DRC Talent Attraction Talk: Hiring Managers Need to Be More Flexible on What’s Required

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

The Dallas Region continues to experience rapid job growth, and businesses are working constantly to keep up with the demand for talent. Since 2010, 222 companies have moved to the Dallas Region, creating more than one million jobs. The Dallas Region is also No. 1 in the nation in three-year job gains, with employment numbers exceeding the pre-pandemic levels.

With so many new jobs in the area, talent in the Dallas Region has its choice on where to work. So how are companies making themselves stand out? That was the topic of conversation at the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Talent Attraction Talk, presented by BGSF, on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Furniture Marketing Group.

BGSF Senior Vice President of Strategic Customers Stuart Sides moderated a panel featuring GEICO Human Resources Director Tish Brown, Furniture Marketing Group Director of Workplace Strategy Jim Rainbolt-Bailey, and Jenell Rayford, Talent Acquisition Manager at Southwest Airlines. Topics ranged from workplace arrangements to career development and pathways for talent.

Three discussion takeaways:

Is the Great Resignation over?

Not yet, it is all dependent on the employee. With all the new jobs in the region, employees know they have the power to choose the job that is right for them both short and long term. Therefore, it is important for employers to be flexible to each team member.

“When we think about what happened during the pandemic, workers really understood their power when it comes to the demands they take to their employer,” Brown said. “Whether or not I am going to work in the office, whether or not I am going to work hybrid, or some combination of the two, employers have to shift in order to make sure they are able to retain their talent.”

How has the landscape changed for hiring managers since the start of the pandemic?

Hiring managers need to have more flexibility and rethink what is “required” when looking for candidates for open positions.

“Before the pandemic, typically an employee would have a four-year degree with certifications and work experience,” Rayford said. “Now we see not everyone has the necessary work experience required, so we try to balance out education levels versus work experience. If we see a good candidate who may not be a perfect match, we now try and find a way to help them get certifications and help them grow in the company.”

Southwest uses a “job architecture” program to find the right balance for education and skill set for roles to help employees grow in the company. A Linkedin Workforce Learning Report found that 93% of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in their careers.

With hybrid work becoming the norm after the pandemic, what are current trends and workplace designs of the future?

Working a remote or a hybrid schedule is one of the main attractions to job seekers since the pandemic started. A DRC Future of Work survey conducted in April showed that 62% of respondents offer arrangements with workers in the office one to three days a week.

“As we try to figure out how hybrid works for our organizations, know that no two strategies are going to work the same. Each business is different and has different needs, a cookie cutter approach won’t work,” Rainbolt-Bailey said. “It goes back to honest conversations. What are we trying to accomplish? Make a policy, put that policy in place.”

Rainbolt-Bailey also noted his company has monthly conversations about where it is and where it’s headed. FMG is taking a “if we build it will they come, or if they come will we build it” approach to office workplace designs and lifestyle.

Read more about how to adapt to the workplace of the future, and how to incorporate the DRC’s Say Yes to Dallas campaign into your talent recruitment program.