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This blog topic was suggested by our Onshore Advisor, Julieann Fouad

The future of the staffing industry post Brexit still remains unclear. Whilst we have already seen staff shortages in industries that rely heavily on foreign workers predominately the public, healthcare, hospitality and leisure sectors, the ambiguity over trade, immigration and residency ensures that for those that work in staffing the environment continues to present a constant challenge.

The challenges don’t end with Brexit for recruiters either as the use of artificial Intelligence (AI) and social media for recruiting; the expansion of the gig economy; the evolving demands, attitudes and expectations of candidates, GDPR – never mind the increasing demands of attracting passive candidates – all require more and more from recruiters and employers.

One thing is however very clear, the war for talent remains a constant for recruitment consultants, in-house recruiters and candidates alike. In order to survive and more desirably thrive we all need motivated, agile and inspired employees.

If we want to attract, retain and inspire the best candidates we need to create an environment that people will want to join and most importantly remain with.

So, how we ensure that we provide the right environment for success?

The best candidates today have the luxury of being able to be highly selective when considering a new job. They can demand and often expect a lot from an employer, and we’re not talking money here, which in fact is a lower priority than other factors for many candidates today.

Millennials are now fully part of the workforce and are now being joined by Generation Z in ever greater numbers. In order to attract, retain and engage with these groups and be an employer of choice it is imperative to not only meet but exceed their expectations.

Desirable candidates demand creative reward packages and working environments and insist that their personal values are met in the workplace, therefore it is essential to offer the following:

  • Offer the benefits they want– today the value of offering a personally and professionally fulfilling career opportunity is paramount. Being an employer who offers, and values professional development will help you become an employer of choice. Candidates want to be recognised for their hard work and nurtured to continue to do so. A broad range of benefits that employees want encourages commitment and it can need to go as far as offering equity to lock in and retain the best and most essential talent.
  • Be flexible with working arrangements – today’s employees want flexibility, autonomy and freedom. They want to take advantage of technology and the flexibility it offers as to when and where they work. (Workforce profiles are changing rapidly as more and more employees work flexibly or at home for all or part of the week. Niche professionals are becoming self- employed – offering their skills in an outsourced capacity – such as marketing – giving them even greater control and autonomy and a variety of working) The days of employees working on-site in full time or even part time roles are gone.
  • Feed their professional development –make sure you know what your employees’ drivers and ambitions are. Align them with the company goals and vision and collaborate with them to build effective personal development plans that will feed both their soul and develop essential skills. In addition, more employees want to take sabbaticals – often difficult to manage but under the right circumstances highly advantageous in retaining and developing your talent and increasing loyalty
  • Design the right environment – the days of grey windowless offices are well and truly over, today productivity can be directly linked to the working environment, therefore it is essential that the workspace is designed with employees in mind.
  • Ask for feedback – Frequent and timely feedback is key, however it is just as important that employees feel their collaboration is desired. The candidates of choice demand a workplace where two-way communication is open and most importantly is asked for, valued and regularly acted upon.
  • Be truly diverse – as the workforce continues to become ever more diverse, inequality is not tolerated and companies who choose to ignore recruiting bias will find their position as an employer of choice limited by this issue.
  • Make work achievable and get support for your teams – if you demand the impossible then it is possible your best people will leave. For example, the 360 recruiter role is not sustainable in a fast paced complex recruitment business.360 recruiters so often end up working long unsociable hours to provide service to both their clients and candidates. Offering your team support, such as working with an outsourcing partner or recruiting a dedicated resourcer to help find candidates, sift through CVs or check references, will help enable recruiters to focus on the areas they can achieve outstanding results in. This not only results in satisfied and motivated staff who perform better but allows for a better work/life balance that is necessary for today’s workers, increases their commitment and extends their tenure.
  • Play to your employee’s strengths – what your staff work on will not only impact productivity but is a real game changer on you becoming an employer of choice. If your team aren’t allowed to focus their efforts on core activities they will quickly become despondent. Choose those activities that create a distinct advantage if done by somebody else, such as sourcing potential candidates through an outsourcing partner or a dedicated in house resourcer, which allows your recruiters to achieve greater results and which will ultimately make you an employer of choice.

Becoming an employer of choice is a challenge, however it offers so much and in so many ways. If you create the right environment applicants will be eager to work for you, others will envy your employees and your most talented and valued workers will stay with you throughout their careers.