Recruitment Disruption & Hiring Trends for 2022

To hire or be hired successfully in 2022, focus on networking, connection, engagement, and strong branding.

Maintain connections to build talent pipeline

In 2022, networking will remain essential, whether you’re a candidate or the professional charged with finding one. A recent Forbes article notes that recruiting practices will change: “Instead of sitting around and waiting, companies will need to search for and engage with talent on a continual basis to accelerate their hiring. This could alter the way recruiters work. They’ll need to be strategic and offer a continual personalized reach out to potential candidates. In-house corporate talent acquisition professionals must stay in close touch, nurturing relationships with potential future applicants, and build a solid pipeline.” Maintaining connections and seeking out new ones will be key – for recruiters and candidates..

Use engagement to attract and retain talent

Employee retention may be just as difficult as hiring, according to an analysis by Glassdoor’s Daniel Zhao, who notes that “2021 should be a template for what to expect in 2022.” With the continued imbalance between labor supply and demand, the lessons of the past year still apply. Zhao recommends that companies recognize that “many employees are looking not just for a job, but for a career and a community. Whether it means investing in DEI, offering career development opportunities or building community across company and home offices, it will be more important than ever to focus on employee engagement and the workplace experience.”

Implement more incentive and referral programs to also include temporary workers

According to one Inc. article, we’ll see a “dramatic increase in high-value incentive programs,” which “can be particularly useful because candidates are essentially ‘pre-screened’ by the employee who is referring their friend or someone they know. Using a referral program creates trust among your team because they’re helping grow the organization” and creating “even more touch-points and connections for them internally.”

Companies that conquer the “talent crunch” will “widen their funnel of candidates by seeking those with a broader set of desired capabilities from a much more diverse pool,” according to the Harvard Business Review. “Focusing on a wider set of capabilities germane to each role can open up a larger pool of desirable candidates.” So, if a company finds someone who has the capabilities “most predictive of success in a role, the new hire can learn the rest on the job,” through formal and informal training. 

Have a strong brand that sets you apart

The Harvard Business Review article also highlighted three factors that strongly influence where the most talented candidates want to work. They are: a commitment to diversity and inclusion, transparent and accountable senior management, and a culture of coaching and development. The Forbes article noted that HR teams will need to “prioritize employer brand initiatives – or even define and hire for a head of employer brand role – to convey their culture, values, and vision.

The bottom line? Employers will need to brand themselves as a great place to work, and candidates need to brand themselves to highlight what they bring to the table in terms of skills, experience, and their own personal mission.

Here’s to jumping into the new year with energy and enthusiasm! As you plan for future growth in 2022, please reach out for a consultation. I and the rest of the EBC Associates team would love to help you find the right fit.

Leverage Strategic Partnerships to Accelerate Growth

Strategic partnerships can help you grow your revenue at reduced costs and increase your exposure to potential customers and prospective employees. These partnerships, including channel and affiliate partnerships, can help you attract business and talent by leveraging the strengths of each partner.

Why strategic partnerships are so important

In a strategic partnership, two or more individuals or companies share resources for their mutual benefit and success. As defined in an article on Indeed.com, they share risks and rewards as they work to create value for each partner, offering information, services and other resources that the other would otherwise have no access to or could only access through a financial exchange. These strategic partnerships offer each company an opportunity to reduce expenses and increase business, allowing them to expand brand awareness, customer base, overall reach, and service functionality. I have noticed an increase in the number of these partnerships, some of which have come about as a result of the more challenging and complex business environment triggered by the pandemic. Benefits of a successful partnership can be impactful to a company’s bottom line.

Which type of strategic partnership to choose?

