How to Win the War for Monitoring and Evaluation Talent in Today’s Labor Market

Introduction  #

In today’s rapidly changing work environment, the competition for recruiting and retaining M&E top talent has never been tougher. We work with mid-market companies across the monitoring and evaluation industries, and the number one challenge we consistently hear holding companies back today is staffing. 

To win the war on talent, you need to understand that winning the talent war goes beyond talent acquisition, hiring practices, and employee retention. Monitoring and evaluation professionals need to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage by curating top-notch resumes.

Read Also: Monitoring And Evaluation Specialist Resume

Here are some of the ways to compete in a tight labor market:

Ways to Win the Talent War #

#1. Recognize that monitoring and evaluation professionals at various levels in the company are attracted to different benefits, so customize your strategies to match your needs. Frontline workers, mid-level employees (including managers and subject matter experts), and C-level executives are motivated by different things. The best leaders are winning the competition for talent to win the talent war. Be clear about the monitoring and evaluation levels you’re recruiting for, know your audience, and customize your approach to attract talent, and retain talent for the long term. 

#2. Pay is important to job seekers in the monitoring and evaluation market- you must be competitive – but people have reevaluated their priorities this past year and seem willing to trade the highest salary for a position that offers them a well-rounded package. Company culture, employee well-being, flexible working options, connection to a greater purpose, and opportunities for career growth are particularly important in today’s market.  Talent acquisition requires a 360-degree view of all of the benefits to the job seeker – pay, culture, benefits, the opportunity for advancement, personal growth, and more are important to team members.

#3. Networking is still the best way to find a job and the best way for M&E specialists. Start with communities of people who have a connection to you and know something about your company and your business. Many companies are successfully recruiting retirees and former employees back into the office with flexible work options that didn’t exist when they worked there before. It’s important to recognize that people are changing jobs more frequently today than in the past, and the experience they have as they exit your company could be the beginning of a whole new recruitment cycle.

#4. Flexibility is key. We’ve all been forced to experiment with non-standard work situations over the past year that we would never have voluntarily implemented. But what we’ve learned during this time is that there are many benefits to these flexible and hybrid work arrangements, and the talent market is demanding that we keep an open mind and consider new and creative work solutions going forward. Consider hiring part-time workers to increase flexibility and variable cost, contract workers to bring in specific skills, and “work from anywhere” strategies to remove geographical boundaries to recruiting.

#5. The “Gig Economy” is thriving. As people are redesigning their lives, many are choosing not to go back to the full-time grind of working for just one company. They’re incredibly happy moving from one project to the next, working with multiple companies, and choosing what to say yes to and what to say no to. A contingent workforce also offers many benefits for the employer for the right roles, including fast access to a wide and deep pool of talent, increased flexibility, and decreased cost overall.  To win the talent war, you must look everywhere to get the talent you need.

#6. Employee engagement is critical. Many are asking how to engage a remote workforce, and the answer is to not differentiate in-office from remote when it comes to engagement. Your efforts should be holistic and consistent, no matter where your employees are located. Age-old answers like continuous feedback, recognition, and opportunities to learn and grow still hold true. Technology makes it possible to do these things no matter where your workers are located. Get creative and don’t use physical distance as an excuse.

#7. Succession Planning has always been important but is usually considered more as a way to minimize a company’s threat or weakness. Today you can use succession planning as a great retention and recruiting tool. It creates future opportunities, drives engagement, provides a path for individual development, and preserves the culture by developing and promoting from within where possible.

#8. Social media marketing is your friend. When you have an open position, don’t just think about posting a standard job description on standard job boards. Think of it as a marketing and PR exercise. Tell the story of the company, the culture, the purpose, and the opportunities. Why would someone choose to work for you over all the other companies hiring right now? And remember that your current workforce is your biggest network of recruiters. Encourage employees to post and share job openings, and incentivize them to bring friends and family to you.

Related: Monitoring and Evaluation Job Description Checklist

Key Takeaways #

Whether we like it or not, the nature of work in the monitoring and evaluation industry has changed, and the “future of work” is here! The companies who will thrive in the next few years will learn to embrace that change and will figure out how to make it work for them. Pay attention to what your employees and prospects are telling you with an open mind and a creative spirit, and you’ll do well.

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