Redefining, Supersizing, and Reimagining Roles to Adapt to a New Reality.
Not long ago, when I spoke with CEOs or HR executives, our discussions were centered around the “Great Resignation” and how to ensure an agile response to the ballooning number of opportunities created by departing employees. But increasingly, the executives with whom I work are discussing a paradigm shift that is impacting their approach to recruitment. They describe this as “The Great Restructuring.”
There’s nothing surprising about the need for companies to strategically rethink their workplaces and how they do business. Some of this pivoting has resulted in more outsourcing, as organizations struggle to hire full-time workers for their teams. But lately, I’m seeing organizations redefine, supersize, or redistribute responsibilities in response to the simple fact that there are more jobs available than candidates to fill them.
I encourage my clients to engage in creative problem solving, to be open to revisiting and reimagining how responsibilities are allocated and how best to define titles and allocate work. But it’s critical to engage in a holistic view to ensure that your solutions do not overburden your existing talent, prompting them to go elsewhere and leaving another spot to be filled.
Let me share a few examples, the first from one of our manufacturing clients. When their Director of Marketing left, they struggled to find a candidate with the right mix of skills and knowledge to qualify for this senior role. Finally, they decided not to hire a new Director of Marketing; instead, they are going to redistribute the responsibilities and workload.
Too many companies are facing similar struggles. Since they can’t find skilled people to hire, they are collapsing two positions into one. The result? With 1.5 jobs for every candidate, many existing employees are expected to fill 1.5 roles, creating an overstressed and overburdened workforce.
Instead of supersizing, some of our clients are using this Great Restructuring as a motivator to reallocate critical functions into newly created positions. Two universities with whom we work decided to combine key roles in compensation and recruitment following the departure of senior leadership in their talent acquisition department. Their solution was to merge compensation and recruitment direction, with the recruitment team reporting to the compensation leader. Since compensation collaborates with talent acquisition, this is an understandable solution, one that eliminates the need to hire a Talent Acquisition Director. It’s also a unique model, which has sparked interest from several qualified candidates. The functions are quite different, so I’m watching with interest to see if this new model proves successful.
Another client of ours, this one a nonprofit, needed to fill a vacancy left by the departure of their CFO. The role required candidates who were highly skilled in HR, IT, and quality control. Ultimately, they decided to separate out the responsibilities, resulting in a newly created position they are calling VP of Administration.
I appreciate my clients’ ability to think strategically and flexibly about how to respond to the current challenge of filling roles. The best approach, of course, is to be proactive rather than reactive. We are working with a manufacturing client who has chosen to recruit and source immediate and anticipated future needs. That means hiring now, even if there isn’t a current opportunity to fill. Their thinking: “We don’t know what things will look like in three months, so let’s recruit now rather than waiting.”
It’s a smart response to the present uncertainty. The Great Resignation means that talented and skilled individuals are looking for the right opportunity. The Great Restructuring may position you to respond.