Four Ways Employers Can Retain Talent In An Increasingly Challenging Market

14 December 2022

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ONS stats from September 2022 recorded 1,266,000 vacancies – illustrating perfectly the recruitment and retention challenges employers are currently facing.  In a candidate’s market, how can employers improve retention while also attracting new talent?

Here’s some useful tips for employers from HR jobs experts

  1. Value the people you have

Even if your best people aren’t actively looking to jump ship, it’s worth remembering that they can still be poached by head-hunters – and the secret of keeping these people often comes down to helping them feel valued – which comes down to more than money.

Apart from pay, conditions and benefits packages, say thank you to your people regularly and keep them in the loop with what’s happening with your business.  Happy people attract happy people, so create a culture where employees feel truly respected and supported at work.

Often a skilled, supportive management team and a can-do approach, listening to employee ideas can work wonders even when times are hard and budgets are tight.

  1. Check your Salary offers are competitive – and be mindful when recruiting for new roles

Identify what losing your best employees would mean for your business and review what losing them would cost.    Replacing them will almost certainly cost you more than improving pay and conditions for your existing people.

It’s not all about money – but right now, in a cost-of-living crisis, it sometimes is.  Chances are if you haven’t hired someone recently, salaries may no longer be competitive, and once someone has a job offer elsewhere, it’s often too late for a payrise to stop them leaving.

Also there’s a huge faux-pas to avoid when advertising for new people.  Employees will feel insulted if you are recruiting new team members and advertising a salary at a higher rate than your existing people already doing the job are paid.  If you think money’s tight, it will be even tighter if you need to replace existing staff.

An unexpected pay rise, even a small one, is a huge motivator for staff.  If you aren’t sure whether your salaries are on-par for your team, you could talk to your recruitment consultant or speak to a pay and reward specialist, who can help you get it right.

Hiring additional people only to lose existing ones is pointless, so if in doubt, seek professional advice and take it!

  1. Review your Benefits offering – and ensure you use what you have

Remember where we said ‘it’s not all about money?’  Flexible working can be a great benefit.  Flexible working is hugely valued by employees, even if it’s just letting them work from home when sick.  They don’t lose pay, you don’t lose contact and it won’t cost you more than you pay now.

However, there are other benefits that can be attractive for both existing and new employees – and you may be paying for them anyway.

Mental health helplines, free nurse advice services, 24/7 telephone GP access are often included add-ons in your EAP that your staff would love – and you are paying for.

Before looking for something new, explore what you are paying for already and not using!

  1. Network with outside experts

If you are a small employer, with little funds for benefits, it doesn’t mean you can’t compete – you just need to find creative ways to work with other local employers in the same boat.

See if a local physiotherapist, car dealer or childcare provider is willing to give your employees a discount in exchange for doing the same for theirs.  This can be a clever way to drum up extra business for you both too!

Likewise, talk to your bank about any financial advice helplines you can share with your staff.

There’s no denying the current climate is tough for both businesses and people – but being a good employer is ultimately the best way to both retain and attract talent to your business.  We hope these ideas help.