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There Is A War Coming, Is Your Business Prepared?

The Numbers: According to the US Dept. of Labor, “In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.”

This spike is obviously a result of the COVID-19 virus and its devastating impacts on the US economy and businesses alike.

Sadly, top healthcare officials are predicting a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and resulting deaths, however, with increased mitigation efforts, ongoing therapy development and eventual vaccines, life will return to ‘normal’ in the not too distant future.

New Normal?

What that new ‘normal’ will look like, remains to be seen and is anyone’s guess.

What I do know is this, businesses will begin to re-open and over 3 million people, and counting, will be turning off Netflix and looking for work.  This will create a ‘war’ for talent the likes our country has never seen before, much like this pandemic.

As business-owners have been forced to innovate to stay alive and create new ways to keep their businesses afloat, what has your talent acquisition teams and Human Resources depts. done to prepare for the onslaught of jobseekers?

Every business will be looking for talent to fill the void that was left by this horrible scourge.  Some employees will, no doubt, return to their previous positions. Others will feel betrayed by their previous employers.  Others will feel a need for a change or a fresh start. Others, loyalty is not in their vocabulary.

Regardless of why or how, it is my belief that candidates will have more choices than ever.  As an employer, will you be ready to roll out the red carpet and do whatever is necessary to attract your greatest asset?

Bold Prediction

My prediction is this:  Businesses will be forced to wage a war for top talent to fill critical openings.  You thought you have a talent shortage before?

This will create opportunities for job candidates, options and benefits that this country is not used to seeing and have never seen before.  This will rightfully and finally, in my opinion, place the leverage where it belongs, the one possessing the talent – the candidate.

Competition for top talent will be fierce.  Gone are the days that the business controls every scenario.  This was already taking place prior to the outbreak with record unemployment.  When heading in the opposite direction and extreme, I fully expect the same to be true.

The economy will come roaring back.  This will not be your Great Grandparents’ Depression.  Business will need to hire, and hire top talent to keep up with the economy.

Those who have held tightly to the belief that all employees must work from inside the same 4 walls, will be forced to let go of that micro-managed belief.  Those who can’t or won’t, will be left behind.

Remote work will become a standard ‘perk’, if not standard altogether.

Two weeks of vacation – not on my watch!  Anything less than 4 right out of the gate is a deal-breaker.

Flexible and family-centric perks will need to be front and center to not only attract top talent, but to retain it.  Never forget this all important, yet simple equation:

Employee Satisfaction = Increased Productivity = Happy Clients = Increased Revenue

It’s a win-win, if you are willing to open your eyes to the obvious.


The sooner your business realizes it, the sooner your business can begin revising and updating your talent acquisition strategies, so your business is not left behind and begin attracting the talent you so desperately want and need in order to rebuild!

How you say?  I’m so glad you asked!

Focus On Your Front Lines – Traditionally, companies have placed their youngest, most inexperienced employees on their front lines in the role of recruiter.

This can no longer be a luxury you can afford.  To bring in the best talent, you need to be able to recognize it.  That only comes with qualified experience. ‘Takes one to know one’!

Focus On the Job Description – Be realistic.  Requiring a PhD to manage a sales team or an MBA to work in the mailroom is nonsense, which leads me to this…Cut & Paste JD’s can no longer be an acceptable practice.  Lazily copying old versions of JD’s and pasting them into a new one with irrelevant and ridiculous requirements will only serve to discourage qualified and talented applicants.  It will also bring you candidates you don’t want and drag out the process and bust your budget.

More importantly, your ATS will kick out some of the best candidates out there!

Focus On What Matters Most – Education and experience are great, but if you don’t have the personality, integrity, people skills…in other words the all-important, EQ, in my opinion, it’s worthless.

Good and talented people want to follow good and talented people.

When you place an emphasis on the human being and hire character, you’ve already won the war.  Seems simple, but when you do that, talent seeks out your business, not the other way around.

Tough Road

These are unprecedented times, both personally and professionally for most of us.  Businesses have suffered greatly, some never to re-open their doors again. My heart aches for the business owners who have poured their lives into what is now, a memory.

If you are one of the lucky ones to have the opportunity to still be living the dream of business ownership or are in a position to rebuild a business through the responsibility of talent acquisition, please don’t take it lightly.  You have an enormous opportunity before you to make a positive impact on millions of good, hard-working people and their families.

Never forget, there is an actual human being on the other end of that piece of paper.  People deserve more than artificial intelligence and 6 seconds of your time.

Someone that has likely been to hell and working their way back.  They deserve the dignity and respect you can give them through meaningful employment, benefits, flexibility and ‘perks’ so many have been denied for too long.  Someone who is ready to give everything, if your business is ready to give some.

There is a talent war coming.  Will you ready?

Written by Ryan Waters. Have you read?

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Ryan Waters
Ryan Waters is a business management consultant at Seen It All Consulting. Ryan specialises in topics including business transformation, executive leadership, change management, talent and performance management. Ryan Waters is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.