We caught up with our fabulous, ‘London Conversation‘ In-house Recruitment Conference, Headline Partners Reed.co.uk and their speaker Simon Wingate to discuss their research on company culture, employee retention and much more.

Simon will be presenting on “Transforming Your Talent Attraction And Retention Through Employee Culture And Engagement” so get a sneak peek below!

Find out more about the London Conversation here: Tickets & Agenda

Q: How are companies adapting to a changing talent acquisition landscape?

A: With unemployment at its lowest since 2008, and plenty of new opportunities to choose from, today’s candidates can have numerous interviews lined up within a matter of days. And with so many more options, candidates can afford to be picky with their expectations.

Companies may offer competitive salaries, fantastic rewards and excellent advancement opportunities, but how do candidates know this? To ensure they’re attracting, recruiting and retaining top talent, employers must spend a lot of time developing their EVP, and thinking about how they communicate it.

We’ve also seen some of the bigger names in UK recruitment adapt the way they hire by removing barriers to entry for candidates. Methods include blind CV and applications, re-assessing the use of academic qualifiers and introducing one day assessments – easier to attend than a sequence of interviews on separate days. This is helping reduce unconscious bias and increase available talent pools to help identify individuals who can really make a difference.

Q: What key trends are starting to emerge so far in 2017?

A: In the early months of 2017, our data has shown annual jobs growth across every region of the UK. The number of vacancies advertised in February was up 13.9% from January, traditionally seen as the busiest month for recruitment, suggesting this year has got off to a strong start. Health & Medicine (+26%), Purchasing (+24) and Manufacturing (+23%) are leading the way when looking at job ad growth by sector.

When looking at how jobseekers look for a new job, mobile use continues to grow. The reed.co.uk app received a record 90,000 installs in January 2017 and, currently, around 30% of total applications are being driven by the app – another record high.

With May’s incoming Apprenticeships levy, we’ve seen registrations from candidates looking for apprenticeships grow by +5.4% annually, but vacancies advertised dropped by -11% in the same time period. Recruiters are responding to these changes in kind for example, NHS, the fifth biggest employer in the world, has recently launched new standards for its Health Care apprenticeships, with the aim of clearly communicating the expectations and the timeframes of each progression through their apprenticeship scheme.

Q: What’s the impact of company culture on employee retention?

A: When a valued employee has handed in their resignation, it always bears the question ‘why’? What could an employer have done to make that person continue their career? The majority of recruiters we work with ask these questions via traditional methods such as exit interviews and analysing turnover metrics. The main challenge falls around company culture, how it’s manifested and how it can be communicated and engaged with by employees.

A practical solution could be to review perks and benefits on a regular basis, as a result of ongoing engagement interviews. This would help ensure you’re offering matches your employee wants and needs, improve employee experience, creating a happy, engaged and high performing workforce. All of which will have a direct impact on retention which is essential in meeting business objectives.

Q: What advice can you offer to companies who want to implement a successful retention strategy?

A: Listen to what people want. There are lots of simple, and inexpensive, ways to nurture happiness and engagement. Our recent candidate survey revealed some of these ways including; a view from the window, a quiet area at work to allow for concentration, and being allowed to work in jeans as among the most valued office comforts.

Even when given free rein to tell us about their ‘dream job’, our survey respondents were realistic and reasonable with their expectations. But, as many of us spend hours at work, cultivating culture and creating an exciting environment are important. Organisational ethics, CSR and ‘doing good’ are important too, especially to young people. Ultimately, what people really want from employers is a degree of flexibility (working hours, working from home) and understanding of the importance of work-life balance.

For full details of Simon’s ‘Transforming Your Talent Attraction And Retention Through Employee Culture And Engagement‘ presentation and for details of our full agenda, click here.

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