What Talent Acquisition and Illinois Politics Have in Common

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This week, Illinois swore its 43rd governor into office.  Politics in our hometown of Chicago, as well as in our state overall, is always a hot topic for a wide variety of reasons, but last week focused on a particularly interesting news story.  The new governor is going to supplement key staff’s salaries with his own money. 

While there’s a slew of debate around the decision, that’s not what I want to discuss.  What I think is interesting is the motive behind it, which is one with which many of our clients and others in our industry would empathize.  Unemployment is at a multidecade low.  Illinois has a long list of priorities, and our new governor wants to attract and retain top talent to succeed.  It’s what we advise on every day for our clients.  Why should the government be any different?

In this job market landscape, companies, organizations and, in this case, governments, must be competitive, and they need to do so via whatever means possible.  Our new governor clearly has the financial means to help in this scenario, which is unique.  Below are a few ways organizations can prioritize employee satisfaction.

Office Perks: from examining the office space to stocking the fridge with gratis carbonated goodness or fresh fruit, ensuring the work environment is comfortable and inviting goes a long way.

Recognition: Rarely do we see organizations do this enough – from formal recognition with rewards or even being highlighted on social media pages, it’s important to congratulate for a job well done.  Colleagues also like to celebrate peers so it might lead to some nice employee ambassadorship content.

Don’t be “Meh”: One of my uncle’s famous lines is “The key to recruitment is retention.” And the million dollar question is always how do we retain?  Of course, compensation is a factor, and of course, management plays a big role. However, often employees just aren’t liking the work anymore – they’re not feeling challenged or fully utilized.  It’s just “meh,” and they’ve found something more exciting. They’re no longer passionate about the work. It’s important to listen to that feedback and address it. How can we tailor a role around an individual and his or her talents vs. the molding a person to fit into a job description?  

Regardless of political affiliation, I think anyone in the talent acquisition space feels our new governor’s pain.  In order to excel, you want to trust that the team around you will work hard, be committed and be in it for the foreseeable future.

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Amanda Shaker

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