Managing the “Overqualified” January 1st, 2011
During the recession, many employers were able to afford top talent at a discounted price. Because the demand for jobs was so competitive, even for the best employees, many “overqualified” candidates landed jobs that were way below their talent-level. Grabbing this top talent may have been a positive move for employers at the time, but now that the economy is slowly creeping back its normal state, the overqualified employees are becoming more and more frustrated and bored. Many employees are beginning to search for jobs again, which will put the employers who hired this cheap talent in an immediate bind.
The percentage of employees who voluntarily quit their jobs in September was 1.6%, up from 1.3% in September of last year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This shows that the majority of employees want to get back to their previous salaries, as they are not making enough in the job they settled with. Not only are these “overqualified” employees looking for different opportunities, but the jobless are also becoming pickier for where they apply. For the last year or two, the main focus has been finding any job, but now people are holding out and waiting for one that is a better fit.
Google’s move to keep the best The Silicon Valley is one of the most competitive and prosperous regions to work in throughout the nation. One of its’ most successful companies, Google Inc., is doing everything it can to keep its top talent, especially from competitors like their neighbor Facebook Inc., by giving its “23,000 employees a 10% raise-as roughly 10% of Facebook’s employees are Google veterans.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Google Inc. is also “moving a portion of employees’ bonuses into their salaries, so they would receive some of it in every paycheck.” Google’s need to attract and bring out the best in their employees is imperative in keeping a handle on who walks both in and out of their front doors.
This is not the first time Google has worked hard in order to keep their employees happy. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, “In 2009, Google re-priced millions of employee stock options whose value had been wiped out as Google’s share price fell between 2007 and 2009. The stock has since recovered.” This is an extremely tactical way to manage employees. Google is smart in providing raises to entice their employees while also veering their top employees away from competitors, even within the Silicon Valley.
Other avenues for retaining the top talent The first step for managers and companies in keeping their best employees is to realize how much more difficult everything may be without them. It is crucial that employers know who their top talent actually is, while also keeping their employees happy. Not all companies may be able to give their employees a 10% raise, but they can come up with more unusual methods like childcare, flexible working schedules, and telecommuting, just to name a few. Even listening to their top talents’ needs can be a huge help in coming up with various solutions with each individual circumstance. Companies will quickly realize that losing their key employees will cost them more than a raise or even extra benefits.
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