Feature Story: Adjusting to the Great Reshuffling – A Guide for the Tired

Erika Cerda, assistant vice president, Talent Management

If you haven’t heard, the “great reshuffling” is the new moniker for the “great resignation”. I like to think of it as a corporate rebrand. Whatever you’d like to call it, employees are still separating at a record rate across all industries. While it can bring a small amount of comfort to know that we’re not alone, the impact is felt by many teams across our campus on a daily basis.

In turn, we’re also seeing an increase in new people serving on hiring committees and leaders dusting off their hiring skills. Let’s discuss a few topics that can help serve you during this time.

1. Having trouble finding the talent to onboard? It may be time to adjust your hiring mindset and expectations. When I was a full-time headhunter, I would lament “unicorn managers” even in a market that favored employers. These leaders don’t want to stop their search until they are faced with two to three strong candidates who could all easily excel in their position. This would mean that their unnecessarily drawn-out search would sometimes end with their top one/two choice(s) being off the market by the time they were ready to decide. While that’s always felt beyond strange to me, it’s not a perspective that will serve you in this market. Strong candidates are not staying on the market very long, so don’t be shocked if they move on without you.  

2. Struggling with qualifications? You may need to weigh some decisions while recruiting within this market. When considering qualification flexibility:

  • Ask yourself if you can substitute years of experience for a degree. Some positions truly require a degree such as legal, counseling, and faculty positions. It is also true that there are countless reasons why someone may not have completed their degree, and many of these reasons are rooted in access that disproportionately impacts historically marginalized groups. If you’re able, ask yourself if you’re really willing to pass on a great addition to your team just because they haven’t completed a certain degree level. Remember – you can place them on a development plan where obtaining a degree, over time, is a requirement. They would get the bonus of considering the wonderful education our faculty provides with the support of our tuition waiver benefit.
  • Ask yourself what you will do to be competitive for a great candidate. Do you offer physical activity time, flex time, or a hybrid work location? We can highlight this in the job description! (Pro tip: we suggest that you use these same things to reward your current employees).
  • Another question to consider: is it better to snag and quickly start a diamond in the rough that you can develop or to wait for the most qualified candidate? There are scores of well-respected individuals across campus who wouldn’t be here if someone was too focused on a ready-to-go status that they missed out on very visible potential.

3. My staff hiring committee is having difficulty finding the time to meet! You can ensure that someone is part of the interview process without them being on your committee the whole way through. In alignment with our press to focus on an inclusive cultural add rather than the exclusive cultural fit, I would suggest limiting your committee to 2-3 additional individuals, with at least one of those individuals existing outside of your division. If you’re happy with your committee processes as is, you can also meet without every member there. You can consider rounds with different members, proxies, limiting scoring rights to a smaller core group, or including people with more flexible schedules.

4. Need recruitment help? My team would love to assist, but I’ve also found that we receive many requests where you absolutely don’t need to wait for us.

  • Remember that hiring managers and committee members are champions for the job. We encourage you to share knowledge of the posting with others, through word of mouth and/or social media. All faculty and staff jobs are “scraped” by LinkedIn, Inside HigherEd and more. We also are promoting non-student positions through targeted social media posts on a near daily basis and are working on special campaigns as you read this.
  • Good news – we have a great diversity recruitment partnership in the works. While our contract doesn’t start until January 1st, we’re already working to perfect the job scrape which means that all faculty and staff jobs are being pulled and shared at zero cost to you. Stay tuned for more information.
  • If you’re connected to a legitimate professional group and you can post for free within that group – do it! Likewise, it may be worth your while to pay for a membership as it could enhance the resources for your group as well as offer you the opportunity to recruit for free or very little.
  • We can help you post on Indeed or LinkedIn, but the amount will be billed back to your area. If you do this, we suggest that the hiring manager stay on top of reviewing applicants so that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
  • There are limited funds available from Talent Management to help recruit for positions that support diverse populations. Reach out to jobs@uco.edu if you think you have a position that could qualify.

5. Don’t sleep on your steps! External reference checks are not always fruitful but if the candidate is internal, you should never miss the opportunity to speak with their current leader or review their file. This isn’t a death sentence for the applicant, even if there are some concerns to address upfront. There are many times I can think of where the right person just needed a different opportunity in our organization to shine.

6. Finally, please remember these deadlines when planning for your new staff hire:

  • New Employee Orientation (NEO) dates fall in alignment with the UCO Payroll calendar, adjusting for UCO recognized holidays.
  • Offers must be submitted by 12:00 PM noon on the Wednesday prior to a NEO date for us to offer a start date on the immediately following Monday. You can find a calendar of NEO dates on the People & Culture Hub.
  • Background checks must be completed no later than start of business on the Friday prior to a Monday NEO date for the new hire to join us at Monday NEO.
  • For those seeking a start date that is not aligned with a NEO date, or an “off-cycle” hire, the hiring area’s Vice President will need to initiate a request that includes sufficient rationale. This can be sent to the Assistant Vice President of Talent Management, Erika Cerda, or to jobs@uco.edu. Please note, positions that start off-cycle should be those whose absence creates a significant daily obstacle to key University operations.
  • Additional information can be found in the online screening committee training, which is accessible via the Learning Center.

No one can say for sure, but many believe that the great whatever-you-want-to-call-it will cool off through 2022, which could make 2023 a bit easier of a hiring landscape. At the same time, as a public educational organization, it always benefits us to stay on top of hiring trends and rethink areas where we may be creating an unintentional barrier to entry. Talent Acquisition is here to support you as you search for the next great addition to your team. You can always reach out to us at jobs@uco.edu