2020 Economic Update: Talent at All Levels Is a Key Priority

Competition and Growth: The Perfect Storm

Over the last three weeks, I have attended a couple of sessions on 2020 Economic Forecasts as well as a session on M&A activity in the tri-state area. The key message from all of these sessions, was “the need for talent at all levels is a key priority for all businesses”.

Regardless of the industry—manufacturing, healthcare, business services, or not-for-profit—all of these organizations are struggling with finding and retaining talent. The problem is that most middle market companies are unsure of what to do and are starting to get nervous about their ability to deliver products and/or services to their customer base—on time, and with a satisfactory customer experience.

As someone who has consulted with dozens of middle market companies for over sixteen years, the issue of finding, hiring and retaining good people has always been an issue. Today, these issues are more critical because of low unemployment rate, successful economic growth, and the competitive job market; in essence, the perfect storm.

Advice for Hiring and Retaining Talent:

1. Define your culture and core values. Today, more than ever, culture is a differentiator and important to all employees.

2. Develop a formal recruiting process for all positions. This process is just as important as your budget and manufacturing processes. 

3. Design a competitive total compensation system for your business. This includes base salary, incentives, profit sharing, and the employee benefits package.

4. Outline for each job the duties/responsibilities, skills needed to perform the role, and what is successful performance in the job.

5. Identify your key people. Tell them you need them and how important they are to the success of your business.

6. Invest in training for your employees. On-the-job training can sometimes be just as successful as sending people to an outside training program.

7. Change your ‘old school’ policies and procedures. Flexible hours, work from home, and virtual meetings are here to stay and are a competitive advantage.

8. Communicate to employees about the state of the business. Monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, start to do something. Consistency of the message is important.

9. Stop trying to do all the recruiting yourself. Because the market is so competitive, you’ll likely get an influx of unqualified responses to online ads. In addition, acknowledge that you may need some help from an outside recruiting professional to get the job done efficiently and effectively.

By no means is the above list all you can do to attract and retain talent. However, in my experience, these recommendations do work and can assist in solving the people challenges in your business.

If I can be of assistance to help you and your company attract and retain talent, please reach out to me, Jim Geier, President & CEO, HCC Partners.

Contact us at 215.244.8110 or jim.geier@hccpartners.com