Once upon a time, hiring managers preferred to hire the more experienced candidate over the well-educated. These days they are being forced to take education in lieu of experience, leaving a workforce heavy on theory and light on practice. The fact is, the steeper learning curve, the shorter it is, with less time to get inexperienced team members on board and up to speed. Making the situation even more complex is the lack of middle management in many organizations. In this article, we will take a look at the demographic reality of today’s workforce, and discuss strategies for hiring, managing, and training those with little experience.
Demographic Reality of the Modern Workforce
- The majority of today’s workers are either over 50 years of age, or under 30.
- The mid-90s through early 2000s witnessed a sharp decline in middle-management, due to corporate restructuring.
- Most companies admit they have not sufficiently addressed the gap in management.
- Today’s over-burdened middle-managers are suffering from burnout which leads to higher than average numbers of alcoholism, depression and other mental health issues.
5 Common Scenarios and Strategies to Consider
- You aren’t sure how to hire for your future needs. Perform talent projection including succession planning and replacement planning so that you know where your deficits lie and where they are likely to widen in the near to distant future.
- You have a multigenerational workforce that is not performing as a cohesive team. Managing and leading a multigenerational team takes patience and understanding. However, if you can help your team overcome the personality clashes that are inherent, you may discover some great mentorship opportunities. When the outgoing staff is motivated to properly to take newcomers under their wing, training takes care of itself.
- You don’t know how to engage your new millennial workforce. Let’s face it, this generation is different. They are not only very well-educated, but they also have ideals and values that set them apart. We have discussed previously, how best to attract, engage, motivate, and keep millennials by responding their deep need for purpose and place within your organization.
- You need to have your new hires up to speed faster, but you don’t have the HR support that you need. Consider outsourcing part of your human resources operations. This simple step can eliminate much of the admin work that weighs down your already over-worked middle management staff. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) can help in a wide variety of areas, from sourcing and pre-screening candidates to complete on-boarding and even initial training.
- Focus on hiring for the mid-term instead of the long-term. This may seem counterintuitive. Of course, you’re told to target enthusiastic go-getters who will disrupt and innovate your organization. However, with a lack of leadership and experience, that may not be the best strategy.
Making smart hiring decisions is critical for the success of today’s enterprise. Certainly, more experienced candidates are harder to come by. But it may be worth the time, effort, and money to go after them with the same zeal as you target gen-Xers After all, the cost of a bad hire can total many thousands in lost productivity and wages, not to mention the toll it takes on morale and your company’s reputation.