Tag Archives: Glassdoor

4 Tips to Build a Talented Bench

Winning teams — in sports, business and all areas of life — have deep benches.

Even if your company is fully staffed, taking your eye off the ball when it comes to recruiting is a sign of complacency, the kryptonite of success.

What if one of your stars decides to take another job? What if one of your top executives experiences an unexpected health crisis or family tragedy and decides to leave the company? Did you know that two-thirds of those reported to be misusing painkillers in the U.S. are currently employed and are thus susceptible to declining performance or medical leave?

More than ever before, companies must be ready to replace employees at a moment’s notice. The time it takes for you to fill a vacant position has increased. Glassdoor reports that, since 2009, interview processes have grown from 3.3 to 3.7 days, and data from DHI Hiring Indicators shows that the average job opening remained unfilled for 28.1 days on average in 2016, an increase from 19.3 days in 2001-03.

That is why it is critical for companies to build what is called a deep virtual bench. The world’s most innovative human resource leaders are vigilantly focused on recruiting 365 days a year.

See also: Is Talent the Best Defense?  

Having helped world-class companies recruit B2B sales executives for decades, I can offer four ways to build a strong virtual bench:

  1. Aggressively Target Passive Job Seekers: LinkedIn reports that 70% of the worldwide workforce is composed of passive candidates who aren’t pursuing new employment opportunities but may be open to listening. Passive recruiting is important because most high-performers are already gainfully employed. To effectively recruit passive B2B sales job seekers, you must have a great reputation within the industry; have a seamless and optimized application process (companies such as Netflix and Facebook allow you to apply with one click of the mouse); and consider using an outside recruiting company to maintain a safe distance and avoid being accused of poaching.
  2. Leverage Cutting-Edge Technology: Since implementing artificial intelligence into their recruiting process, Unilever saw the average time to hire an entry-level candidate reduced from four months to four weeks. Instead of visiting colleges, collecting resumes and arranging interviews, the company made the jobs known via social media and then partnered with an A.I. company to screen the applicants. This took place in 68 counties in 15 languages with 250,000 applicants from July 2016 to June 2017. Recruiters’ time spent reviewing applications decreased by 75%. LinkedIn also just recently announced TalentInsights, a new big data analytics product that enables HR leaders to delve more deeply into data for hiring. This helps employers identify which schools are graduating the most data scientists, engineers or history majors; helps analyze your recruitment patterns versus those of your competition; and provides information about growth of skills in certain areas of the country.
  3. Become an Employer of Choice: Glassdoor reported that 84% of employees would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent corporate reputation. Great candidates, millennials especially, value a commitment to employee wellness, sustainability and initiatives that cater to gender and diversity equality. Having a strong culture, values and clear company mission are critical to building a strong talent pipeline. Top companies such as Bain & Co., Google and Facebook offers perks such as free meals, onsite gyms, massages, free laundry services and generous parental leave. Given that Americans currently carry a record $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, student loan repayment assistance has become one of the hottest new benefits being offered by companies such as Fidelity and Aetna. The size of your company will dictate how many perks you can offer, but adoption of policies that are thoughtful toward employees will turn them into your biggest brand ambassadors. In addition to generating that organic positive publicity, submit applications for the “Best Places to Work” lists offered by most publications. These are now offered by most national publications as well as local business journals.
  4. Appeal to Diverse Candidates: To build a strong virtual bench, you must widen your search and appeal to candidates from different backgrounds. A PwC study found that 71% of survey respondents who implemented diversity practices reported that the programs were having a positive impact on the companies’ recruiting efforts. The previously mentioned Unilever case study resulted in their most diverse entry level class to date, including more nonwhite applicants and universities represented increasing to 2,600 from 840. To build your virtual bench, consider implementing diversity-friendly policies such as floating holidays. These allow people to take off for Good Friday, Yom Kippur or Ramadan or for a yoga retreat, if that is their preference.

See also: Secret to Finding Top Technology Talent  

Building your virtual bench 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year will help position your company for success, including increased profitability and improved company reputation.

Atlanta: The Ripening Silicon Peach

When evaluating the beginnings of established tech markets in the U.S., there are several similarities about their regional characteristics that can serve as indicators for their tech trajectory. Consider Palo Alto, New York and Seattle, also known as the centers of Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley and Silicon Forest, respectively. Each has unique advantages with its geographies, easy access to Millennial tech talent, attractive quality-of-life benefits and specialized technology roots.

The same pattern is beginning to emerge in Atlanta. Atlanta’s combination of low cost of doing business, educational institutions and growing population of Fortune 1,000 companies is making it one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the country. This year, Atlanta was ranked among the top 10 tech talent markets with a 21% growth in tech jobs since 2010, according to the latest CBRE report.

One driver in Atlanta’s recent economic and tech growth is the infiltration of insurance. The insurance industry is undergoing a tech transformation of its own, and of late several of the industry’s leading insurance companies have set up shop in the region.

Let’s take a look at how we got here.

Tech Market Drivers

In addition to a prominent business ecosystem – Georgia is home to 20 Fortune 500 headquarters and 33 Fortune 1,000 companies – Atlanta’s tech surge is largely fueled by its world-class universities, which emphasize technology specialization and diversity, and its reputation as an attractive work-life destination.

Like Silicon Valley’s beginnings with tech recruits from local Stanford University, Atlanta’s midtown is walking distance from two respected universities, Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State. Georgia Tech is currently ranked seventh in the nation among public universities, and its college of engineering is consistently ranked in the nation’s top five. Georgia State is ranked fifth in the nation for its risk management and insurance program. The vast pool of graduate talent each year is a huge attraction for start-ups and Fortune 1,000 companies alike.

Atlanta’s universities are also known for their emphasis on diversity. Georgia Tech is consistently rated among the top universities with high graduation rates of underrepresented minorities in engineering, computer science and mathematics. This has transcended the universities into the region’s broader tech community — Atlanta is ranked as one of the top five states for women-owned businesses, with a 132% growth rate from 1997 to 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

As far as work-life attractiveness, Atlanta has been named the “top city people are moving to” by Penske for the last five years, because of the range of job opportunities, low cost of living and appealingly warm weather. Similarly, according to the job website Glassdoor, Atlanta was named one of the top 10 cities for someone to be a software engineer.

Insurance Intersect

The insurance industry is one of the key drivers of economic growth in the country — and it is establishing major roots in the Atlanta region. Just in the last few years, Atlanta has seen a number of insurance companies relocate their head offices to the south. Recently, State Farm announced the addition of 3,000 jobs over the next 10 years, and MetLife just announced a significant investment in Midtown, choosing this area for its proximity to rapid transport and the international airport. Where Atlanta is situated, travelers can reach 90% of the U.S. in fewer than three hours.

Insurance growth in the region is also likely linked to the density and size of insurance claims on the East Coast, with the largest insurance providers located along the corridor from Boston down to Miami. The 10 most costly hurricanes in the U.S. history have hit the East Coast, and four have greatly affected Georgia.

2015 and Beyond

Looking ahead, I expect the majority of insurance companies to increase their visibility in Atlanta, as they’ll find a wider pool of insurance experts and other advantages that cater to the industry’s growth. Similar to the tech hubs ahead of it, Atlanta will continue taking advantage of its geography, access to talent and cultural ideals to not only build its tech community but to also push the insurance industry forward. The U.S. will soon have another major tech hub to be proud of.