Do we need to offer something different to attract the best talent?

Sponsored: David Ardis, business development manager at Talent Hive, explains why changing priorities for employees may mean a fresh approach to recruitment and employee engagement

The current job market seems be saturated with available talent. Current figures show that unemployment is sitting at 4.8% with Bank of England forecasts showing that it would peak at around 7.7% between April and June 2021.

And whilst the education sector has not been affected to the same extent as leisure, retail and tourism, there will almost certainly be changes to the ways that candidates see prospective employers. The perception of working culture in the macro-environment will change the view of the workplace in the future.

Priorities will have changed for many and what you thought was a good offer in February 2020 may not quite hit the mark now.

Research undertaken over the past nine months seems to show that rewards and benefits packages are vital to attracting and retaining good people with 72% of employers reviewing their health and wellbeing offer and 54% of employers canvassing opinion from their workforce on this matter.

The reason seems to be that current, traditional reward schemes are not as well suited to the ‘new normal’ as we may think. What use are discount schemes when shops are closed, and holidays are cancelled? Who would see cycle-to-work or car-share as a benefit when the offices are closed and there is no commute?

The research seems to indicate that employees will be looking for rewards that can offer security within their workplace and that it may be time for us to revisit the tried and trusted Hierarchy of Needs to be attractive to candidates.

Enhancements such as individual skills and training funds, sick leave, death in service, childcare, access to private healthcare and outplacing services will give employees a clear view of the company commitment to the long-term security of their employees and ease some of the fear that employees will have for the future.

Research has shown that 29% of employees in the UK have felt unsupported at work since the first lockdown in March.

So, what can be done to encourage the right applicants and keep them for the long term?

What you thought was a good offer in February 2020 may not quite hit the mark now

According to the CIPD, 90% of employees have said that they want companies to show transparency.

This would mean clear job descriptions, people specifications and a prepared answer when asked what happened to your current team since March 2020. Fortunately, the safeguarding process ensures that the full requirements are set out clearly from the outset.

Make sure that any benefits advertised are actually benefits. Twenty-eight days’ holiday is not a benefit, it is the legal requirement for a full-time employee and candidates will know this.

Be open about long-term goals and aspirations within your organisation. Feeling that you are part of a project for the long-term will give immediate comfort.

Discuss your commitments to your employees and the expectations of the teams based on those commitments. This is, after all, a two-way street!

Be clear about any employee assistance programmes, mental health awareness programmes and staff group activities available as it shows a real commitment to the health and wellbeing of your team. Whilst we think that it will never be us, it is reassuring to know that you have access to support when you need it.

We find that no matter the industry or job role, staff who feel secure will perform better and stay longer.

At Talent Hive our vision is simple – to make it enjoyable to recruit the right people. We understand that recruitment isn’t just a tick-box exercise and finding the right candidates can be a long and stressful process. Our consultants study the recruitment trends in a number of industries so that we can support our partners in making adverts and offers as attractive as possible. Only by integrating these characteristics into our recruitment process can we work with our clients to establish which applicants fit your business the best.

If you would like to discuss any of the subjects in the article, please contact

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