MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF KEEPING A TALENTED WORKFORCE
FACING the challenges to attract and retain a talented workforce to meet future business needs has never been more crucial than now – a time when the buoyant jobs market could impact on workplace performance.
Despite the uncertainty of the current economic and political climate, the number of job vacancies has been reaching record levels and British workers have been enjoying the strongest wage growth for a number of years, all pointing to a candidate-driven market.
However, this period of change points to one certainty: The need for employers to hang on to their staff so they don’t move on to a more attractive position.
Lisa Carew, operations manager at Bromborough-headquartered NMS Recruit, explained: “During one period last year, the number of job vacancies nationally rose by 14,000 to a record figure of 833,000, leaving job seekers spoilt for choice. Employment rates are, in fact, at a 43-year high.
“Talented people are obviously the ones in high demand in this candidate-driven market so employers need to give serious thought as to how they keep them to help drive growth and success for the business.”
Lisa, heading up the operation which supplies permanent and temporary office management and administrative vacancies in the commercial and telecommunications sectors, believes that salaries, pensions and healthcare benefits, although vital, are not necessarily a motivating factor in keeping a stable workforce.
High on the list of priorities for staff, she says, are matters like job satisfaction and flexible working – issues that contribute to the all-important work-life balance.
She said: “People are any company’s greatest asset so their wellbeing is paramount – and, more than anything, they need to feel valued and actually enjoy coming to work. Pay rises simply aren’t enough to motivate job seekers.
“Recent surveys have revealed that people now put flexibility at the top of their ‘want list’ when choosing a new job.
“Flexible working means staff can have greater control over their working day, are happy, more fulfilled and, as a result, become loyal to the business and want to stay. Putting time and effort into making flexible working a reality can ultimately give a huge boost to productivity with people feeling more motivated.
“It’s becoming a vital part of a culture that allows women in particular to continue on a career path and balance family life at the same time. It’s a growing workplace attitude that can help to make sure no one is seen to be getting ‘special treatment’ and that the job gets done irrespective of the time it’s done.”
Staff, said Lisa, also want to be part of a company they can be proud of, one which makes the most of their abilities and provides them with quality training and the right resources to do the job.
She added: “People want to be treated well and to be part of an inclusive environment where they are respected and valued.
“There’s a whole new generation out there now which has totally different attitudes to the workplace than their predecessors. If employers recognise their talent and want to retain them, they need to make the best of them while they have them.
“We’re living in an age where people won’t necessarily stay in one job very long. However, support, development and a fresh look at work practices can keep them happy so they remain and become an integral part of the business.”
Lisa also pointed out that when it comes to recruiting key staff, clients looking to hire need to know how their workplace packages and working arrangements compare with those of other employers.
She said: “To keep a competitive edge and secure the right talent, it’s important that companies filling vacancies know what offers are on the table for similar job roles in the region.
“As we constantly keep up to date with intelligence surrounding salaries and benefits packages, we can advise clients how to be ahead of the game by making the best offers to attract the best staff before they get snapped up by someone else.”