Each week brings us new surveys on the crises affecting talent acquisition and HR. With a (slightly) tongue-in-cheek approach, we highlight the things we’ve heard enough of already this year.
There’s a skills shortage : The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) found that nearly a quarter of all job openings in 2015 were the result of the skills gap – a total of 209,000, compared to 91,000 in 2011. While the shortage affects specific sectors such as tech talent, finance and the skilled trades – which has the ‘highest density’ of skills-shortage vacancies - the majority of UK business leaders don’t expect it to be an obstacle to hiring in 2016.
Productivity is stagnating : UK productivity is symptomatic of the low levels of happiness and employee engagement in the working environment. Part of that problem may lie within the hiring process. The UKCES survey found that 1.4 million staff lack proficiency in their current job, representing 5% of the national workforce. A combination of poor candidate selection, an onboarding period that doesn’t prepare new hires effectively for their responsibilities and underwhelming leadership leaves employees struggling in their jobs. Sophisticated HR technology will enable HR to recruit candidates with the skills and attitude that align with business needs.
Millennials are demanding : A new report suggests that millennials are more demanding than other generations. This ‘demand’ relates to their higher expectations of HR in areas such as regular progress meetings and provision of detailed targets and is inspired by high levels of motivation and ambition. Millennials were also reported to be the generation most incentivised by reward and recognition for their achievements. Rather than being ‘demanding’, these sought after employer qualities are integral to effective employee engagement and a more productive workforce.
It’s not about salary : Today’s job seekers want more than a good salary, according to endless surveys. Career development opportunities and positive leadership are critical to attract talent to your brand but salary does matter. Undervalued employees are less engaged at the work and part of that relates to being rewarded financially for the job they do. For example, our IT Sector Focus revealed that two thirds of tech professionals plan to change their jobs in 2016, 31% citing pay as the biggest motivation for their move. Attracting talent involves career progression, appropriate training, a positive employer brand and a competitive salary and benefits package.
Employees are leaving their jobs in record numbers : The beginning of 2016 marked the traditional flurry of ‘talent exodus’ and ‘people leaving their jobs in record numbers’ headlines. It happens at the beginning of every year. The fact is that in today’s workforce people (especially millennials) will change their jobs more frequently and explore a career opportunity if it appeals to them. In-depth exit interviews help HR to understand the reasons for employee departures while recruitment analytics identify the sources and behavioural traits of your most successful hires to stem the predicted exodus.
HR is wary of technology : A reluctance to embrace the benefits of big data and HR technology leaves too many HR functions fearful of giving up their reliance on manual recruitment systems and spreadsheets. The result is an inefficient hiring process, an increase in bad hires (see our note on productivity above), talent leaving your pipeline and unhappy, disengaged employees. Investment in recruitment software sets HR free from tedious admin duties to focus on the thornier issues of perfecting its talent acquisition strategy.
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