Depending on how you define them, there are at least six types of strategic partnerships. They are marketing, supply, supply chain, integration, technology, and financial. Marketing partnerships are very common. One example is the “Color Your Room” campaign by home furnishing retailer Pottery Barn and paint company Sherwin-Williams. In 2013, the two brands created an exclusive product line of paints, and then added a new section to Pottery Barn’s website where customers could select paint colors to complement their furniture choices. Note that each partner played to its strengths and helped drive business to both companies

EBC Associates, has a strategic partnership with Ai Media Group, in New York City. Ai Media Group’s Partner Program is made up of independent consultants who are compensated for promoting their technology. The benefit to me as a partner is that it has created an opportunity to build my network with a cutting-edge digital advertising group that is also a Blackstone portfolio company. This has opened many networking doors, created a value-added offering for the EBC portfolio and a pathway to another stream of revenue for my firm. “Liz has been a valuable partner to Ai Media Group. Her connections in the marketing and advertising industry made her a great fit for the types of companies Ai is trying to reach,” stated Charles Farruggia, Vice President of Partnerships at Ai Media Group.

Start with a good foundation

The initial steps of setting up a partnership to minimize risk and maximize benefits include clearly defining what you need from the partnership. Do you need help with marketing, distribution of a product, or something else? Tap your own network of contacts as you research which companies could best help you meet a specific goal. A contract is a must, as is continuing to nurture the relationship during the course of your work together.

Recognize the risks and realize the benefits

The main risks for strategic partnerships, according to a recent McKinsey poll, included partners’ disagreements on the central objectives, poor communication among partners, and the inability to identify and quickly make adjustments when circumstances change. Successful strategic partnerships begin with a clear foundation for the business relationship – do you and your partner have clear, well-defined goals for the partnership? You will also want to agree on how you will measure the venture’s success. Keep everyone well-informed, so that when and if circumstances change, you and your partner are willing to be flexible enough to change plans as needed. A successful strategic partnership provides many opportunities to leverage your company’s strengths and create value. There is no reason to believe that you have to always go it alone.

Build Your Personal Brand Without Being a Narcissist

Whether you’re actively searching for a new job or simply engaging in networking to nurture your career, it’s important to build your personal brand by using various social media platforms to promote yourself. The key is doing so without becoming so much of a narcissist that you push people away.

Balance confidence with humility

It’s possible to meet the challenge of balancing the need for a “a little ‘healthy narcissism and confidence” as you promote yourself while still connecting with people in an authentic way, according to the Forbes Coaches Council. If you want to make genuine connections with others, be ready to practice “trust, compassion, and humility” when self-promoting.

Engagement is a two-way street

Remember that engagement is a two-way street – if you only self-promote in your posts, you’re losing valuable opportunities to interact with people, including prospective clients and employers. When you share posts written by others, be sure to offer a thoughtful comment from your own perspective. Take the time to comment on other people’s posts and congratulate them on their achievements when appropriate. Use your promotional posts to practice reflecting rather than boasting. Instead of broadcasting only awards and accolades, consider devoting some posts to explaining how you met a challenge or solved a problem, and ask for comments as a way to increase engagement.

Focus on value, not vanity metrics

Instead of focusing on vanity metrics like the number of followers or likes, think quality over quantity. Create thoughtful posts that provide real value for readers and focus on action-oriented engagement metrics like comments and shares. If you post consistently, you’ll build engagement and relationships with people and companies attracted by your personal brand. Remember that when you share about the things that truly interest you, not just content that might gain attention as measured by “likes,” you’re emphasizing the unique qualities of your personal brand.

Share your authentic self and unique story

You can stand out from the crowd by crafting “a powerful story of who you are,” according to personal branding expert Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. The idea is to combine the elements of your background, experiences, skills, and relationships to tell a story of what gives you a particular perspective to offer or contribution to make, based on your expertise and what you’re known for. Clark says the ideal area of your recognized expertise is the intersection between what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing, and what people seem to need. By being yourself, you can set yourself apart from the crowd instead of blending in.

