In the wake of the recent COP26 climate summit, sustainability is at the forefront of many of our minds, and it is clear that consumers are looking to businesses to play their part in helping to tackle climate change.
The double whammy of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic has led to skills and staff shortages. An estimated 1.3 million non-UK workers have left the country since the pandemic began while immigration has fallen.
Meanwhile, the pace of the economic recovery has led to bottlenecks, and huge shifts in the way we work have opened up new gaps that employers are struggling to fill.
Topping it all off, the virus has prompted many people to reevaluate the way they work, whether that means looking for remote positions, striving for a better work/life balance, or changing their career entirely.
The shortage in skilled workers has led some companies to offer fairly hefty golden hellos. Care home operator HC One handed out a £10,000 welcome bonus for two registered night nurse positions, while Elysium Healthcare and the Priory Group offered £5,000 per role.
Such incentive packages are likely to drum up interest, but most businesses simply can’t afford to wave cash around like that.
So how else can companies attract employees in the post-Covid work landscape?
4 Ways to Attract the Best Talent
Offer hybrid or remote working optionsOne of the most prominent ways the pandemic has changed our working habits is the boom in remote working. While only a few have completely fallen in love with the digital nomad lifestyle, many more found that the flexibility of working remotely – at least part of the time – brought significant benefits.
A recent survey by recruitment company Hays found that 62% of employees preferred an entirely remote or hybrid working model, whereas just 24% wanted a full return to the workplace.
Additionally, remote and hybrid opportunities can open positions up to candidates further afield, potentially widening the talent pool you can draw from.
Enable a good work/life balancePart of the appeal of remote working is that it helped people strike the right work/life balance. More flexibility and less travel time meant many workers found an extra hour or two in their day, or they could more easily fit work around their lives and not the other way around.
And that’s increasingly important to people, especially the younger generations – millennials and Gen Z – who make up a growing portion of the UK’s workforce.
There are other ways you can help employees balance their personal and professional time: restricting emails to work hours, early finishes on a Friday, flexible working options. These are all very doable things for many companies, and they’ll signal to a prospective employee that you want them to have and enjoy a life outside of office hours.
Provide routes for progressionWith the worst of the pandemic hopefully behind us, people are once again planning for the future. Work-wise, this means contemplating career paths and professional development.
Employees want to know that their role is leading somewhere, and they can grow and evolve in their new position. Having a clear plan for progression will get candidates excited not only about what the role is but what it could be.
How you help employees progress will depend on your company’s size and culture. It could include a training budget or peer-to-peer training, a personalised development plan, or even a well-defined set of promotion criteria.
Whatever approach you choose, make sure you show candidates that starting the role is merely a first step on an exciting path.
Prioritise employee wellbeingAnother key issue that was amplified by the pandemic is employee wellbeing. The last year or so has been very hard for many of us, and as a result more people are taking steps to improve their physical and mental health. By prioritising wellbeing you can tap into this trend while also doing something positive for your employees.
And not only is wellbeing important from a moral standpoint, it also makes good business sense. Happier workers are more productive. So, how can you do it?
You may want to improve the office environment to be more natural and calming: plants can improve both physical and mental health, as well as boost productivity; sunlight and good lighting can help tackle seasonal affective disorder and promote a healthy circadian rhythm among workers.
You could focus on workers’ physical wellbeing, perhaps with free fresh fruit in the office, a discounted gym membership and a cycle-to-work scheme. Or you could focus on mental wellbeing with subsidised counselling and free meditation classes or apps.
Another great method is to foster positive working relationships, which can be especially important if some colleagues are working remotely. Regular meetings, out-of-hours socials or perhaps a department breakfast once a month can forge friendships and help people feel like they’re part of a team.
Hopefully you’ll find our tips helpful, not only for attracting new talent but also for retaining current employees and creating a positive, productive company culture. If you prioritise wellbeing, help people progress and enable a good work/life balance, you’ll likely find yourself among happy, satisfied, productive colleagues.