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With all the changes to the world of work that we have recently experienced and are continuing to experience, our webinar programme this year is focused on the future of work and in particular the hot topics HR teams are having to handle now in order to future proof their organisations.

Our latest seminar focused on recruitment and retention. The key takeaway points are set out below:

The “Great Resignation” and current trends

  • It is increasingly reported that employers within the UK are facing labour shortages, brought about by a combination of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and the rise in demand particularly within the technology, logistics, healthcare and sciences sectors.
  • Certainly, the pandemic and enforced home working has led to some employees re-considering their working life and many now see flexibility as non-negotiable.
  • In other areas, the pandemic has resulted in demanding workloads and challenging working conditions, particularly within the health and care sectors.
  • EU workers leaving the UK ahead of Brexit, and the inability to fill vacancies with EU workers has also contributed to shortages.
  • As a result, attracting and retaining talent has become increasingly challenging, leading to inflated salaries.

How can employers attract and retain talent?

  • Increasing salaries is not always the answer, especially for smaller and medium sized employers, nor is it a sustainable long-term solution.
  • Culture is becoming a key driver for many employees and candidates will be keen to understand what it really feels like to work for the organisation and how the organisation treated its workforce during the pandemic and looks after its staff generally.
  • Many employers are looking to offer flexibility, wellbeing support and employee development to attract candidates but it needs to be authentic and truly reflect what happens in practice.
  • ESG is also increasingly important so employers should be prepared to discuss what they are doing about their environmental impact and how they positively impact society with candidates.
  • A review and refresh of recruitment practices is also recommended, to tap into wider and more diverse talent pools and to make the best impression in a virtual world.
  • Investing in technology to help connect employees wherever they are based and to work effectively and efficiently will also help.

Recruiting from outside of the UK

  • Employers are increasingly exploring recruitment from outside of the UK using one of the accepted temporary or more often skilled worker visa routes.
  • However, there are cost and time implications of doing so which can make it a less attractive option.
  • New visa routes are on the horizon so employers should keep a look out for developments in this area.
  • Many employees are requesting to work abroad now that remote working is commonplace. However, there are a number of issues with employees working abroad, not just in terms of immigration but also tax, confidentiality, health and safety amongst others. For a discussion of this area, listen to our podcast: Shoospeak HR podcast - Episode 20: The changing face of global mobility.

The future of work

  • Flexible working is here to stay but it is important that employers set clear parameters on what is expected to avoid future disputes.
  • Effective management of employees working remotely will be key, as will have the right technology in place.
  • Reskilling and upskilling the existing workforce will help both retain talent and provide succession planning for the organisation.
  • Engaging with employees to increase their involvement with the organisation and offering longer term incentives will also help with retention.
  • Well drafted restrictive covenants can also help protect a business when an employee leaves so employers should review and, if necessary, refresh the provisions they have in place.

Poll results