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Standing out during a talent shortage

Deb LaMere, Chief Human Resources Officer - Datasite 

In the past year, the pandemic has forced furloughs, redundancies and people quitting their jobs. While furloughs and redundancies are often a result of wider business issues, companies can make sure that they are doing the most to attract and retain employees – especially at a time where UK job vacancies are soaring, with 1.24 million vacancies during 2021 and prospective employees needing value from the place they work.

Organisations and companies that can demonstrate they share the same values and an understanding of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues will be most attractive to prospective employees. Sure, a competitive salary and employee benefits are nice, but high-value jobseekers are now looking for more than a basic pay packet. Priorities have shifted over the last two years, and companies today are competing to attract the right people in a tight labour market. Those employers that can align with employees needs will be best placed to succeed.

The focus on company culture
People work more productively in an environment where they are accepted, and their views and values are acknowledged and reflected by the people leading them. To do so, companies need to look inwardly at the work they are doing to make sure they represent people of different backgrounds and experiences. Whilst not an exclusive list, things like age, religion and sexuality are all part of a person’s identity, and potential employees may feel that if a part of their identity is ignored, they may not be able to truly feel included and contribute to the company culture.

Diversity and inclusion efforts are hugely important in fostering a good company culture and therefore increasing employee retention. Over the last year, at Datasite, we found that diversity and inclusion efforts contributed to decreasing our voluntary turnover rates while employee engagement increased. Creating a company culture that does more than just show that it is diverse but actually makes employees feel like they belong and fit in allows for better talent attraction. In fact, research showed that inclusion is key as cities that are more LGBTQ+ inclusive are better able to attract talent and provide a high quality of life, with businesses seeking diversity in their viewpoints experience higher rates of innovation.

Prioritising wellbeing
Taking employee mental health into consideration is key for any company looking to flourish today. Covid and other recent events have likely impacted everyone’s mental health and companies need to be attuned to that.

Three factors have been found to influence worker well-being: the demands of the job, the ability to make decisions, and social support. Now that the lines between life and work have been blurred due to the pandemic and the new hybrid-working system, it’s important that HR leaders allow employees to be as flexible as possible. Data from a survey* of 400 global mergers and acquisitions professionals reveals 35% of them are prioritising family time for 2022. Companies that want to stand out to applicants may want to take this into consideration. To accommodate employees at any level, companies need to be able to provide their staff with reasonable flexibility. On top of that, ensuring that employees are not overworking on a consistent basis, and are able to come offline and switch off will be equally as important to jobseekers.

Setting the tone for change within your company
Of course, it all comes down to what a company is prepared to do to stand out. It is impossible to cater to everyone’s needs, but being driven by purpose to become as inclusive, diverse and sustainable as possible can have a positive impact on employees and the bottom line.

*Survey from Datasite

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