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…So Tim Sackett has a great new post up on his website here wherein he highlights that – due to an improving economy and the exit of boomers from the workforce – filling vacant positions is becoming exceedingly difficult for companies the world over. Employers today are grappling with the reality that great talent has plenty of opportunities to choose from when considering their next step… making differentiation more critical than ever for companies looking to fill their growing numbers of operationally important vacancies.

…With that said, the reason I’m sharing today’s post is because two things from it jump out at me:

Wage Growth: CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson spoke at SHRM on Tuesday and had some great data showing that organizations see wage growth of around 5% in 2015, and similar in years to come. Are you budgeting 5% increases? I’m guessing not!

and:

Job Design Challenges: Too many of us are working and designing jobs like we are living in a society that was pre-internet, pre-ultra connected. We still think we need employees sitting in front of us from 8-5pm, Monday thru Friday. If they aren’t sitting in front of us, they must not be working! Indeed shared that 80% of job searches on their site include this single word: “Remote”! Are you adjusting those jobs that can be flexible?

^This is powerful stuff because it speaks to two critical things that companies are going to need to do over the next few years:

1. Evolve the existing merit review cycle to compensate top internal talent at a level consistent with what they can find externally (as opposed to spreading increases more or less evenly across the entire workforce).

2. Create flexible work arrangements that accommodate the lifestyles of millennials, dual income parents, and other prospective employee populations that are increasingly seeking roles that allow them to grow in their careers while also accommodating their personal lives.

^Concerning challenge number 1, as previously noted organizations have got to start thinking about compensation differently. Far too often, high performing employees that spend much of their career with one organization end up badly under market because internal comp structures don’t allow their pay to keep up with what they could make on the external market. So then those employees eventually end up getting outside offers that force their organizations to either (i) counter-off, damaging the employee/employer relationship, or (ii) let the employee walk and expend thousands of dollars and untold amounts of time in recruitment and training to bring in a new hire (at the market rate they should have been paying the incumbent to begin with) and get then up to speed. Merit budgets are *not* 5% at median right now in most companies… which makes the fact that this is the going rate for a move in an employee’s market troubling for organizations intent on retaining most of their workforces.

…And as it concerns bullet number 2, leadership at the top of organization’s need to understand the expectations of today’s workforce. As millennials become make up a larger and larger slice of the total workforce – and particularly as they become first time parents – being able to support flexible (and in many cases remote) work arrangements is going to become a table stakes expectation for competing for talent even at the center. Not every job can be done remotely… but for companies looking to compete in coming years they will need to make the option available in cases where such an arrangement is feasible.

…Or maybe I’m wrong. This is just a Monday afternoon thought stream. Let me 1. This 4:20 PM CST post is doable because I am on vacation today.know what I’ve got wrong in the comments section below. 1

Best,

Rory

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