What Employees Are Looking For

If you are losing sleep at the prospect of losing your key staff members, or worried that you’re not attractive enough to potential new hires, there’s some good news.

Some recent reports have highlighted the most important benefits that employees are looking for.

But first, a summary of where we are now.

Why Is There a Shortage of Candidates?

During the last 18 months, the UK lost an estimated 1.3 million non-British workers. Many returned home to spend lockdowns with family, others moved back to the EU after Brexit. The return of national lockdowns and ongoing Brexit-related issues will make it difficult for many to return.

For others, after a long period of uncertainty in the job market, with ‘redundancies’ and ‘furlough’ being 2 of the most commonly used words of 2020, there is a reluctance to take any additional risks by moving jobs.

What’s The Solution?

Firstly, concentrate on retention. We posted a blog back in August called Retention Is Better Than Recruitment which highlights some strategies for encouraging your staff to stay with you.

In addition, Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, shares ‘8 Lessons on Building a Company People Enjoy Working For’ in this Ted Talk. This includes the ‘real’ job of management, advice on giving feedback, and why you should be excited by change.

Unum, the employee benefits provider, recently published a study of UK workers which found that 40% of people would be attracted to a new employer with a better benefits package and 20% of employees list poor mental health support during the pandemic as a leading reason for leaving.

The good news is that 58% of workers aged 18-34 feel more productive now than before the pandemic. However, more than half (54%) of this same age group stating they would quit their jobs, or plan to, if their company removed the option for remote or hybrid working.

Now more than ever it is crucial that managers value their staff and stop paying lip service to the role of leadership. This article in Forbes lists the ’10 Cs of Leadership’ which will point those with an old skool management mindset, in the right direction.

It’s Too Late – Someone Has Left and You Need to Replace Them

The cost of leaving a role unfilled is high; the cost of hiring the wrong person for the role is even higher.

Firstly, plan ahead. If you are fortunate enough to have longer than the standard 1 month notice of someone leaving your company, anticipate that the process of finding their replacement will take longer than usual.

You should also be aware of what your ideal candidate can expect to get from your competition and set your expectations accordingly. Wanting the most talented people in the industry to work for you is all very well. But if you are offering a salary that is 10% below industry standard, you’re going to have some difficulty.

If you are attracting applicants who are also applying elsewhere (most probably the case), then can you make your process better than the competition? Of course, it still needs to be comprehensive, and any prospective employee will want to feel like they have achieved something by successfully negotiating your process. However, what’s stopping you from giving feedback on applications within 24 hours? Can you arrange interviews within 2 – 3 days? Can you conduct 1st interviews by video…..in the evening? Do you really need to take 7 days to give feedback on interviews?

Passive candidates can be worthwhile as you will usually have less competition because they are not looking for other jobs. Engaging with a recruiter who has spent years developing relationships with passive candidates can help you with this.

If you can do everything you can to ensure a smooth recruitment and onboarding process, you increase your chances of your new team member turning up on Day 1 (or logging on if it’s remote!) full of enthusiasm and more likely to be a key member of your team for longer.