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How to Attract and Retain Talent in a Candidate – Led Market

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​The skills shortage continues to affect organisations across every industry, as hiring managers struggle to find the right talent with the necessary blend of technical and soft skills. Talent shortages are at a 15 year high and the UK is facing one of the largest talent shortages in the world, with 77% of employers reporting difficulty in filing roles, compared to the global average of 69% [1].

This talent shortage in the market is the result of a number of external forces: a boom in demand due to lockdown easing, in the UK, an exodus of European workers post-Brexit; alongside the fact that many professionals have retrained or switched sectors when employment opportunities were scare at the height of the Covid-19 disruption.

However, there are encouraging signs for UK job seekers, with the strongest hiring sentiment reported in six years and the second strongest growth of any European country [2.] The data shows that there is growing confidence among employers as the global crisis evolves, with hiring intentions increasing by 13% from the previous quarter. These intentions are 20% stronger when compared with data from this time last year.

This is good news for candidates and employers alike, but how do you overcome the challenge of talent scarcity?

If the past year has demonstrated anything it is the importance of having an agile workforce. It’s become increasingly important to be able to scale output up and down in line with demand. With businesses scaling back or transforming their activities.  In addition to this, is the fact that labour markets are tighter than ever, causing problems for recruitment, especially permanent recruitment. At Opus our talent pool of workers provide a contingent workforce, ready to help keep your business, staff and clients supported.

In the ever-evolving market, a contingent force allows businesses to adopt an agile approach. Change, of any nature, demands businesses to respond flexibly and at speed to remain competitive. Temporary workers prove to be an efficient, responsive and cost-effective means of delivering the agility that’s so important when it comes to taking advantage of opportunities. This can be seen any large organisation, where the main workforce will be typically with be supplemented with a group of contingent personnel. This workforce works alongside their permanent counterpart in a wide variety of roles. With the right onboarding temporary workers become part of the team, regardless of how long they are in a placement.

Candidate Experience

For hiring managers and candidates alike, the candidate experience is key for engaging and retaining the talents needed in an organisation are onboarded. There is an increasing trend of benefits, such as sign-up bonuses, that can work in the short term. However, this isn’t a sustainable solution in an ever-evolving landscape. Employers need to recognise that the talent scarcity will be a longer term issue that cannot be solved with initial incentives. Work is no longer where you go, its now what you do and how you are treated that’s important.

As part of the onboarding experience, training and upskilling programmes are now more vital than ever. Recognition from both the hiring manager and the candidate, that temporary workers can be the beginning of a long term investment in the future of work, and arguably a vital part of the post-pandemic recovery.  A positive onboarding, and continuous culture of growth, for both permanent and temporary workers will ensure you retain the talent. Environment and opportunity will ensure talent doesn’t chase ever popular short term incentives.

A contingent workforce not only allows a business to be agile, but also provides an entry point for candidates to find a meaningful career path. Data from across Opus clients show many workers transition into a permanent role. For the worker, this provides job security, with temporary work being the beginning of the journey. For the hiring manager, this reduces recruitment costs, as this means that whilst providing short term support for your established team, but you have trained and welcomed a member of staff, without a lengthy recruitment campaign.

Increased Focus on Company Culture

Once you have attracted the talent, you need to ensure you continue to retain them. This is an ongoing piece of work, that will pay dividends in the long term.  The past two years has seen so much sudden change and turbulence in the workplace from both business and employees, and now business leaders need to focus on improving and fostering a safe, positive and inclusive culture for all of it staff. The sudden shift from working five days a week in the office to hybrid and remote working as left employees with a lack of structure, and feeling of uncertainty.

Managers and organisations more than ever need to show empathy and an open mind in order to create a workforce with high staff morale and thus productivity. Leading with compassion from the outset of the recruitment process is a now a necessity. By creating a culture of trust through open conversations and problem solving, employers can ensure that their workers reduce presenteeism. A positive company culture is proven to increase employee productivity, efficiency, mood and, ultimately will help you retain talent.

How Opus Can Help?

By working with Opus we standardise the process ensuring rates and terms are fair for both the clients and the worker. Opus are different to other recruitment agencies. Our public sector heritage means we are focused on providing value to both the client and the candidate. Our values attract quality candidates to form our pool of workers, meaning people are at the core of what we do, and that they are placed in the best role for them. Our agile talent pool can be the start of a new career journey, one that benefits both the worker and the hiring manager.

[1] ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS)

[2] ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS)