Bridging the Gap and Attracting Young Talent as Skilled Professionals Retire

Some news sources say the “great resignation” is waning, with some quitters experiencing regret. Others cite the resignation as still intense, reporting trends like ‘quiet quitting.’ What is certain is that employees have changed over the pandemic. Companies have to shift with expectations. Traditional incentives of wages and benefits aren’t enough.

Before the “Great Resignation,” the printing industry already had issues hiring and retaining new talent. “The great resignation for us really was people leaving because they were older, more mature employees, and they didn’t want to come back to a potential health risk situation. Printers tend to have employees on the higher end of the age spectrum,” said Adriane Harrison, Vice President of Human Resources Consulting at Printing United Alliance.

According to an Indeed report, 85% of employers say COVID-19 altered definitions of a good job. The printing industry’s response has to be a multi-pronged approach. “We’ve upgraded the technology that allows us to work from home. We could do better at getting more creative attracting talent,” said Rich Bennett, President at Baldwin Technology, AMS Spectral UV. McKinsey and Company surveyed employees globally, and many workers want more than the usual compensation and job advancement carrots.

Harrison recommends that printers take a more flexible approach. Some jobs can’t be done from home but should be an option for the positions that can be done remotely. “There have been unexpected benefits to this flexible work schedule,” said Mike Nelson, Engineering Leader at Baldwin Technology, AMS Spectral UV. Consider flexible scheduling, like a ten-hour four-day week, instead of the traditional eight-hour, five-day week.

“You have to meet people where they are, ” Harrison said. Even consider breaking the ten-hour day into two shifts. This widens the pool of candidates to part-time workers. “When we remain flexible, we’ve seen employees become more happy and production increase,” said Nelson. Listen to the podcast now to learn how Baldwin is consulting with its partners and clients on hiring inititiaves. Episodes are available wherever you get your podcasts.

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