What employees want…

What employees want…

Have you adapted to attract the top talent?

Every generation coming into the talent pool brings with them fresh perspectives and priorities. As companies look to recruit the best and brightest in our sectors, it’s vital we keep on top of the modern employee’s wish list.

Nothing says ‘we’re a company you can trust with your future’ like a workplace that’s clearly stuck in the past.

(Top talent will have no interest in working at businesses that don’t proactively show they have matching values)

From purpose to polices, there are a number of factors that can make or break an opportunity for today’s candidates, and they’re pretty switched on about their searches too. Growing up in a world of ‘greenwashing’ and ‘fake news’, Gen Z workers know authenticity when they see it and they actively seek it out when choosing their roles. It’s a no-nonsense market and employers are being held to account for their actions and attitudes more than ever before.

Employees with more experience have also had a chance to reassess what they want from their careers. This has led to a surge of people seeking out better work-life balances and opportunities to work for companies that align to the causes or practices they believe in.

The ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021 can be felt across numerous industries right now, but the tech and healthcare sectors are two of the hardest hit. In fact, Forbes reported that resignations in the tech field have increased by 4.5% from 2020 to 2021.

But with change comes opportunity. And, if you’re a company that’s prepared to adapt, listen and lead with new ways of working, there’s a real chance to steal a competitive edge when bagging new talent.

It’s not like it’s rocket science either, employees are simply looking for a workplace that respects their values whilst supporting their development and wellbeing. And, whilst being treated as individuals is key, there are also some areas of common ground every company should look to cover.

So, what does it take to attract the top talent?

Sort your sustainability

From COP26 to Attenborough’s war on the straw, conversations around the environment and its issues are only heightening as concerns continue to grow. Everyone is being called on to play their part and businesses, in particular, have to ensure they operate in a more sustainable way. We all want better.

Gen Z workers are perhaps the most proactive and passionate when it comes to greener businesses, but they’re not alone. To this wave of younger employees, ‘sustainability’ is not something we can ‘strive for’, it’s an authentic lifestyle we have to commit to. From the servers you use to your fleet choices or factory environments, they understand and explore the many areas where companies can cause further damage or help to improve their footprint. If you haven’t audited your operations yet, they have the will and wisdom to do it for you, so it pays to keep up.

Be diverse

Facing the harsh reality of everyday inequality has led to a higher demand for diversity in the workplace from both employees and managers. This will only continue to become more vital as roles and requirements evolve over time. So, to keep up, business leaders will need to consider whether their workplace is truly ‘fair for all’ – or if there is some much needed work to be done.

Initiating a cultural shift towards diversity in the workplace means greater flexible working models for parents, considering those who work remotely to ensure they’re treated the same as those physically in the office, and of course, developing an effective DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) strategy. The bottom line is this: All workers deserve to feel empowered and strengthened by their workforce – no matter their race, background, or gender. It’s up to business leaders to make sure their teams are heard.

Be flexible

Working where you want and when you want has finally become a reality for lots of workers and we’re unlikely to let it go. Free to combine home comforts with office culture, today’s employee wants to tailor their weekly working patterns to suit their own needs, and everybody’s balance will be different.

Some may want to be fully home based and avoid commuting for as long as physically possible. Others may prefer being in the office daily, because they enjoy the free Wifi, colleague banter and sharing out the tea rounds. It’s all personal preference.

To support this, employers need to provide the frameworks for a fluid environment with the technology that allows for business as usual.

Elevate employee wellbeing

This shift to remote working, alongside better education on mental health, has provided workers with a deeper understanding of the importance of wellbeing. Colleagues want to be treated as humans, not just names on the payroll. They want to know they can balance their work with the people and hobbies that are important to them.  They want to work in an open culture where they feel they’re supported, seen and heard by their employers – with no stiff upper lip judgements.

So, what does this look like? It means providing access to available mental health support, factoring in their personal flexible working needs, creating a healthy environment to work in and ensuring they have all the tools they need to work as efficiently as they can from home. The alternative to this is often burnt-out, overworked, emotionally and physically stressed employees who struggle to stay productive – and no one in their right mind wants that for their employees, or their organisations.

When it comes to attracting the right team, prioritising, and nurturing a robust employee wellbeing plan couldn’t be more important. Not only will it benefit your people, but it will also have a hugely positive impact on company reputation, overall productivity and business growth as a whole.

Embrace forward thinking technology

It has been suggested that 49% of the UK workforce would leave their jobs due to frustrations with technology. When it comes to happy workers, an investment in technology is usually a wise move.

Adopting the right cloud based infrastructure and combining it with appropriate working policies will drive great employee experience. Staff now demand instant access to work systems, to collaborate seamlessly with their teams, and to work efficiently no matter their location.

Collaboration has had a huge part to play in recent years. With a hybrid work model taking the forefront for many organisations, video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams will continue to develop in parallel with the ever-growing demand. Ensuring your teams are well equipped with the right tech tools to have great virtual meetings is crucial: High quality laptops, cameras, headphones, and smart speakers for meeting rooms etc etc.

For new talent, it’s these ‘work from anywhere, at any time’ capabilities that they look for first, and if they see your business is on board with this in the most effective way possible – you’re onto a winner.