LinkedIn: How to retain employees, as hiring rates dip

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In 14 countries LinkedIn studied, all have decreased their hiring rate over the past year, yet employees still wield power due to the tight labor market, the networking site said in its new Global Talent Trends report.

“In many ways, employees still hold the power to demand more from their employers when it comes to salary, flexibility and benefits,’’ said LinkedIn Chief Economist Karin Kimbrough, in the report. But Kimbrough added a note of caution, adding that “this power balance is likely to start leveling out in the coming months.”

SEE: The COVID-19 gender gap: Why women are leaving their jobs and how to get them back to work (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

In short, hiring is expected to decelerate from the historic highs of 2021, Kimbrough said.

Her advice to talent leaders is to look inward. “Continue to understand the skills your employees have, and the skills your company needs. That understanding will help you weather economic highs and lows and labor-market volatility.”

Workers are bracing for the economic decline

Employees are acutely aware of the “sharp slowdown in economic growth in regions around the globe,” LinkedIn Principal Economist Guy Berger said in the report. His advice to talent leaders is to mitigate uncertainty as best they can for their employees.

This might mean doing more with less and “consider relatively low-cost, high-value benefits that you might have overlooked before.”

Not surprisingly, job seekers still consider compensation, work-life balance, flexible work arrangements and upskilling as their top priorities, according to the report. Increasingly, U.S.-based remote LinkedIn job postings reached an all-time high in February 2022 at 20% of all U.S. jobs, the report noted. However, they attracted just over half of all applications.

That all changed in September, when remote job postings fell to 14% of all posts but got 52% of all U.S. job applications, the report said. Although the U.S. leads in the remote job trend, these types of jobs are also popular around the world.

Nevertheless, despite economic uncertainty, “people still highly value two areas of work life that have gotten a lot of attention since the start of the pandemic: work-life balance and flexible work arrangements,’’ said LinkedIn Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition Jennifer Shappley, in the report. “I expect those two attributes to remain top talent drivers for years to come.”

Shappley’s advice to talent leaders is to understand these drivers and listen to employees to ensure they are building hiring and retention strategies that will attract and retain top talent.

How to retain employees through career development and advancement

Internal mobility can increase employee retention, the report said. In fact, it noted that employees with an internal move are 75% more likely to stay at a company after two years, compared to those without an internal move (56%).

In terms of verticals, financial services ranks No. 1 in retaining employees through internal mobility, according to the report. Meanwhile, retail is struggling to retain employees with or without internal mobility, the report said.

Regardless of economic conditions, it is no secret that people want to learn and grow at work, observed LinkedIn Vice President of Talent Development Linda Jingfang Cai, in the report. If companies don’t address this, in most cases, “people will leave the moment they find a better opportunity elsewhere.”

Jingfang Cai’s advice? “Give employees more ownership over their career paths at your company,’’ she said. “Start the conversation with them on their possibilities for learning, growth, and—ultimately—internal career transformation on Day 1.”

Continuing the theme of looking inward to maximize the full potential of their workforce, employers are, in fact, taking a closer look at sourcing open roles internally, wrote Hari Srinivasan in a blog post announcing a new set of features LinkedIn is launching designed to respond to current business needs. Already, 25% of recruiters at LinkedIn’s largest customers are using tools on the site to support internal hiring, he said.

When top and tenured talent leave companies, “we feel the impact more than ever,’’ Srinivasan wrote. “The loss of skills, knowledge and relationships tends to hit hybrid and remote teams especially hard.”

One of the top drivers of employee attrition is a lack of advancement opportunities, according to Srinivasan. “When employees feel their skills aren’t being put to good use in their current job, they are 10x more likely to be job hunting.”

To address this, leaders need to focus on internal mobility and make it part of their holistic hiring strategy, he wrote. “This lies not only in making internal hiring the norm–encouraging recruiting teams and hiring managers to tap into the qualified talent pool they already have to fill open roles–but also creating internal growth pathways that align with employees’ career goals.”

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