Retaining a competitive advantage in today’s job market has never been more important.  A recent survey found that salary and working hours were the top two factors that applicants take into consideration when choosing a new job.  This was closely followed by location, job security and the working environment.  Opportunities for progression and training featured outside of the top five, as did factors such as status.

So, what does this tell us? 

It’s critical that employers are able to offer great perks and competitive compensation without limiting their reach geographically.  For example, flexible working arrangements with the opportunity to work remotely or from home.  Promoting your Company culture and Values through social media will also help to build your brand and encourage applicants to apply.

One of the most common reasons that staff choose to leave their current job was due to their poor relationship with management.  For example, feeling undervalued by their manager or not getting on well with their boss.  This dissatisfaction can lead to businesses missing out on talent which can be costly and time consuming to replace.

Flexible working is another important factor which can make the difference between employees deciding to stay or move jobs.   Offering flexible working arrangements can make a real difference, especially for those with family commitments and/or lengthy commutes.

Finally, opportunities for training and development and undertaking challenging work can have a positive impact on staff retention.   The latest report from the Office for National Statistics showed that a record 32.5 million people were employed between October and December 2018, with the jobless rate, remaining at 4%, which is at its lowest since early 1975.  This combined with larger than expected rises in average weekly earnings means that the competition to attract and retain talented individuals has intensified.  Those employers who take a proactive approach to attracting and retaining the right staff will gain a significant advantage over the competition.

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By Bruce Ramshaw

Principal Consultant

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