As we near the end of the first quarter of 2022, it is clear to see that the hiring trends we witnessed in 2021 are continuing to have an impact this year. The ongoing struggle to find and retain top talent is showing no let up, meaning that companies will have to put increased attention to their talent attraction and retention strategies. Kirsty Sim, Livingston James’ Head of Research, shares below areas she believes will be key over the next nine months.
A Crucial Partner
Livingston James achieved a record year in 2021, successfully appointing 70 senior and executive roles across the private, public, and not for profit sectors. Upon review of the data from these placements, 55% were filled by direct headhunt of the successful candidate, 25% were filled through advert response and the remaining 20% through a mix of referrals, candidates already known to us, and internal placements.
Despite the challenge of ‘The Great Resignation’, and whilst we are starting to see a slight increase in response to advertising in 2022, there still appears to be a large number of individuals who are very content in their current roles and therefore unlikely to see adverts. Partnering with a trusted executive search firm to engage with those passive candidates in the right way, remains essential if you are to hire the best candidate in the market.
Candidates demand Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The evidence for the benefits of a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce becomes more compelling by the day, however we are now also seeing DEI as an important factor in candidates’ employment choices. More than three quarters of job-seekers suggest that a diverse workforce is an important factor when deciding where to work (Glassdoor).
Organisations have a great deal to consider when focusing on DEI as part of their talent attraction and retention strategy, not least data monitoring and gathering, where and how they are advertising, representation within the current workforce, and ensuring the entire approach is completely authentic. Choosing to ignore DEI will of course be detrimental to any organisation in 2022, but an inauthentic attempt could be even worse.
Flexibility, ‘work from home’ and hybrid-working continue to be common phrases in discussions with our clients moving into 2022. Very few organisations have jumped back to full-time office working, with most phasing in optional office working instead. In a Scottish focused survey by PwC, almost two-thirds of employees (63%) revealed that they would prefer either an equal balance between remote and in-office work, or an arrangement weighted more toward remote working.
Forbes revealed that 83% of employers admitted the shift to remote working as a consequence of the pandemic was a success, nine months after the transition. Coupled with Livingston James’ own findings in our Return to Work Survey, where 84.4% answered yes (51.9%) or maybe (32.3%) when asked if they would consider looking for a new role if their current employer was unable to offer their preferred return to work model; it is clear that flexibility is not something that organisations can ignore when considering their talent attraction and retention strategies.
The Ever-Important ‘Employer Value Proposition’
It is true that now more than ever, an authentic and true employer value proposition (EVP) will be critical, both for retaining current employees but also in attracting future employees, particularly given the competition in the current talent market. Research by Gartner shows that 65% of candidates claim to have pulled out of a hiring process due to an unattractive EVP.
With years-worth of organisational change being packed into the past two years, organisations should make updating their EVP a priority. Including current employees on this journey will allow for a fair representation of the current purpose, values and culture of the organisation. This alone could have a huge impact on talent attraction and retention, with Gartner suggesting that organisations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%.
The Importance of Wellness
The last couple of years have undoubtedly brought enhanced isolation and pressure for employees at all levels. As a result, organisations have had to put more focus on employees’ mental, physical, and financial wellness.
Harvard Business Review suggests that this could only increase in 2022, with many organisations using wellness as a metric to understand their employees. Gartner analysis shows that employees who utilise these benefits report 23% higher levels of mental health, however only those employees who embrace these programmes see the benefits. A challenge for organisations is not only to ensure that wellbeing programmes are fit for purpose, but that employees actively engage with them.
2022 continues to bring challenges in both attracting and retaining top talent, and this trend does not look set to change in the near future. Organisations need to analyse data and listen to employees to understand how they can improve and come out top in the race for talent.
For a confidential discussion around your executive search and selection requirements, contact [email protected]