Executive Insights from Talent Leaders: DCA Live Roundtable Recap


Helios HR partnered with DCA Live to host the first executive roundtable discussion of 2022 yesterday! Throughout the year, DCA Live brings together groups of leaders to discuss their top issues and brainstorm solutions. The focus of our conversation yesterday was around human capital and talent management. The roundtable discussion included leaders:
  • Kathy Albarado, CEO, Helios HR
  • AJ Buniak, SVP, AssuredPartners
  • Celia de la Torre, HR Director, Dignari Inc
  • Erin Fristoe, Director of Talent and Community Engagement, Research Innovations Incorporated
  • Marisa Krafisg, Chief Human Resource Office, Intellidyne
  • Laurie Smith, Director of HR, Nodal Exchange
  • Alex Taylor, Sr Business Investment Manager, Arlington Economic Development

Key Themes & Takeaways 

1) Vaccine mandates are creating heartburn for employers

"The back and forth on the executive order on vaccines has been very challenging and is making recruiting that much harder. Our recruiters are having to ask candidates if they are vaccinated and it complicates the process. It's also awkward for everyone and may wind up ultimately being unnecessary. My poor recruiters are getting beaten up all the time."

Another leader shared that they are not requiring vaccines, but they do require employees to share their vaccination status with the company.

It's a complicated situation. Helios put together some guidance around how to approach a fair and flexible vaccination policy if you are still figuring out your protocols. 

2) Remote work continues and is beginning to feel permanent

"We are officially in a hybrid model and encouraging people to come in a couple of days a week, but the reality is they are not showing up. And it's not like we are going to let them go as we are so in need of talent. We'd like them to all return to the office at some point. It's going to be tough."

Kathy Albarado shared that at Helios, we made the decision that we are not requiring employees to come back to the corporate office. Instead, we subleased half of our space and the rest of the office is still available to our team to use for meeting rooms to gather.

Download the Workplace 2022 report for insight into HR trends

3) As you've been hearing, recruiting and turnover is a problem

"Most companies are not budgeting enough to keep their talent - the market is so crazy. People are getting 50% increases on top of what was already fair compensation."

"My biggest issue is staffing. Everyone wants more compensation and flexibility. We are a government contractor so we are limited on both."

Another government contractor talked about how a lot of their people have to work in SCIFs and how it is getting harder and harder to get people to work in the environment. Additionally, the market is highly competitive for technology and engineering roles, making it very hard to find and hire the talent needed.

In terms of turnover and attrition, leaders shared it their rates ranged between 15-25% for both. What else is contributing to the mass exodus?

In addition to it being a hot market for candidates, there is also a large portion of the workforce that is hitting retirement and leaving work altogether.

Lastly, we wrapped up our conversation by emphasizing the continued importance of creating and sustaining an inclusive work environment. Leaders who made this a priority and focus for their business spoke about how this impacted their turnover and attrition by really understanding each employee's needs.

If you are interested in being invited into DCA Live's Leadership Council, reach out to us and we'd be happy to discuss it.

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