How to attract and retain talent has changed since COVID-19. The pandemic has shifted corporate culture where employees increasingly want their needs prioritised such as having a work/life balance rather than receiving short-term incentives like a pay rise.
Corporate culture has shifted
The UK is facing both skill and labour shortages, where job starting salaries are rising due to shortages in candidates, according to KPMG. While the number of permanent jobs available in England rose at its fastest rate since June 1997 as the economy reopened, at the same time, the availability of workers hit a 24-year low, with uncertainty over job security causing a drop in candidates.
This has led major employers, such as Goldman Sachs and Bumble, to introduce employee retention programmes to help attract and retain talent. For example, in June 2021, the female-centered dating app temporarily shut its offices and offered staff a paid week-long holiday to combat workplace burnout.
However, short-term benefits such as giving staff pay rises and unlimited paid leave will only work for so long. Instead, retaining talent post-pandemic will be reliant on prioritising employee needs, such as a work-life balance and giving them work they find purposeful.
What employees want from their jobs today
To attract and retain talent amid candidate shortages, employers must create an enticing workplace where employees want to work and where they feel they have their needs understood. They also increasingly want to work in an environment of mutual exchange where their contributions are valued.
For employers that want to attract and retain the best talent in this shifting work culture, here are 5 tips:
- Make staff feel comfortable asking questions – Employees increasingly want to be understood in the workplace so create an environment where they can be honest about what they want from their role.
- Communicate prioritising employee needs – Make it clear to your workforce and to interested job candidates that your firm’s internal strategy(s) puts employee needs first.
- Communicate respectfully – COVID-19 has altered the power structure between employee and employer, meaning that cultivating a culture based on shared understanding, respect and thoughtful, meaningful and transparent communications is essential.
- Assign meaningful work – Employers should assign employees work that has clear meaning and purpose as this creates a passionate, innovative and thriving workplace. For example, for client projects, assign talent to work on projects they truly want to which can generate more productive results.
- Implement a horizontal work structure – Implementing a horizontal work structure, such as on client projects, means more mutual exchange between staff and potentially more productive results where they feel they have a greater impact in decision-making processes.