2021 brings much hope to many of us following a challenging 2020. Workers who were lucky enough to have kept their jobs, would have spent much of last year focusing on work and hoping their job security would not fall victim to the ongoing pandemic.  

But this sentiment is changing. With the vaccine roll-out in full swing, spring just around the corner, and a general feeling that we’re “through the worst”, more employees will begin to value job satisfaction over job security in the coming months.

A shift in mindset

This economic outlook has created a culture whereby those who are currently in a (safe) job are prioritising financial safety over satisfaction in their career path. However, based on government communication around when we can expect lockdown restrictions to begin easing, it is likely business confidence will start to pick up in the spring.

Workers will now feel that this is an ideal time to earn themselves that long awaited move they have been considering over the past year. A year’s worth of pent-up demand amongst unhappy staff, along with light at the end of the lockdown-shaped tunnel, will prove to be the ideal recipe for a wave of recruitment activity.

Greater competition

Employers must prepare themselves for the fact that demand for talent will increase rapidly in the coming months, resulting in aggressive hiring and a rise in salaries within certain sectors (such as, but not limited to digital & tech). This will mean employees will find themselves with a variety of attractive options come the summer – so those candidates that have sat tight in their roles, but are not fully content, will begin touting their CV’s and applying for other opportunities.

From an employer’s perspective, this pending wave of workers looking for a change of scenery, is a huge problem. In order to minimise the costly risks of losing valued staff members businesses must ensure they have the necessary retention strategies in place.

So, how can employers make sure that they are not at risk of losing valuable members of staff? The key is to lay down the groundwork now, before it is too late.

Be an engaging leader

In order to retain top talent (and not miss out to savvier competitors) it is essential that employers focus on retention strategies, engaging with their staff and understanding the needs and desires of their workforce. – by doing so, employers can gain an understanding of any areas that may need addressing and ultimately remain the employer of choice. Neglecting this idea will more than likely leave employees feeling a lack of direction or even feeling unwanted.

One prominent factor which is becoming ever-more important for employees is the digital skills support they receive from their employer, as well as internal initiatives on offer, such as upskilling. With many businesses turning to digital throughout the pandemic in order to survive, many organisations find themselves with new technologies, or new ways of working that requires increased digital expertise.

As a result, increasing numbers of candidates will not only be looking for an employer that is progressing on its digital transformation journey, but also one that is highly regarded for upskilling and training its employees to ensure they have an array of up-to-date competencies to their name.

It comes down to employers being on the ball and understanding the current mindset of their workforce. An employer who can identify these needs is far more likely to retain their prized staff from the clutches of the competition.

Safeguarding your talent

Many people feel as though their career progression has been on hold the past 12 months and therefore the coming months will see an increase in candidates looking for an employer that supports their learning and development. Digital skills in particular are in incredibly high demand at present and as a result most of the top talent in this area has been snapped up already. Organisations with this talent already in place must look to retain those they have or risk losing them to other companies offering an attractive alternative.

Employee retention has always been a challenge for businesses, but the pandemic has heightened the importance of businesses retaining skilled workers during such troublesome times. Now is the time to act on ensuring you retain those skilled workers.