Winning the Competition for Talent in HigherEd

Female employees in office collaboratingThe competition for talent is becoming a tough one to win.

HigherEd is facing heightened competition from other industries for roles across campus, including IT staff. The hiring market is in the employee’s favor right now, and workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Read on to find out why there is so much turnover, and what your institution can do to attract employees.

The great resignation

43% of college and university staff report that their workloads have increased in the last two years, and 38% say that their departments are insufficiently staffed. This increased stress in HigherEd has contributed to the great resignation and left many open roles at HigherEd institutions.

In addition to burnout, countless workers are leaving their roles for higher pay and for more flexibility or a better work/life balance. Some HigherEd institutions have been losing staff with highly sought-after skills, like their IT teams, to roles that offer 50% – 150% higher pay. According to Slack’s Future Forum, 83% of workers don’t want to work in the office full time. 74% of companies in the U.S. are using or plan to use a hybrid work model—and colleges and universities that don’t offer flexibility to non-student facing roles will lose out on great candidates.

The War for Talent infographic. 83% of workers say they don't want to work in the office full time. 53% of millenials say they prefer employers to use familiar technology. 50%-150% pay raises: some HigherEd institutions have been losing IT staff to roles with 50%-150% higher pay.

What can we do to win the competition for talent?

Faced with severe budget cuts or limited funding, many colleges and universities simply can’t compete with the salaries of other industries and might feel lost when tackling the competition for talent. Still, as the CIO of Boston University noted in an Inside Higher Ed article, it’s important to make the effort to get salaries as close to market rate as possible, demonstrating to staff that your institution values them and wants to keep them.

Outside of salary, there are other tactics your institution can take. Offering hybrid or flexible work wherever possible can help you retain or attract talent. When marketing your positions, be sure to emphasize the culture and mission of your institution—many candidates out there believe strongly enough in the mission of education that salary will not be the deciding factor. Mental health and well-being are also highly valued by job applicants today. Be sure to advertise what your institution has been doing to support employee well-being, and outline how your campus culture emphasizes equity, inclusion, and health.

Take a step back from the things to promote in your position description, and consider where you’re sharing that description. The only way to win the competition for talent is to make sure you’re in it—and if you’re only sharing open roles on your institution’s website, you’re not doing enough. 53% of millennials say they prefer employers to use familiar technology, and job applicants today expect easy, mobile access to applications

and candidate information. Using mobile application portals and engaging social media to advertise your roles increases your appeal to the next generation of workers, reduces your time-to-hire, and brings you into the same advertising field as non-education industries.

Take the first step

Whether your institution is considering hybrid work arrangements, working on employee retention, or developing a recruitment marketing strategy, PeopleAdmin is here to help. Schedule a demo today and make sure your college or university can win the competition for talent.