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As the year 2023 begins, the Commodity Trading and Risk Management (CTRM) industry faces the challenge of attracting and retaining top talent. While resignation rates are expected to decrease compared to the previous year, companies that fail to adapt and compete with more innovative and strategic talent acquisition techniques will likely find themselves in a difficult situation. They will struggle to retain their employees and will be unable to acquire the necessary skills to help their organization grow, which will ultimately hinder their ability to plan, build, deliver, and support CTRM technology.

Additionally, commodity traders are under pressure to embrace renewable investments to attract new talent. However, the recent profits from oil giants can also be leveraged to tempt transferable skillsets from big tech and other industries facing challenge.

Several tech talent studies across various sectors have shown that workers under 30 are more likely to stay long-term in a job than those over 30. This trend aligns with the constant rise in freelance CTRM opportunities since 2020, which offer many benefits for both talent and hiring organizations, such as flexibility to work from anywhere, cherry-picking skills/projects, and mitigating the risks associated with mis-hiring. It’s the projects adapting to a new way of hiring that are benefiting impressive results.

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Therefore, freelancers are expected to be in high demand in the coming years, especially as the millennial workforce moves into more senior and specialized roles and Gen Y/Z seeks a better work-life balance. Many CTRM projects are already adapting by boosting human capital ROI with agile talent teams, and most are assembling highly qualified teams in low-cost locations across Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America. This approach is fascinating and is being closely monitored, especially as the industry follows the introduction of the “digital nomad.” However, this trend may be cut short as employers attempt to lure their employees back to the office.

Attracting and retaining talent is one of the hottest topics in this domain. Thus, let us explore ways that organizations can position themselves for success in 2023:

  1. Promote intrapreneurship – Unlike entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs have the advantage of drawing upon well-developed infrastructure to aid in their efforts. This strategy can be implemented well in the services community around product development or industry participants as they continue to develop a cutting-edge CTRM ecosystem using new tools and technologies such as cloud, data, analytics, and AI. Most hiring managers are looking for the new wave of talent that matches the return of the renaissance workforce consisting of a fusion of digital, tech, analytics, and creativity.
  2. Optimize a remote and hybrid workplace – A hybrid workspace allows for more flexibility, allowing employees to work from wherever is most productive. It also offers significant cost savings due to reduced office space and fewer travel costs. According to recent studies, more IT employees are interested in working in a flexible environment. Over 24% of permanent CTRM developers expect a fully remote role, and 73% of business analysts are only looking for roles offering a hybrid engagement. Employers should embrace this trend, especially as it goes against the recent push to bring employees back into the office.
  3. Implement low-pressure recruiting interactions – 95% of Gen Y/Z had smartphones growing up, and 78% prefer communicating via a messaging app over a traditional phone conversation. Text messaging is a low-pressure interaction that is quick to respond to and less formal than a phone call or email. Employers should show respect to modern candidates and leave the sales patter with the rolodex and ashtray!
  4. Use social media for job advertising, applications, and showcasing DEI – Social media is an effective means of showcasing an employer brand. Employers should identify where Gen Z spends their time, as users up to the age of 25 are likely to use IG (76%), Snapchat (75%), and a growing interest in TikTok (55%). Employers should also promote diversity
  5. Social media has proven to be an effective tool for showcasing an employer’s brand, especially when it comes to appealing to Gen Z. To reach this group, it’s important to focus on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, where they spend a significant amount of their time. When promoting your employer brand on social media, highlighting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is key, as entry-level candidates are increasingly seeking workplaces that reflect their own experiences and communities.
  6. To demonstrate your company’s commitment to DEI, consider highlighting your employee resource groups (ERGs), showcasing concrete examples of diversity and inclusion practices, and sharing employee video testimonials.
  7. Hackathons can be a great way to foster innovation and scout tech talent, both externally and internally. Reskilling programs can also help retain experienced talent by keeping them up to date with the latest technological changes and transformations.

Streamlining the recruiting process is also crucial, as top talent may only be on the market for a short time. Consider condensing your interview process into two stages, with team interviews and regular feedback to ensure clear communication throughout.

Other strategies for attracting the new wave of CTRM talent include leveraging referrals from current and former employees, participating in on-campus hiring fairs, and working with trusted specialist recruiters. When promoting your company’s benefits, focus on wellness, employer experience, and creating a meaningful talent community, rather than traditional benefits such as a pension scheme. This can include offering exciting and innovative benefits, such as cryptocurrency or NFT funds.

By embracing the new wave of talent and leveraging these strategies, CTRM leaders can attract top talent and build a stronger, more diverse workforce.