Many businesses are experiencing staff shortages as millions have left the workforce to reconsider their options as part of the ‘Great Resignation‘.
To find out how businesses are attracting talent in uncertain times, business performance consultancy Ayming spoke to 200 senior HR, learning, and development leaders in the UK.
The results of these discussions reveal the strains businesses are facing and the added impact that the high rate of inflation is having on profits.
Concerningly, 78% of respondents claimed that recruitment and training costs have risen, and 63% noted that staff turnover was damaging the growth of their respective companies.
One finding that will start alarm bells ringing across organizations is that 60% of firms said it is harder to maintain profits in this climate.
How companies can attract talent?
In an environment where talent attraction and retention are vital, there are added pressures on HR professionals.
Scott Ward, partner of people, performance, and development at Ayming UK, commented: “HR teams have suddenly found themselves needing to innovate and reinvent the function.
“Firms are really thinking about what their employees want, what will get the best out of them, and re-engineering their working practices to meet new expectations. By moving in a people-first direction, businesses will inevitably see spikes in productivity as well as retention.”
Fortunately, those surveyed have already begun to address issues and implement new initiatives. 31% of respondents stated that they have invested in training and development, while 24% are introducing a loyalty bonus.
Other initiatives that have proved popular are stress management programs (23%), increasing annual leave (18%), and paying for commutes (18%).
Offices have also been a focus for HR leaders, 13% have upgraded offices and allowed dogs to come to work. 18% have also given staff better food and beverages.
There is no doubt strides are being made to improve the experience of employees. However, only 8% of respondents have managed to give pay rises that match the rate of inflation.
Undoubtedly, this level of pay increase is difficult to reach as inflation continues to soar but it will impact the attitude of staff if their money no longer goes as far as it used to and parts of their personal lives are no longer affordable.
With 47% of respondents noting that they haven’t introduced any form of flexible working it means that those traveling into the office will be feeling the brunt of stagnant wages because of soaring transport costs. After all, the gym membership discounts offered by 14% of respondents won’t help even the keenest of employees run into work.
Giving his take on the situation, Ward said: “Businesses face a fight for talent. The pairing of a buoyant job market and high inflation means employers are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“It’s not always possible to give all staff inflation-proof salaries, especially when firms are seeing their own costs go up. Nor is it always possible for employers to offer flexible working.
“But in this market, the best talent will be receiving higher paying offers elsewhere as well as tempting work packages and will leave if they feel their needs are not being met. Above all, employers must weigh up the costs of salary increases against the cost of losing key people.”
There is no easy solution to the current climate, but HR teams need to be proactive with ideas if they intend to keep talent.
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