together with a culture of having each other’s backs lessens the detachment an employee might have from the company. You can plan an annual calendar for in-house activities and team-building exercises and events.

  • Friendly competition: Intra-team competition is a healthy way to build a community. Holding friendly matches or project-building competitions with prizes for the winners will not only help elevate the atmosphere but will also infuse freshness and help diffuse the built-up work stress and fatigue.

  • Create a system for feedback and suggestions and take them sincerely with an open mind. An office where the employees do not feel unheard or unacknowledged creates a secure and warm environment for the workforce, which adds to their sense of community and productivity.

  • A large organization or a public limited company can offer a share in the company to its employees based on certain set criteria. The possibility of becoming a company owner is a huge incentive, increasing a sense of belonging and community.

When it comes to workforce management, 2COMS continues to provide a primary focus on talent management and recruitment with an overall management process for companies worldwide. The company utilizes its in-depth vertical knowledge, process management know-how, and complete support from skill mapping to onboarding to ensure seamless productivity for any organization. Ensure high-quality output from all kinds of employees at all levels with 2COMS at your beck and call, today.

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