Key Take Aways from SHRM Talent 2023

By: Amanda Kochirka

  1. Monday Keynote – Building Healthy Relationships Through Conflict – Amy Gallo:
    1. Before a conversation with a person you’re having a conflict with:
      1. Understand the other person – put yourself in their shoes and be generous in your interpretation of why they’re behaving in a certain way
      2. Know/acknowledge/agree upon what you’re disagreeing about – relationship, task, process, status (or some combination of those 4)
      3. Determine the goal of the conversation
      4. Decide how to proceed
    2. Principles to guide you in improving the relationship:
      1. Focus on what you can control – YOURSELF
      2. Your perspective is just one perspective
      3. Be aware of your biases (affinity, confirmation)
      4. Experiment to find what works (scientist mindset)
      5. Avoid making it me vs. them
  2. Tuesday Keynote – Power of Authenticity – Kudzi Chikumbu:
    1. Establish proof points for culture (stemming from values)
    2. Your employees are your creators – can speak to your proof points
    3. Creators need:
      1. To be open/authentic
      2. Enabled with tools to succeed
      3. Data/feedback on what they create
    4. Logical Safety – Giving people permission/space to share their feelings- that’s how trust is built and authenticity encouaged
    5. Creators entertain, inspire, and inform – good creators do 2, great creators do all 3
  3. No One Wants To Work Anymore
    1. Always the thought of “they don’t work like me”
      1. Every generation has thought this about a younger generation- it’s the same conversation each time
      2. Every generation has faced significant transformative events at crucial points in their development as humans-
        1. Greatest – WW1, Great Depression
        2. Boomers – Significant industrial growth, population boom
        3. Gen X- Early 80’s recession
        4. Millennials – Sept. 11, great recession/housing market collapse
        5. Gen Z- global pandemic
      3. Remember that priorities change based on where they are in life AND their experiences:
        1. Boomers – phased retirement, part time opportunities, longer term continued health benefits (it may not be financially feasible to live without working – or they need the benefits)
        2. Gen X – independence, control, not being micromanaged, flexible work to care for family (after having drastic priority shifts during the pandemic – many – especially women had to leave the workforce to care for aging parents/children because care wasn’t available from third parties)
        3. Millennials – job stability, education and career support (came into the job market during a massive financial crisis when many of them struggled to find work – because the rest of the country was also looking)
        4. Gen Z – financial security, mental health support (uncertainty and burnout they witnessed during pandemic)
      4. Aging workforce
        1. Greater number of people being removed from the workforce – we’re not the oldest in the nation and our population isn’t aging as fast as other countries, but it’s happening
      5. Shrinking workforce
        1. There’s always a reason why a population shrinks or grows that’s tied to the economy – think about personal situations of candidates/employees and how that impacts their decision making
        2. Boomers are retiring, we’re not replacing the population, less immigrants (political and COVID)
      6. COVID – the world was asked to stop
        1. Deaths – Over 1.2 million in US, nearly 7 million worldwide
        2. We’re looking for a population of workers but there’s not a workforce in the sense that we’re used to – we have to CHANGE what we’re looking for
      7. Post – COVID Reset – played a clip from Office Space (Peter talking to Jennifer Anniston’s character) – I don’t like my job and I don’t think I’m going to go anymore
        1. People have reasons for leaving or not pursuing a job – we may not agree, but just because their reason isn’t valid to you doesn’t mean is isn’t a valid point
        2. It’s not that people don’t want to work, they just don’t want to work for you – your priorities may not align with their priorities for what they want out of work
      8. Flexible work
        1. Not just remote
        2. How are we allowing people to spend time in other areas of the company – explore other things they might be interested in doing
        3. They could watch Netflix or YouTube all day at work if they wanted, they don’t have to be at home to do that – you’re blatantly saying you don’t trust them – who wants to work for someone who doesn’t trust them?
        4. Trying to get back to where you were is not going to get you where you need to be – using old tactics in new context and for new priorities is not going to work.
      9. Adjusting where you look – military transition (spouses and dependents too), people who took a step back from work for family/personal reasons, 2nd chance programs, filling gaps with gig/freelance workers (they also bring fresh perspective to your organization having worked wit lots of other companies/industries)
  4. Recruitment Hot Topics
    1. Embrace new recruitment technologies (text interview scheduling, QR application codes)
    2. Take steps to attract new generation – (focus on values, work/life balance, have answers and proof of initiatives re: DEI)
    3. Tell a compelling story – employer brand – help them see themselves working here
    4. Reconsider your approach to comp – look at the bigger picture beyond comp – what are the other benefits (mentorship programs, open book management, financial literacy training, student loan repayment, 529 savings, career pathing, professional development)
    5. Provide greater support to hiring managers – central repository for hiring managers to get relevant company info to share w/ candidates, informal lunch and learn to help HMs understand what recruiters are seeing/what’s the candidate mindset right now? Cultural competence training
    6. Reevaluate educational requirements – focus on values, character, skills, coach-ability versus college degrees
    7. Give new hires freedom to make decisions – 1% of annual sales to “guest appreciations”
    8. Seek partnerships to enhance recruitment of underrepresented pops
    9. Tap into untapped talent networks – 2nd change, re-entry to work, military (and spouses, dependents), people with disabilities
    10. Demonstrate commitment to internal mobility
    11. Maximize employee referrals
    12. Target boomerang employees
  5. Job Promotion For TA
    1. Hired or dead forever – contacting candidates in your database for updated resumes, with opportunity emails – once per month? Once every other week?
  6. Power of Stay Interviews
    1. Exit interviews aren’t autopsies they’re toe tags
    2. How we’ve lost workforce:
      1. Historic (not pandemic related)
        1. Declining birthrate (since the ‘70s)
        2. Immigration decline (political policies)
        3. Average duration of workforce in one role is shorter – less than 3 years
      2. COVID-induced:
        1. Early retirements
        2. Parents (especially women) quit and didn’t return
        3. COVID deaths (over 1.1 million in US, over 6.9 million worldwide)
        4. COVID-driven entrepreneurs – dramatic increase in business license applications
        5. Less HV1 VISA applications (political climate and pandemic) – Canada saw an opportunity and ran a campaign
    3. Retention happens at the dinner table – as a manager, you’re on the menu every night and you can control what they say through the experiences you give, but you’re on the menu every night. The 2 hours immediately after work are the most crucial related to turnover – mind and body are tired, and events of the day are rolling in your head
      1. When your employee’s spouse asks how their day was they aren’t saying, “fine, but I wish we had pet insurance” – they talk about their boss, their colleagues, and the work they did
    4. 5 question foundation (properly trained interviewers turn 5 into 25)
      1. When you come to work each day, what things do you look forward to?
      2. What are you learning here?
      3. Why do you stay here?
      4. When was the last time you thought about leaving? What prompted it?
      5. What can I do to make your experience at work better?