Most business leaders understand they need great people working for them to make their business a success. People are an organisations most valuable asset. Build a workplace where people are valued and you have a much greater chance of attracting talent.
In the current economic climate, if you want to hire the best talent you also have to understand these four things.
- It’s an employees’ market
- Salary isn’t the only thing employees care about
- It’s hard to hire great people
- The B word (Brexit)
So why do these things matter in the world of recruitment? Let’s take a closer look.
It’s an employees’ market
Unemployment is at an all-time low, which means today’s job market is tough …. for employers! Successful recruitment isn’t easy at the best of times, but with record levels of employment, the search for talent and retention are a huge challenge for businesses large and small.
So, what can businesses do to entice people who are already settled in another job? Well “If the mountain will not come to Muhammed, then Muhammad must go to the mountain”!
Businesses looking for talent can no longer rely on job boards to attract people (these forums only reach those actively seeking jobs). Businesses must understand they need to connect with passive job-seekers. Businesses need to begin by broadening their search. Using social media marketing and LinkedIn to publicise opportunities is a good place to start.
Ultimately, it’s about improving online branding to publicise the fact that you are a great employer (Glassdoor reviews matter). Old-school recruitment methods just don’t work in the current business climate.
It’s now critical that businesses adopt more modern recruitment strategies. Study your competitors so you can figure out what makes you different. You want to be able to tell prospective employees why they should work for you.
Salary isn’t everything
A report by The Psychology of Business on what people really want from their job says that culture is the new salary. While the report refers to American businesses, this shift in company culture appeal also applies to the UK. Business culture in the UK is an important currency for prospective recruits.
According to the Government’s business statistics there were 5.7 million SMEs in the UK in 2018, which accounted for over 99 per cent of all businesses. This is an important fact to consider when it comes to recruitment because most organisations competing for talent are small businesses that don’t have big budgets for large salaries. It’s where culture comes in.
For start-ups and small businesses, talent is an incredibly important asset. Culture is the answer as to how smaller businesses can compete for top talent. A report on workplace culture by LinkedIn says 71 per cent of individuals would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own. Professionals today just won’t work for leading companies if they have a bad workplace culture.
But what is a good culture? It certainly isn’t bean bags and bowls of fruit. Positive culture is all about giving employees a sense of purpose, providing opportunities for growth, supporting people but holding them accountable, offering flexibility, fostering trust, acknowledging achievements, showing appreciation and more. It takes effort and investment.
However, culture alone won’t cut it. People need to be able to live with financial security. Poor pay is a problem and a fair salary is still important. Small business expert Gene Marks reflects on why SMEs are struggling to find good people. The solution he says is simple – “we just aren’t paying enough.
“Some say that small businesses can’t afford to pay their employees more. I’m not so sure about that. I have clients that insist on paying low hourly wages to warehouse workers and below-market salaries to administrative and support professionals because that’s what they’ve been used to doing for the past decade. These clients are profitable and have the money to pay more. But they don’t.”
Salary isn’t everything, but it needs to be competitive and fair.
A recent survey by global business consultancy PwC, found that 72 per cent of CEOs are worried about the availability of key skills, stating that it’s not a lack of people that is the problem, but a lack of people with the RIGHT skills and abilities.
Millennials will soon make up over 50 per cent of the global workforce. They put training at the top of their list when starting a new job or evaluating an existing employer. SMEs have to acknowledge this fact. For the SME, training staff is critical. Millennials want to be in learning cultures. The SMEs grasping this fact will ultimately gain from growing their talent from within.
Brexit and recruitment
Brexit uncertainty has, according to James Stewart of KPMG, “been sapping business confidence for months, and now it is causing the jobs market to grind to a halt. With unclear trading conditions ahead, many companies have decided to hit the pause button on new hires.”
As a result, there has been a sharp increase in the use of temps and contract workers, with businesses choosing temporary recruitment solutions rather than taking on permanent employees until the Brexit dust has settled.
There is a fear amongst businesses around recruitment, particularly in sectors where there is a reliance on EU workers. When (if?) we eventually leave the EU, skill scarcity could potentially be exacerbated once free movement comes to an end.
So how can businesses mitigate against the effects of Brexit?
Aviation recruitment specialist, Ryan Abbott, advises on the UK skills shortage “In a globally connected world where students are bombarded with choices, we need to shout louder to reach potential talent who are unaware of what our industries can offer. Business leaders and recruiters can partner with colleges and schools to directly engage with students and show them the variety of successful careers open to them across UK industries.”
UK businesses need to widen their search and open their eyes to new ways of attracting talent into their organisations, as well as invest more in training from within.
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