Recruiting and retaining talent in the new world of work

Out-Law News | 30 Jun 2022 | 3:53 pm |

Employers are facing acute challenges to recruit and retain their staff as they emerge from the global pandemic into the new working world.

The remarkable acceleration in flexible and hybrid working has highlighted the new demands of the workforce and companies are racing to adapt to meet these needs. This ‘race for talent’ has only widened the skills gap further and employers must act fast.

An efficient and progressive HR strategy must follow a holistic approach, which begins with knowing what people want from their employer.

Employment experts at Pinsent Masons recently held a discussion with author, business expert and recruitment specialist Andrew Garner, exploring what is driving people in the current climate when deciding where to work. The panel identified several key takeaways that play a pivotal role in being at the forefront of the race for increasingly scarce talent.

Making your company’s brand stand out

When deciding where to work, applicants will no longer resort to statistics of how the company is performing and what the employees find on their pay slip every year. What is your company doing to reduce its carbon footprint? How are you responding to the social challenges around inequality while preserving a fair competition? How diverse are the board and decision makers at your company? We have seen questions over environment, social and governance (ESG) shoot to the top of board agendas - and to the top of individuals’ too – when choosing a workplace.

Championing diversity, inclusion and culture

Diversity has never been more prevalent than now. It is no longer a nicety in the modern workplace, rather a necessity. Creating an environment where staff feel valued and appreciated as themselves is something employers must do to attract and retain people. Finding out where you are on your diversity and inclusion journey is the first step in the right direction. Define or refine the purpose and the core values of your business.

Take a closer look at your people and create a productive and enjoyable working culture. Employees who are inspired and convinced of what they do and how it’s done may be the most effective asset to be recognised as an attractive place to start and pursue a career. They will be ambassadors within your organisation as well as to the outside world.

Embracing technology in HR

An important aspect employers need to consider is the use of technology. Whether it be outward facing, such as website improvements and social media presence, or inward facing like the smart and efficient use of the right data in HR processes, these can significantly help how your company is perceived and also ensure you are targeting the right people and thus more likely to retain talent.

Adapting to changing workforce expectations

Some offerings that we used to consider unique or advantageous no longer have the same influence over candidates’ decisions. Hybrid working, for example, is no longer a differentiator and does not set a company apart in the race for talent. Employers need to embrace the changing demands of the workforce and stay attuned to the needs of their staff. At the same time, as inflation is rising at alarming rates, people seek financial safety. Long-term financial incentives and participation models like share plans will continue to gain in importance for talents.