It’s no secret that attracting and retaining talent is incredibly competitive right now. The skills shortage has got employers grappling for the best talent and this has meant that many are changing tactics in order to be successful. Companies are thinking about how to innovate, changing their working patterns and what extra benefits they can offer to influence candidates. A new report from Michael Page identified the following three factors as ones that really make the difference to candidates and employees:

Motivation: finding out what drives workers to commit to and be successful in their jobs, including looking at career progression, training and incentives.

Diversity & Inclusion: equality is still a hot topic in the workplace, with candidates expecting equal opportunities across the board.

Flexibility: flexible working hours and remote working are big pull factors as companies search for talent further afield.

Job Applications are up 71% on 2009, as the number of candidates hunting for new roles has increased significantly. This means that if employers can adjust their operations the right way, they will see an improvement in their ability to source and retain workers. Overall, the top priorities for candidates are scope for professional development, financial incentives, location of work and flexibility in the workplace.

Financial stability, including base salary and benefits, is becoming increasingly important across all age ranges. According to research, 57% of candidates aged 28 to 30 say financial incentives are a consideration for their next job, while 62% of those aged 37 to 40 say salary is a very important priority. The Guardian recently reported that, according to recruiters, starting salaries are on the up, while 26% of businesses in London have admitted that they felt there was more pressure to increase wages.

When it comes to location and flexibility, employees are now more concerned with achieving a good work/life balance. This means that living close to their workplace and having opportunities for flexi-time and remote working are important. Statistics show that 57% of candidates consider work flexibility to be a strong motivating factor. However, only 17% of employees have actually been offered this as an option in the last year.


For businesses who are serious about competing in their industry, sourcing and retaining in-demand talent is of vital importance. Taking into account what motivates each individual candidate and employee is the way to ensure your business has and holds onto the talent they need.


About the Author: Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years, having owned companies in the IT, construction and medical sectors. He runs the Jobs4Group, and is CEO of Jobs4Medical.

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