The UK has experienced high numbers of jobs vacancies, hitting a record of 1.2 million in November 2021. However, businesses in all sectors are struggling to fill roles, reporting a shortage of candidates. Over 50% of businesses reporting a shortage of workers say they are struggling to meet their talent demands due to low numbers of applicants and a critical skills gap.
Why is there a talent shortage?
There are a lot of different factors that can impact candidate availability that can vary by location, such as demographic changes and government policies. However, the current UK market is being affected by two major trends; changing employer needs combined with changing employee expectations.
Thanks to new technologies and an increased need for adaptability and flexibility in how we work, employers are seeking candidates with the digital and leadership skills needed to fill skills and talent gaps.
Candidate expectations have also changed. Talented candidates are now seeking better benefits, flexible working, and greater work-life balance.
5 Strategies for attracting and retaining talent
To succeed in meeting talent demands in a candidate-short market, employers must concentrate on developing strategies for both attracting and retaining talented employees.
Here are five ways to make your business more attractive to candidates and fulfil changing employee expectations:
1. Review your hiring processes
Hiring processes that may have worked effectively in the past may not be sufficient for today’s market. Revamp your job postings with clear and concise job titles and realistic requirements and expectations. Ensure application forms are simple and easy to fill out and consider removing unnecessary tests and evaluations. Above all, communicate with candidates, respond and schedule interviews quickly, and avoid ghosting unsuccessful applicants.
2. Offer the benefits that employees really want
Employee expectations are changing. Whilst salary remains important, candidates are increasingly seeking other benefits alongside pay. Remote and flexible working practices, health and wellbeing programmes and subsidised childcare are all popular and can make you stand out as an employer of choice. Employees are more productive and engaged when they are happy. Research what your competitors are offering and put together an attractive package that can persuade talented candidates to apply to you over them.
3. Build a positive and inclusive company culture – and make sure this comes across on all your channels!
Your company culture and employer brand should showcase your values across all your public-facing channels. 68% of millennials visit an employer’s social media channels to evaluate their brand, check out their blog, their careers page and are interested in what current and previous employees have to say. Today’s candidates put time into researching the companies they work for and 86% use reviews and ratings on sites like Glassdoor to judge a company’s reputation among employees. Utilise testimonials from current employees to articulate to potential candidates that you offer a positive, inclusive, and fulfilling place to work.
4. Invest in employee training and development
Training and development opportunities are critical for attracting and retaining talent. 59% of millennials think that development opportunities are important when deciding to work for a company and a staggering 94% would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. Ensure you have a robust onboarding process and that you clearly define paths to advancement for new starters. Launch training and mentoring schemes to upskill employees in the skills they’ll need for the future and encourage continuous learning as part of your workplace culture.
5. Hire for soft and transferable skills
Consider looking for candidates with strong transferable skills even if they are new to your industry. Many specific skills can be learned quickly through robust onboarding procedures and the benefits of talented employees with transferable skills are numerous. Your new employees bring fresh, new perspectives and a creative outlook as well as valuable soft skills such as critical thinking, leadership and conflict management that will plug skills gaps and can set your business up for the future.
How Cooper Lomaz can help you attract and retain key talent
Finding talent in a candidate short market is not an easy task. You want your employees to have the ability to succeed in their roles, add value to your organisation and have the right cultural fit.
At Cooper Lomaz, we understand that every business is different, and we can help you build a recruitment process that is tailored to you and that will ensure you find talented candidates that match your requirements as well as your culture and brand personality.