The company's culture is increasingly important for highly qualified personnel
The company’s culture is increasingly important for highly qualified personnel

We build long-term partnerships with both clients and job seekers, say the co-founders of the modern HR agency James K. People.

– What difficulties do managers face in finding suitable staff for their teams?

James Cooper: One of them is attracting highly-skilled talents who are less likely to change jobs. A challenge on the market in our country at the moment is the emotional connection of employees with the company. The high salary and rich social package are no longer enough to attract suitable professionals. People realize that personal satisfaction at work is a top priority and are therefore more demanding of their future employer. Regarding the selection, the interviews are mostly conducted remotely, but quite a few companies like to meet the candidate live.

– Are active job seekers currently more than the passive ones looking for a new, better position?

Until March, the candidates were passively looking rather than actively looking for a new job. During the pandemic, this changed, many people lost their jobs, many Bulgarians returned from abroad and the market was oversaturated with active job seekers. There has been a decrease in the number of highly qualified staff who want to change jobs, such as in the IT sector. In the second quarter of 2020, we noticed a serious increase in active jobseekers, but at the moment the balance is approximately renewed compared to last year’s trend.

– What are the advantages of your model of working with clients and candidates?

Our job is to assess the extent to which the needs of our clients can meet the expectations of candidates. The success of our partnerships is because we have built long-term trust with employers. In this way, we jointly overcome the difficulties in finding qualified staff for the role.

As a mediator between job seekers and employers, we have the advantage of always keeping up with market trends. We maintain constant communication with our candidates, thus becoming their consultants, guiding them at every stage of their career path. We assist them in developing key skills and guide them throughout the process.

Appreciated and supported right now

In the last six months, millions of people have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many continue to be unemployed to this day. Many of those who are still at work have to adjust to the so-called “home office”. However, this tendency for distance work to prevail raises the question – what does all this mean for the company culture and employee engagement?

In search of an answer to this question, the Achievers platform surveyed 1,100 employees at various levels in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia. The platform recently published the results of this survey. Nearly half (40%) of survey participants say they feel their work is underestimated during a pandemic. This may be one of the reasons why 85% of employed Americans continue to look for work despite the extremely precarious state of the labor market.

What can companies do to make their employees feel valued and supported in the current environment? Here are some tips

Create a link between the decision-making process and company values

According to an Achievers study, before the pandemic, a third of business leaders synchronized their strategic decisions with the company’s values. During the pandemic, however, that share fell to one-fifth.

“The results of this study emphasize the fact that many companies find it difficult to follow their company values. There is no doubt that their leaders have had to make many difficult decisions in the last six months. Difficult decisions cannot be avoided during a crisis, but explaining to employees how company values ​​affect the decision-making process or the reasons for the growing gap between the two can improve employee engagement in these difficult times, ”he said. q Natalie Baumgartner of Achievers.

The good news is that in recent months, flexible working hours have become one of the company values ​​that most companies have in mind in the decision-making process.

Seek sincere feedback

During a crisis, strong leaders look for ways to understand and respond to the concerns of their employees. However, many companies fail to address these issues because they do not receive sincere feedback.

The survey found that three-quarters (77%) of employees would be more honest in their responses to a survey than in a conversation with a manager. However, only 21% of companies conduct engagement surveys more than once a year.

These companies miss the opportunity to understand how their employees feel and what their worries are. The risks of not knowing the problems of employees are huge, especially during a crisis, so it is good to make more efforts to improve feedback.

Prioritize the needs of your employees

According to the survey, less than 23% of employees have felt support from their employers since the beginning of the pandemic. This is especially true for managers, where this share is 19%. Asked what would make them feel more secure and better appreciate their company’s support during a pandemic, the three most common responses from workers were: a better work-life balance, more recognition for their work, and more care for their health.

Teleworking seems to be the standard method of work for many companies in 2021, which means it’s time for leaders to re-evaluate their approach to corporate culture and the way they support their employees.