Build your brand during networking

Don’t limit your personal brand building activity to social media platforms. It’s important to spend time interacting with people in real life. Whether they’re in person or online, networking events offer you the chance to share your interests and expertise with others in real time, and spark those conversations that build relationships for mutual benefit. Personal connections can often provide you with an advantage, whether you’re seeking a new position or looking for new clients, so show up in person and let others see your personal brand in action.

Recruitment Marketing Matters for Start-ups: Emerging Growth Companies

Recruitment marketing is a key part of building your talent pipeline, especially for emerging growth and start-up companies. It’s a brand attraction strategy that complements other recruiting methods and helps get prospective employees interested in the advantages and benefits of working for your company.

Attract talent with intriguing and inspiring content

Recruitment marketing goes beyond help wanted postings and other talent acquisition tactics to use other means of marketing your business to find talent. It’s an ongoing, comprehensive approach to giving your business more exposure. You can build your brand presence through content like videos or webinars, for example, to attract people to your company. These could be educational webinars promoting the business or inspirational videos about what makes your company unique and a desirable place to work. Through those marketing efforts, your company is engaging with people who might be interested in what you do – and perhaps interested in working for you at some point.

Amplify your company brand and get noticed

For startups and emerging growth companies without the name recognition of larger or more established firms, recruitment marketing is especially important. Marketing tactics play a role in getting qualified candidates to notice the job you want to fill and the company you want them to join. In fact, 62% of job candidates rank employer brand — the company’s reputation as a great place to work — as the deciding factor when applying for a job, according to LinkedIn Talent Solutions.

Recruitment marketing techniques

You can get candidates’ attention by using a number of recruitment marketing techniques. For example, setting up a LinkedIn Career Page complements your existing Company Page and can deploy content including videos. The Society for Human Resource Management notes that a good career site should:

  • Support your employer brand by sharing insights to your company culture,
  • Sell your company to job candidates,
  • Include creative media, such as pictures, graphics and video, and
  • Focus on the applicant experience by being easy to use and informative.

Recruitment ads are another innovative opportunity to showcase your employer brand and corporate culture. An effective recruitment ad focuses on what the employee wants, uses easy-to-understand language, and shares your company’s culture, mission and values.

Startups and emerging growth companies need to deploy a comprehensive recruitment marketing strategy because it helps build the company brand by creating constant exposure. This inbound strategy attracts people interested in what you do, even before they need to apply for a job with you. For example, EBC Associates LLC is working with two new clients, Tagline 360 (an integrated marketing communications agency from the Philippines) and Skills Simplified (a newly established corporate training and eLearning company founded in New York). EBC is helping with the initial hiring and business expansion, putting together opportunities for the company to present credentials as part of their recruitment marketing.

“Tagline 360 is excited to bring Filipino creativity to the global market,” says Jovy Rabelas, CEO, Tagline360. “We realize the spending power of the fast-growing and rapidly rising Filipino market. Our dream is to help companies understand this market and be better equipped to serve them.”

“In today’s post-pandemic world, the acquisition of skills spells the difference between evolution or extinction,” says Francis Miranda, CEO & Founder. “We wanted to make the process of acquiring skills as easy as buying your favorite products in the supermarket. Skills Simplified, brings to the table customized training products delivered with creativity, knowledge and fun. We are excited to grow here in the United States and bring our unique style of learning to this market.” Recruitment marketing allows you to build interest in your company as you grow, before you need to hire.

An antidote to panic hiring

Even established companies can be panicked if a key employee leaves. Having a recruitment marketing strategy in place can alleviate that stress and panic because it means you’re continually attracting and engaging with people who are already interested in your company. However, be sure to craft your recruitment marketing strategy carefully. The Forbes Human Resources Council pinpoints three main reasons why most recruitment marketing efforts don’t work. The first reason is that the messaging lacks authenticity (for example, the promised employee experience doesn’t match the reality). The second is that some recruitment marketing messages fail to highlight your company’s unique strengths as an employer. Third, if the recruitment messaging doesn’t sound “human”, but instead more like legal jargon or corporate policy, candidates won’t feel as connected.

