In 2021, attracting and retaining top talent is becoming the number one priority as businesses begin to transform at speed following a period of survival and suspended digital change. Employers will need to consider the needs of their employees, and the priorities of candidates, if they want to attract and retain top talent.
As the UK settles into the ‘new normal’ and emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, business needs are shifting. As companies want to digitise and modernise practices in order to keep pace with new ways of working and customer demands, demand for IT and Transformation skills is at an all-time high. At the same time, employee priorities are changing significantly, and employers would be wise to take note.
Many candidates are looking for a change following the pandemic
With high levels of employee burnout being reported, and the hiring market being candidate led, many workers are signalling that they want a change from previous ways of work and types of employment. Increased flexibility to work remotely, shifting to using the office as a ‘destination’ for meaningful team collaboration and strengthening company culture are just three of the main priorities listed by employees in recent surveys. Recent research conducted by ManpowerGroup supports this, finding that a key concern for individuals in the UK was returning to their old ways of working and losing the flexibility they have gained over the last year and a half.
A number of workers who were hired on blanket inside IR35 contracts or fixed-term salaried roles during the last eighteen months are now handing in their notice in order to pursue outside IR35 contract roles or full-time employee positions, which are offering attractive packages or increased stability to candidates.
Having an open dialogue to ensure that the concerns and priorities of employees, who have worked hard for organisations throughout a challenging time, are heard is more important now than ever. If another business needs their skills, they will be offered what they need to move. Employees who feel undervalued or overworked will likely show an increased interest in considering new opportunities outside of your organisation.
What can employers do to attract and retain top talent?
New research shows that salaries for new starters in both permanent and temporary jobs are increasing at the fastest pace in at least 24 years. While it is important that employers remain conscious of any internal difficulties which could result from salary discrepancies, the salary expectations of many candidates have increased following the pandemic and previous packages may no longer attract the calibre of talent and organisation requires.
To add balance to the salary and remote working discussions that dominate media, as business needs are changing an increasing number of workers are also expressing that career development, inclusion and social responsibility are top concerns for them. It is important that organisations offer employees the time, tools and support they need to gain the new digital skills required for the future of work. This will ensure that new business requirements are met, and that your workforce is futureproofed.
When interviewing potential candidates, as well as speaking with employees, it is important to have an open dialogue about their priorities. Is remote working, or a hybrid set up, a top concern for them? If so, is your onboarding process able to make a remote new starter feel included and seen?
The Experis Business Transformation team specialise in understanding company culture, structure and aspiration in order to match with outstanding talent, fuelling IT enabled digital change and business success. For any discussion around hiring trends and market analysis, alongside our recruitment services and additional capabilities, we are here for you.
Connect with our team today to discover more.