Recruiting & Retaining for Post-Pandemic Success

2020 was and still is full of challenges and transitions. Akash Maharaj, Head of Strategic Resourcing at Flint, gives an insight into a challenging time for recruitment and retainment of talent.

The writer John A. Simone, Sr said, “If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.”

Just when we finally gained some clarity on the UK’s relationship with the EU, following the 2019 general election, and just when we thought things might travel a straighter path, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and all bets were off.  Recruitment plans were thrown to the wind and many of us found ourselves unable to avoid what Nassim Taleb in his book The Black Swan, calls ‘The Turkey Problem’.

“Consider a turkey that is fed every day, every single feeding will firm up the bird’s belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race ‘looking out for its best interests,’ as a politician would say. On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.”

That revision of belief for many companies is still reverberating in the form of tighter budgets, and a focus on cash flow throughout the value chain. The good news is that with the vaccines coming closer and a more settled remote workforce, the worst may just be behind us and recruitment is no longer on the back burner, if anything it is starting to become a key focus again as companies prepare to get ahead of the curve by taking advantage of the silver lining and execute their plans for 2021.

The challenge facing hiring managers is that the old recruiting maps do not seem to work anymore. The talent terrain has changed, and once-reliable recruitment practices are no longer fit for purpose bringing, fresh onboarding challenges, scarcity of in-demand skills, and a need for innovative advertising.

Put simply, the labour market has been re-configured and a new war on talent being waged. Here at Flint we have been busy working with our customers helping develop and build a robust recruitment strategy to prepare for post-pandemic success. From crafting relevant role descriptions, consolidating suppliers, and advising on IR35 solutions, no one size fits all, and our approach is tailored to ensure readiness for the new year.

Here are 3 ideas to help you attract the right talent:

  • Focus on Automation and Soft skills – Automation can save cost and bring efficiency but will not generate ingenuity, creativity, or practices that build the real value needed in the marketplace.
  • Create a strong and distinctive employee value proposition – Be mission-critical in articulating your company story, mission & values.
  • Develop a People Analytics Program – Measure employee experience, identify skill gaps, and Re-think employee well-being benefits.

Attracting the right talent of course is just half the game. Retaining talent is what really matters. In the New York Times bestselling book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, author Daniel Pink, suggests that most theories about motivation are outdated and suggests a model that can help companies motivate employees by making available autonomy, purpose, and mastery in the roles performed.

  • Autonomy – Beat traditional management by allowing employees autonomy. People perform better when they have a sense of autonomy. Freedom over tasks, technique, and time can empower individuals and teams to feel more in control, foster innovation, and lead to positive effects on well-being and job satisfaction.
  • Purpose – Have a purpose and vision for the overall company. This provides employees with a deeper calling to act and a stronger commitment to making an impact. A clear connection between what they highly value and what they spend time doing can make the difference in your organisation.
  • Mastery – Employees enjoy a sense of progress at work which contributes to their inner drive, deliberate practices, and regular feedback can leave employees with a sense of growth and achievement in their roles.

Finally, companies are made up of people and so every business strategy should start with a people strategy.

If you are interested in how we have been and are tackling the challenges of recruitment for post-pandemic success as well as how we are helping our clients to succeed, please contact us at [email protected].


1 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. (2007). The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Random House.
2 Pink, Daniel H. (2009). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Riverhead Books.

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