Use networking events to build talent pipelines

Don’t overlook networking events as a recruitment marketing opportunity, as these can give your business additional exposure to qualified job seekers and plant a seed of interest among those who aren’t looking for a job right now, but might, over time, become interested in working for or with your company. For start-ups and emerging growth companies, recruitment marketing can offer an advantage in the competition for talent.

Retain Employees with Trust, Flexibility, and Wellness Coaching

Savvy employers are keeping their workforce intact with top employee retention strategies focused on trust, flexibility, and wellness coaching.

Beware “the Great Resignation”

Employers that ignore the factors driving “the Great Resignation” risk watching their top talent walk out the door. An Allwork roundup of recent surveys and reports paints a stark picture of a workforce that has been “sheltering in job” during the pandemic but is ready to move on to new roles: more than half (52%) of North American employees plan to look for a new job this year, and 47% of employees said they would look for a new job if their employer didn’t offer the option of hybrid work (remote and in-office). Based on what she’s seeing as an executive search and placement specialist, EBA Associates founder Liz Capants recommends that employers offer flexibility, trust, and wellness coaching in their efforts to retain employees.

Focus on trust and autonomy

“In so many cases, there’s been a shift in the balance in the relationship between employers and employees,” Capants observes. “For example, after working from home successfully and productively for the past year and a half, employees need less supervision and management oversight than before. If you have a manager who likes to micromanage, that could cause friction if people have learned to be their own managers. The key is for employers to acknowledge that while still setting boundaries for how those relationships between managers and their direct reports will work.”

Offer flexibility and hybrid working modes

Along with trusting your employees enough to give them that autonomy, it’s important to offer flexibility in schedules and work venues. “Employers need to trust that their employees who’ve been successful at working remotely during the pandemic will continue to be productive with less hands-on management,” says Capants. A recent World Economic Forum article noted that a McKinsey & Company report found that most employees want to work from home three days a week, and more than half want more flexible hybrid virtual-working models, for better work-life balance, among other reasons.

Provide wellness programs to address anxiety

A third employee retention strategy is increased attention to employee health and wellness, specifically benefits that address mental health. Capants says she is seeing “many coaches being brought in by employers to help people deal with anxiety as it relates to the return to the office environment.” The McKinsey report also noted that anxiety can reduce work performance and job satisfaction, resulting in productivity loss. “So, providing wellness benefits that help employees reduce anxiety is a good retention strategy to use,” Capants adds. “And as hybrid work continues, we’re also seeing companies offering workshops on keeping and motivating teams to stay cohesive and engaged in a virtual environment.”

“Thank you” is a powerful motivator

The bottom line? “Treat your employees well as they are your biggest advocates and they will stay,” says Capants. “It’s not always about the money. It’s about the gratitude and acknowledgement you show your employees for work well done. The most powerful motivator can be something as simple as a note to acknowledge their work. A thank-you makes each person feel important and valued, which in turn raises their self-esteem and confidence. Make it a priority to appreciate your team and their commitment to the organization. This inspires them to continue doing more.”

Offering trust, flexibility, and help with wellness concerns can go a long way in retaining your best employees in a challenging time.

EBC Adds Interim and Project-Based Consulting to Recruitment Services

In response to the continued growth of the gig economy, EBC Associates has expanded its executive search and recruitment service offerings to include placements for interim and project-based consultancy positions. EBC offers end-to-end talent solutions, including permanent placement search, and now, placement for interim staffing, project-based consulting and board advisory positions.

Growing gig economy drives need for interim placements

The new service is something that EBC Associates founder Liz Capants has been eager to offer, with the gig economy projected pre-pandemic to double in 5 to 10 years. The shift from traditional 9-to-5 work to the gig economy has been influenced by worker preferences for jobs that offer flexibility and by the digital technologies that have decoupled work from office spaces. “Now, with the number of gig workers projected to grow even faster with pandemic-driven shifts in how and where people work, it makes sense to expand EBC’s service offerings to help companies find the right candidates for interim C-level positions – CEO, COO, CMO, etc. — as well as consulting assignments.”

