Retaining talent in a challenging jobs market

In the twenty-one years of Human Resourcing in operation, we’ve never quite experienced a recruitment market like the current one.


We’ve certainly seen the eb and flow between a candidate driven market and an employer driven one but what we’re experiencing now is far more extreme.


In 2022, 75% of companies world-wide are facing a shortage of talent and this has come at a critical time when businesses are trying to recover post-pandemic.[1]


In the UK alone there are more job vacancies than there are people to fill them, a first on record.


The war for talent is well and truly on.


With some employers in a somewhat desperate situation, what they’re willing to offer new hires in terms of salary and benefits is enough to tempt even the most loyal of staff.


So, what can businesses do to ensure they retain their top talent in such a competitive market?


  1. Establish a strong company culture

In such a competitive market where candidates have multiple options on the table, they’re going to look much more closely at a company’s culture and ethos when deciding where they want to invest their career. Having a strong company culture is about what makes your business different. What are the core values that drive your people? What are the benefits you can offer your staff? Is there a clear pathway for progression and what’s your stance on environmental and social issues? These are the things that will either attract or deter talent from even considering joining the business and so showcasing your values at every opportunity will start to attract the people who share the same outlook.


  1. Recruit in line with your vision and values


Hiring someone who shares the vision and values of a company rather than simply because they’re qualified for the job will result in much more longevity. Skills can be taught; knowledge can be honed but if someone doesn’t believe in what the company stands for they’re unlikely to be in the job for the long run.


If you’ve invested strongly enough in your vision and values and your branding and marketing clearly reflects this then you’re more likely to attract the right fit in the first instance. Think about how your business is using social media, is your marketing indicative of what it’s really like working there? If there’s a discrepancy, this will be found out early on by new starters and they won’t stick around.


  1. Invest in your people

One of the top reasons people leave a business is lack of career progression, people want to grow and develop. Engaging your new employees at the on-boarding stage by showcasing real examples of people who have progressed in the company and highlighting the tools you’ll give them to do the same is a great place to start.


The second element is actually delivering those training and development opportunities. Learning should be a core part of any organisation. It adds huge value and helps to keep people engaged and productive.


This is also a great way to address skills gaps, by up-skilling your existing workforce you’re demonstrating how valued they are whilst also addressing specific challenges faced by your business.

  1. Offer flexibility

Lack of flexible working is one of the top three reasons people are now leaving their job. The pandemic showed flexibility is possible and the demand remains high. Stating that you offer hybrid or flexible working options in a job description and then not living up to this simply isn’t good enough and will be costly to your business.


One thing we’ve learnt in the last few years is that there isn’t a one size fits all solution when it comes to working models but getting the opinion of your staff and using that to shape your own policies is a great place to start.

  1. Be competitive

What’s worked in the past when it comes to attracting and retaining talent simply isn’t cutting it in today’s competitive market. Employers need to up the anti when it comes to what they can offer. Traditional benefits packages aren’t enough. Companies looking to attract top employees should consider tailoring their benefits to the type of job or even the personality and preferences of the individual they’re looking to hire.


Similarly when it comes to retaining your current talent, an overhaul of your current benefits package based on feedback from your people will demonstrate how valuable they are to your organisation.

  1. Utilise data

Getting regular feedback and using the opinions of your workforce in order to shape your culture, policies, benefits and strategy will help keep your staff engaged. Your people are on the front line of the business, they know the pinch points and what can be done to improve thing internally and in turn, the customer.


Maximising their input whether it’s via survey, questionnaire, one to one’s or collaboration sessions will not only show them how much their opinion is valued but that they have an active role to play in the growth of the business.

  1. Evolve

The world is constantly changing and so are employee expectations so you cannot afford to stagnate. Keep your finger on the pulse of what your people really want and evolve with the times. A great example of this is the rise of ESG. Twenty years ago it wasn’t particularly high on the agenda when people were considering where to work but today the demand for ESG to be a core responsibility of business is coming from employees, shareholders, customer and investors alike. If your business isn’t prioritising ESG, it’s likely that you’ll lose talent to a competitor who is!

If you’re looking for your next career move but don’t know where to start, working with a trusted recruitment partner who will recognise your value and negotiate on your behalf can make a huge difference.


Want to know more about our approach to recruitment, visit our website or drop Mera an email for a confidential chat: