26 October 2017 | By Nigel Heap Community

What your workers really want

Top tips for finding talent – and keeping it – from CBI Annual Conference strategic partner Hays

Many of you will have first-hand experience of how hard it can be to find the right people for your business. Understanding the factors people consider when deciding whether to stay in a job or accept a new one is therefore vital to gaining a competitive edge in the employment market.

Our What Workers Want report, based on the findings of over 13,650 survey responses, explores the four key factors of pay, culture, career progression and benefits – and how they influence an employee’s decision about whether they should stay in their current role.

And while pay is the single most important influence; other factors, including culture, career progression and benefits collectively determine more of the decision-making process (55 per cent). Organisations should therefore not rely on pay alone to help them keep existing employees and find new ones.

Professionals say they would be prepared to take a pay cut to work for an organisation that is a better cultural fit, and they are also looking for an employer with a diverse and engaging culture.

Moving on up

Career progression is also important, with a significant proportion of professionals striving to achieve senior executive positions. Plus, when it comes to promotion, employees rate achieving greater recognition and respect most highly. Receiving additional professional development and training is also viewed as more rewarding than moving up a level or getting an improved job title.

Our survey also highlighted that employees want to be aware of the benefits employers offer so they can make the best decisions about their career. However, these benefits are not always effectively communicated during interviews.

As a result of these findings, our top three tips for employers are:

  1. Promote the total package

There is a gap in employee awareness about what is available to them. Make sure information is easily accessible and communicated consistently, from the moment a prospective employee engages with your organisation to their regular dealings with their manager. Make sure you have identified the aspects that matter most to them and communicate these most clearly.

  1. Make sure your interviews are two-way

Although many employers believed their candidates knew what rewards are on offer, this wasn’t always the case and employers struggled to convey the company’s culture. Employers should consider reviewing their interview structure and questioning techniques to make this clearer. Additional training of managers involved in the hiring process may also be necessary.

  1. Celebrate staff achievements

When promoted, employees are looking for recognition and respect above financial rewards, so it is vital to review whether your promotion criteria and rewards offer this. Celebrating staff successes may be key to keeping your staff happy in the long term. So, make sure you promote these across the organisation, not just within the team.

Above all, it is clear that a combination of factors creates a positive career experience for professionals and relying on any one alone – whether pay, culture, career progression or benefits – could be prove to be a costly mistake.

Getting to grips with what is most relevant to your organisation, sector and the type of candidates is essential to make headway and target your offering to what workers really want. It is also clear that communication needs to be prioritised as part of recruitment and retention programmes. More effective communication may, in itself, resolve some of the gaps between employee expectations and what they are experiencing, and allow you greater access to the talent you need.

To request your copy of our What Workers Want report 2017 visit 

Hays is proud to be a strategic partner of the CBI Annual Conference

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