Interim roles can be win-win

“Many businesses need leaders for a technology or software project and are looking for someone to be in that interim role for several years,” Capants notes, adding that because employers are not paying for benefits or other overhead costs for these consultants, it’s less of an investment for the employer. “Often the consultant can make more as a 1099 consultant than as an employee,” she adds. “There’s a need for interim project consulting on the creative / marketing side as well. One of our clients does work as an interim sales leader, puts metrics and training in place, gets it all up and running, even hires someone, and then goes on to the next gig.”

Gig work can integrate with networking

For job seekers, being active in the gig economy has an important tie to the all-important practice of networking. “Taking an interim professional position or consulting gigs while you are hunting for a position gives you more contacts,” Capants notes. “Although some interim gigs are full time, a candidate might be able to juggle two different assignments, and thus find more opportunities to have exposure with multiple employers. It’s about having options, if one of those projects comes to an end or changes. You can also get exposure as a consultant, and it helps to keep your networking going. It’s all part of putting yourself out there and building your brand so people know what you do – and where you’ll fit for your next gig, whether it’s an interim or long-term position.” Job seekers may also want to integrate board service into their networking efforts, to help increase visibility and put key skills sets to work.  

A holistic approach to recruitment and placement

Capants and her team at EBC Associates take a holistic approach to recruitment and placement, building relationships with employers and getting to know candidates and their backgrounds to be able to connect them with the right networking and job opportunities. To learn more about how EBC’s new interim and project-based recruitment services can help you, as either an employer or a candidate, please contact EBC at info@ebcassociates.net.

Creating a Network in Business Development and Job Searching

At first glance, you might not see the connection between these three functions, but there are some common threads which run through them, and each can support and enhance the other. The link between networking and job searches should be fairly apparent, since one of the best ways to learn about new opportunities will generally come from colleagues in the same industry, or from contacts you’ve made while in your present job. But how does business development tie in with these two other functions?

Networking 

Networking lets you take advantage of personal contacts as well as business contacts, and without them you’d have to rely mostly on your resume during a job search, and on your own business acumen if you’re trying to develop your business. Having some additional experience in your corner can be just like having more employees, except better because your contacts may have some really valuable business advice for you.

There are times when you just want to lean on someone who has been around longer, and has gone through the ebb and flow of business for years. These are times when networking and business development can go hand-in-hand. In fact, you may even want to enter into a strategic partnership with someone whom you’ve known in the business world for years.

Business Development 

In general terms, business development includes almost any kind of activities which will help improve your business. What that really boils down to though, is increasing revenues and profitability, making strategic business decisions, and making the business grow, i.e. expand. Business networking is a process which puts you in touch with suppliers, business owners, and other professionals, all of whom might help you grow your business.

This kind of networking gives you access to competitors, clients, and fellow businessmen. You probably have something you can offer to them, and they in turn can supply you with something you need but may not have within your organization. Having relationships like these might well provide you with opportunities for partnerships, joint undertakings, or new possibilities for expanding your business.

Job Searching 

As mentioned above, the connection between job searching and networking is a fairly strong one, since many of the best opportunities are actually referred to you by people you know in the same business. Is there any commonality between job searches and improving your business development skills? Of course. The people you might rely on to help you with your job search might be the very same business personnel who can help you improve your business development skills.

If some of your colleagues have been around a while and have enjoyed relatively long business careers, they might know of positions you’re well suited for, and they might also be able to mentor you on how to get better at growing a business. They might be able to put you in touch with key people in your industry who can serve as suppliers, useful owners, or helpful colleagues.

Getting ahead in business calls for you to make good use of all three of these functions, and given the connection between them all, becoming proficient at one should help you become good at the others as well.