How Your Business Can Win the War for Talent in 2022
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of job vacancies in February to April 2022 rose to a new record of 1,295,000; an increase of 33,700 from the previous quarter and an increase of 499,300 from the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic level in January to March 2020.
Businesses in all sectors are struggling to fill roles, reporting a shortage of candidates. Over 50% of businesses reporting a shortage of workers say they are struggling to meet their talent demands due to a critical skills gap & disparity in expectation vs offering.
Shehzad Tabassum, CEO at zefa comments:
“At NP Group, we’ve seen the number of vacancies rise rapidly across the Technology Sector. The increase in client demand for talent is due to…
- “The Great Resignation” – employees leaving the workplace, not always to find new jobs in the sector but potentially to change careers for a better work/ life balance.
- “Candidate Expectation” – the best talent in the market is, quite simply, not satisfied with the old benefits packages of the pre-covid era. Homeworking has become the norm and businesses that provide flexibility are the ones who will win this war on talent.”
Why is there a talent shortage?
There are a lot of different factors that can impact candidate availability that can vary by location, such as demographic changes and government policies. However, the current UK market is being affected by two major trends; changing employer needs combined with changing employee expectations.
Thanks to new technologies and an increased need for adaptability and flexibility in how we work, employers are seeking candidates with the digital and leadership skills needed to fill skills and talent gaps.
Candidate expectations have also changed. Talented candidates are now seeking better benefits, flexible working, and greater work-life balance. In conclusion, candidates are refusing to go back to long commutes, long days, poor benefits packages, and unclear routes of progression. Businesses haven’t caught up yet that the old processes, benefit packages and not having the ability to adapt to candidate expectation isn’t going to cut it if they want to attract AND retain the talent which will drive their business growth.
How to make your business more attractive to candidates
To succeed in meeting talent demands in a candidate-short market, employers must concentrate on developing strategies for both attracting and retaining talented employees.
Here are five ways to make your business more attractive to candidates and fulfil changing employee expectations:
- Review your hiring processes
Hiring processes that may have worked effectively in the past may not be sufficient for today’s market. Revamp your job postings with clear and concise job titles and realistic requirements and expectations. Ensure application forms are simple and easy to fill out and consider removing unnecessary tests and evaluations. Above all, communicate with candidates, respond and schedule interviews quickly.
- Offer the benefits that employees really want
Employee expectations are changing. Whilst salary remains important, candidates are increasingly seeking other benefits alongside pay. Remote and flexible working practices, health and wellbeing programmes and subsidised childcare are all popular and can make you stand out as an employer of choice. Employees are more productive and engaged when they are happy. Research what your competitors are offering and put together an attractive package that can persuade talented candidates to apply to you over them.
- Build a positive and inclusive company culture – and make sure this comes across on all your channels
Your company culture and employer brand should showcase your values across all your public-facing channels. 68% of millennials visit an employer’s social media channels to evaluate their brand, check out their blog, their careers page and are interested in what current and previous employees have to say. Today’s candidates put time into researching the companies they work for and 86% use reviews and ratings on sites like Glassdoor to judge a company’s reputation among employees. Utilise testimonials from current employees to articulate to potential candidates that you offer a positive, inclusive, and fulfilling place to work.
- Invest in employee training, development & wellbeing
Training and development opportunities are critical for attracting and retaining talent. According to a recent survey by CIPD, 59% of millennial’s think that development opportunities are important when deciding to work for a company and a staggering 94% would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. Ensure you have a robust onboarding process and that you clearly define paths to advancement for new starters. Launch training and mentoring schemes to upskill employees in the skills they’ll need for the future and encourage continuous learning as part of your workplace culture.
- Hire for soft and transferable skills
Consider looking for candidates with strong transferable skills even if they are new to your industry. Many specific skills can be learned quickly through robust onboarding procedures and the benefits of talented employees with transferable skills are numerous. Your new employees bring fresh, new perspectives and a creative outlook as well as valuable soft skills such as critical thinking, leadership and conflict management that will plug skills gaps and can set your business up for the future.
We recently survey over 700 candidates asking them which innovative benefit would attract them to work for a business or encourage them to stay at their current employer.
58% want 4 day working week with the same pay
23% want the option of working from home full time
16% said their employer paying their utility bills
Whilst some of the above options might be extreme offerings for many businesses, certainly larger organisations are already offering some of these benefits to retain staff.
★ PwC have given it’s 22,000 UK employees Friday afternoon off during the summer.
★ Netflix offer unlimited holiday days to their staff.
★ Expedia Group give its entire workforce a ‘Well-being Allowance’ of up to £1,200.
★ Mars provide its employees with paid ‘pawternity’ leave.
Instead of increasing salaries dramatically to attract new employees, we believe some of the above benefits, particularly around flexible working and wellbeing will help organisations win the war for talent.
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