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How can you make your workplace more attractive to top talent?

Advice | Challenge | Workplace modernisation | Talent

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Businesses are facing a challenge in trying to attract top talent to their workforces in the current economic climate. Brexit uncertainty has led to workers being reluctant to walk away from their current jobs, which has led to companies struggling to make themselves appealing enough to convince the most skilled workers to make the move.

So what can these businesses do to position themselves as the place top talent wants to be?

Make the physical environment as appealing as possible

The right environment depends on the industry your business operates in, as well as  its company culture. That’s because a candidate walking into a top accountancy firm might be surprised to see a huge slide in the middle of the office, while a marketing candidate could be expecting that.

To offer the right environment, you should meet - and exceed - candidate expectations. Offering a welcoming physical space for employees is an advantage over a competitor who hasn’t paid enough attention to how offices might impact on productivity and wellbeing.

According to Arts Council England, more engagement with arts and culture is associated with “good health and high life satisfaction”. Meanwhile, CMI Workplace has found that office design can boost happiness at work by 33 per cent. When employees are happy at work, they’re up to 12 per cent more productive, according to the University of Warwick, which makes a strong business case for upgrading your workplace.

Offer candidates what they want

Ensuring that you know what top talent is looking for is the first step towards making your business more appealing. This means carrying out some research into your target candidates.

Are they part of Generation X? Millennials? Or the younger Generation Z? Each of these age groups have different career priorities, having grown up differently. Millennials have been receiving a huge amount of attention recently, and with PwC forecasting that by 2020 they will make up 50 per cent of the global workforce, this is justified. It means that the long-term success of your business depends on bringing the best millennials onboard.

From office environments to career progression: Attracting top talent can be a challenge, but there are things businesses can do to ensure they have an advantage when it comes to bringing these candidates on board.

Knowing that your company is appealing to millennials will put you in a good position to attract the most skilled among them. Technologically-savvy and desiring of flexibility at work, they look for employers that are contributing something to the world. Barry Salzberg, chief executive of Deloitte Global, told Forbes: “The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today's millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits.”

Allow workers to develop

Workers today want career development. If your organisation is not able to offer them the chance to grow their skillsets and move up the career ladder, there will be little in your company to appeal to them.

According to leadership development coach Lizabeth Czepiel, businesses must allow for employee creativity and autonomy, as well as supporting “intrapreneurship” among their workers. Top talent wants to be challenged, so delegating big, important projects to them when you bring them on board will go some way towards ensuring their retention.

Losing these recruits soon after hiring them is the worst case scenario - and a legitimate fear for businesses, with the days of a job for life behind us. Claire McCartney, adviser for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, advises businesses that can’t offer promotions to allow for cross-function working, the chance to work on special projects and secondments, which will all boost skills.


Posted by Jon Aspinell on 10th July 2017

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