Retaining your top people is tough right now.
At a time of near full employment in advanced economies (with March 2022 job vacancies at 1.32m in the UK), the world of work has exploded with opportunity. Data this week from the ONS showed UK unemployment is at its lowest since 1974. In fact, for the first time ever recorded, there were fewer people out of work than there were job openings!
Tempting times for top talent….
Employers are trying to keep up with the changes, both from the point of view of attracting new people but also retaining their existing stars. For many employees, their workplace is changing before their eyes.
There is a lot of FOMO out there in HR departments right now:
“What are our competitors offering that we aren’t?”
“How could our people be happier and more engaged at work?”
It is a shame that it took a global pandemic for these questions to be taken seriously. Much as HR departments are trying to find the right balance, record numbers are still departing. The Great Resignation has been real.
Which brings us to the main point:
With such change in the employment market, over and above looking after your current superstars, there is only one way to truly invest in your company’s long-term future
Recruit the right people who are going to stay for the long-term.
EM have long prided ourselves on tracking the tenure of our hires. Since 1993 (when EM was founded) our hires have stayed for an average of 5.1 years and enjoyed an average of 2.3 promotions. It is in our interest to find amazing people, because for every promotion there is usually a position that needs filling. Great recruiters value retention above all else.
When we assess candidates, we look at their suitability in terms of their professional experience, competence for the specific role and their fit with the working conditions (benefits, flexible working, compensation, etc.).
A parent who is looking for a flexible role might compromise for the right employer and accept an office-based role, but that would not lead to long-term retention. We try to be honest with both employers and job seekers – if the match isn’t perfect for both parties, it is worth waiting a little to get it right. 5.1 years is a long time. You could make over two costly hiring mistakes in that time….
But that still doesn’t let employers off the hook of creating a fantastic working environment.
In our view, there are three main ingredients in the mix:
Market-leading benefits. When you design your benefits package, look at the make-up of your teams. What truly matters to them? What is a nice-to-have? Get down with the data.
Flexible-working models. Flexi -working is now the norm. Letting people change how they work as the circumstances of their life change will matter most. Trust them to own it.
Amazing compensation. Future proof your salary structure. Never was that more important than now, with CPI inflation having reached 9% in April. Since the start of 2022 EM has seen candidates being offered as much as a 40% premium to their current basics to persuade them to move.
We have created a LinkedIn poll to track what makes that most difference to retaining talent. What do you think? When you vote on the poll it will tell you the most recent split.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Give EM a call (on +44 (0) 203 285 7000) if you want to recruit & RETAIN the right people in these turbulent times.