How employers can attract & retain the top talent

It’s no secret that there is fierce competition for experienced talent in the island’s biggest industries. The strongest performing sectors are finance and legal, which have exceptionally tight recruitment landscapes.

So, how can an employer lure the brightest and the best? How can you create a buzz around your workplace?

The important thing to stress is that it’s not just about salaries. If ‘show me the money’ summed up the 90s, this decade’s version is ‘show me the balance’.

Therefore, a good place to start is by looking at your company’s culture. There are lots of ways that this could be improved so that potential employees will feel excited about working for you.

Since the pandemic, jobseekers have been telling us that work-life balance has become much more important to them. Up until a few years ago, working in finance was for workaholics, but now many employees want to prioritise their physical and mental wellbeing.

Some companies have responded to this, allowing flexible policies such as working from home. The top talent in the finance and legal worlds is likely to be older with family and caring responsibilities, so flexible working is likely to appeal.

We’ve heard of some businesses letting their staff work from abroad from anywhere in the world for up to 10 weeks per year. A good holiday allowance is a must. On top of the annual entitlement, some employees are allowed to effectively ‘buy’ an extra week’s holiday by foregoing that week’s wage.

Pensions, private healthcare, generous maternal and paternal leave, days off to volunteer with charities, training packages, job rotation programmes, a free breakfast, free yoga, massage sessions, even workplace gyms – these are some of the perks being used to attract the best candidates.

Soft sells like ‘dress down Fridays’ and a day off on birthdays, can be very appreciated. This summer’s pilot of the four-day work week is being watched closely.

Office design has undergone a revolution since the pandemic, and we’re not just talking about adding a ping pong table and a kettle. Breakout areas, comfy sofas and well-equipped kitchens are the new normal.

Job fulfilment is another attribute that jobseekers tell us they want. People want to be part of something they believe in, marrying making money with a sense of purpose. ESG, which stands for environmental social governance, are principles based around social justice, diversity, and limiting climate change.

The idea is that business can be a force for good, and it’s now a race to the top. In today’s world if you want to be a leader, you must lead on the ESG front. Far from virtue signalling or powering the team with rainbows and unicorns, ESG makes good business sense and even the most strident capitalists realise that doing good is also good for the bottom-line.

The deeds must match the words though, otherwise it’s just green washing, which can be very damaging, and staff are likely to become disillusioned and leave.

When it comes to the recruitment and interview process, employers must invest time and effort into make sure the process reflects their brand. In today’s hot job market, the interviewer is also under scrutiny.

The workforce demographics have shifted the balance of power. HR officers now find themselves having to court interviewees who are demanding a good reason to come on board.

Furthermore, hiring managers and leaders need ooze enthusiasm and vision; prospective employees are looking to be impressed, identify reasons to join and differentiators against others – keep in mind, candidates can and will likely have more than one offer on the table. It’s important that your company has a reputation as somewhere that candidates want to work. Companies are increasingly branding themselves when they reach out to jobseekers.

Of course, in a cost-of-living crisis, salaries do still matter. But from a modern employer’s perspective, salaries are not the only factor to consider and there are plenty of other ways to attract the best candidates.

It is still possible for companies to prosper in this challenging environment, but you might need to rethink the old strategies.

Register with us as an employer or become a candidate.

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