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Annie Hayes



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Development key to staff retention


Employees value their career development over perks such as flexible working, according to research from the Recruitment Confidence Index (RCI).

The RCI found that nearly half of employers regarded pay and rewards, career opportunities and a stimulating working environment as key to retaining good staff.

Only 26% said flexible working had a high impact on keeping hold of people, while 24% felt it had no impact at all.

Nor did managers believe that employer branding, which has been hailed as the solution to talent management problems, had much affect on retaining the best people. Only one in five employers of the 1500 respondents said it had a high impact, while nearly one in three said it had no impact on retention.

When it comes to reasons why staff leave, pay and rewards figure highly again. Half of employers said this prompted staff to move on, but only 18% said staff left to improve their work/life balance.

Commenting on the results of the retention special report Prof Shaun Tyson from Cranfield School of Management said that in the current recruitment climate the need to retain staff was more crucial than ever.

“These figures suggest that it is not sophisticated branding or flexible working options that are keeping staff, it is more basic issues – convincing people there is a good future through pay and careers to stop them moving on to competitor organisations,” he added.

Mark Moorton, HR director with AXA PPP healthcare which sponsored the research, said: “The results provide interesting reading and, perhaps for HR professionals, highlight the need for some rethinking on how to attract and retain high calibre staff. It demonstrates that HR strategic management needs to be constantly reviewed and monitored to ensure that employers are getting the best out of their people spend.”

Approximately one in five employers (19%) said they had problems retaining staff. Retention problems were found to be highest among junior managers, clerical staff and new graduates.

However, women and directors tend to stick with an organisation – only 10% of employers said they have problems retaining female workers and only 3% of employers cannot keep board directors.

· The Recruitment Confidence Index is a quarterly survey of public and private sector employers that measures expected changes in recruitment activity and business conditions during the next six months.

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Annie Hayes


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