People are at the heart of any successful business, so employers must recognise what matters most to professionals today in order to build a team of talented individuals who want to stay at their organisation.

However, with skills shortages still in full swing, employers must be able to overcome such challenges to help their organisation thrive. We’ve compiled four effective ways to appeal to candidates and keep them on board:

  1. Ensure you are offering competitive salary and benefits packages

Although pay isn’t everything, it’s one of the most crucial considerations for candidates when applying for a new role, especially amidst the cost-of-living crisis. Offering competitive salary and benefits packages is the single most effective way to attract and retain top talent.

While it shouldn’t be the sole focus of your talent management strategy, our UK 2023 Salary & Recruiting Trends guide shows that a better salary coupled with an appealing benefits package is the top reason professionals want to move jobs (29%) in the year ahead.

Ensure your wages are comparable to other organisations within your industry. Beyond base salaries, you can also reward your employees with bonuses, including additional annual leave and private medical cover.

  1. Evaluate your wider employee value proposition (EVP)

Aside from salary, many professionals today are passionate about working for an organisation that has an attractive overall employee value proposition.

Offering employees clear pathways for career progression, demonstrating a diverse and inclusive culture, and actively committing to sustainability are a few crucial ways to enhance your EVP for both current employees and future candidates.

Evidence of a strong organisational purpose is important to 85% of professionals when applying for a new role so it’s crucial that your company’s mission is effectively communicated. Make it clear to both an internal and external audience what your organisational objectives are, beyond profit, and how your business aims to have a positive impact on the wider community.

Be transparent about the tangible ways you put these values into practice, as opposed to simply stating them on paper, to illustrate your authenticity. For example, communicate your sustainability credentials and goals and provide evidence for the ways in which you strive to build an inclusive workplace. Employers who fail to meet these criteria are likely to lose out on the top talent in today’s competitive market.

  1. Offer upskilling opportunities in your organisation

According to our research, almost all employers (93%) faced skills shortages last year; upskilling will need to be a central focus of your talent management strategy in the face of this ongoing skills gap.

Rather than hiring for pure skill based on what an applicant has previously accomplished, organisations will benefit from hiring for potential, with a view of what a candidate could achieve in the future.

By employing professionals with an enthusiasm to develop their current skillset and learn new things, you can create a pipeline of talent that want to adapt to the demands of your organisation. Training and development opportunities are a top priority for many professionals when assessing a new role, so employers who acknowledge and respond to this will be more likely to attract and retain talent. 

  1. Make sure your working policies are as flexible as possible

Many organisations already have hybrid working policies in place, but the consensus from professionals is that they want a more flexible approach to work. With 62% of professionals saying they would be tempted to move roles if they could choose how often they were in the workplace, flexible working shouldn’t be overlooked in your talent management discussions.

Consider if you are you able to adjust your working policies to allow employees to choose the days that they’re in the workplace or provide part-time and flexible working options.

A new working pattern that has dominated the news in recent times is the four-day week and, according to our latest research into the trend, 64% of professionals would be tempted to move to a difference organisation if it was offering a four-day working week. 

Attracting and retaining top talent: next steps for your organisation

In order to compete in today’s skills short market, employers must take the time to review their organisation’s strategy and consider how they can better meet the needs of their employees, in order to keep their current staff and attract new talent.

Although most professionals want to be rewarded with a good salary and benefits packages, there are several other factors which significantly contribute to a candidate’s decision to apply for a role and stay at a specific organisation.

Employers who recognise the importance of their EVP, upskilling opportunities and flexible working offerings will stand in good stead for attracting and retaining talent in the months ahead.