Are You Recruiting from the Right Talent Pools?

Whether you call it the Great Resignation, the Great Reshuffle, or any of the many names given to the COVID-era hiring woes, the fact remains that hiring in the CX world is tough these days. Competition for talent is intense, employees are changing their priorities, and the result is a frustratingly large number of job openings that organizations struggle to fill.


McKinsey just published some interesting research on this very issue, surveying workers about what motivates them, what makes them want to stay in a job, and what makes them want to leave. The study then groups workers into unique worker “pools,” based both on traditional demographics and in similarities of motivation. This suggests that companies may want to craft their recruiting messaging around these types of groups, rather than using traditional targeting methods.


Across industries, employees feel like they have more options than ever before – and they’re right. Since 2021, the share of workers planning to leave their jobs remains steady at 40%, and they’re leaving for a number of reasons, including better pay, better benefits, and better culture and fit. Even more significantly, many of these job changers are leaving not just their jobs, but entire industries: McKinsey’s research showed that only 35% of those who quit their jobs in the last two years took new jobs in the same industry.


By grouping workers based on certain professional priorities and motivating factors, employers can better target prospective employees and understand how to engage with them. McKinsey suggests five overarching profiles or pools of talent – here’s what to know about each:


The Traditionalists

These employees, as their name states, are the ones with the most “traditional” view of work and employment. As a more risk-averse group, they are more willing to make trade-offs in work-life balance in exchange for more traditional perks, like compensation, job title and status, and the possibility of career advancement. Those benefits are also what is likely to attract them to a new job, and they’re the easiest to find through more traditional recruitment – but there’s not enough of them to fill all those job openings, especially in a fast-growing field like CX.


The DIY’ers

 This group represented the largest share of workers surveyed by McKinsey, and they’re defined mainly by their desire for flexibility. Whether they’re full-time workers, in part-time roles, or self-employed, they won’t be taken for granted or forced to give up what they’ve built for themselves. Attracting them requires a value proposition that offers competitive compensation along with autonomy and a true sense of purpose. CX workers are acutely aware of how the employee experience tends to reflect a company’s CX commitment and vice versa, so be sure your strategies align.


The Caregivers

 As you might guess, this pool of workers prioritizes on overall well-being, particularly because they have some form of caregiving responsibility outside of work. They’re happy to return to work, but it has to be worth it, and it has to be a role that will give them the flexibility they need. Schedule and remote-work flexibility are critical to recruiting from this pool, and other caregiving-focused benefits (like family leave or childcare) are a big plus too. Their attention to detail and care for others can make them powerful, insightful additions to a CX team, but they’ll need the same care given back to them to keep them on board.


The Idealists

 Early-career and with fewer financial and familial responsibilities, “idealists” (the youngest demographic pool) have a different focus. Their priorities are meaningful work, career advancement, flexibility, and a supportive, inclusive community. Appealing to this pool of job candidates requires companies to offer flexibility and ongoing development opportunities. They’ll also likely look for clear examples of how an organization is taking active steps to improve inclusivity and diversity.


The Relaxers

 Unlike the other four talent pools, the “relaxer” group simply no longer has work as a main priority in life. They might be retired, taking time off, or would only return to the workforce under certain circumstances. Reaching and recruiting this pool of potential employees can be tricky, but emphasizing competitive compensation (for those who are seeing their savings dwindle faster than expected) and their ability to connect with customers and genuinely help others can help convince them to return to the workforce and lend their years of experience to improving your organization in the long run.


By Dawn Russell


About the Author

As Managing Director of Executive Search for Blue Rock Search, Dawn brings her Social Talent Black Belt skills and deep analytic abilities to bear, developing quality talent pipelines for a variety of diverse industries focused in Customer Experience. Dawn is the only Director of Executive Search at Blue Rock Search that is equally knowledgeable in three of our four specialties including Customer Experience, Franchise, and Human Resources.

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