As employment rates finally recover from 2008 a new crisis is emerging. There is a major gap in the skilled job market and many companies are in desperate need of attracting and retaining the right talent. Recent research from CIPD uncovered that over three quarters of organisations, regardless of sector, are experiencing these recruitment difficulties. A new report from PwC alarmingly stated that in the coming years ‘talent will be one of the scarcest resources, with the developed world competing for this finite supply of Human Capital’.
The fact that employers are increasingly placing importance on employee engagement is no coincidence. Attracting and retaining skilled staff, then ultimately getting them to do the best job they can, has never been more important. The BBC reported today that pay rates are increasing rapidly as employers try to compete for talent, however other HR studies show that millennial engagement is not as straightforward as a fat pay cheque. No longer can companies simply out-pay their competitors. Dame Barbara Stocking, former-CEO of Oxfam and the president of Murray Edwards college at Cambridge University, said in an interview with Governance and Compliance magazine ‘in a recent Murray Edwards alumni survey, 70% said that a good employer is one where the employee personally feels they are able to make a difference in the world’ and goes on to say that ‘a lot of people are motivated by something other than money’. This levels the playing field for more creative and savvy SMEs to step in… which they are doing. Increasingly, new companies are drawing top talent away from legacy firms.
The job climate has sparked a company culture revolution: think of the slides in Google’s offices, the increase of flexible working hours or simply the trend of companies feeding their employees! Yes this culture catalyses innovation but it also drives engagement. Millennials want to have an impact and contribute to an organisation in an ethical context, but most importantly, they want don’t want to be sitting in their flat on Sunday with the dreaded Sunday blues settling in.
Driving these initiatives (company culture and workforce engagement) is part of the solution, but communicating them in the right way is also imperative. Through an effective PR campaign you can identify the company culture you want to attain and promote it through social media, news coverage, speeches, events, comms and awards. The key is to become contributors in the talent communities you are targeting. This is something that is done well in one of the industries suffering the most from the talent gap: the tech world. If you come and visit the Silicon Roundabout you will often walk past special evenings being hosted that promote a particular company… and if you do end up in Old Street then feel free to pop in and meet the Flame team too!