6th July 2021
As we take a couple of tentative steps forward out of the pandemic, there will inevitably be the odd one back. However, it genuinely feels as though we can observe the world ahead with quiet optimism, rather than fatalistic dread. And such optimism is accompanied by the ability to plan around something approaching firm foundations, rather than shifting sands. And it’s for such reasons that the UK labour market feels a lot more positive and a lot more competitive than it has for some time.
GDP is set to increase by 7.25% this year, according to the Bank of England. In February, they estimated this figure to be just 5%. Azuma stated that job postings in April matched those of February 2020. And the monthly index of demand for staff from REC/KPMG rose this month to its highest level in 23 years.
Employers, then, are going back to the labour market, challenged both by recruitment competition and retention – the desire of their own people to see what else might be out there. Whether the much-trumpeted retention tsunami actually takes place or not, there are a number of reasons to suggest that many people will be looking elsewhere. They might be people whose employers have been less than stellar as regards furlough, the lockdown and Covid communications. There are no shortage of people who accepted jobs over the last year they would not normally have done so. There are people who wanted to move over the last 15 months but saw no options. And there are those who feel their salaries and careers have stalled during Covid.
Providing the opportunity of your people to help shape a post pandemic workplace and workforce experience is both a unique and pressing need. Listening to them, hearing their experiences, their concerns, their desires for better, provides employers with the opportunity to differentiate. Your people want their voice heard as you shape a new, post-pandemic working reality.
This was one of the key points emerging from a significant piece of research we delivered whilst engaging with Talent Acquisition professionals last month. 72% of our research study felt that they would shape their new employee experience based on how Covid had impacted their people, which would influence their emerging Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
To ignore what has happened, not to factor in what your people have gone through and not to listen to their voices feels tone deaf and unintuitive.
As with many things, the timing of your Employer Branding project is critical. Constructing your EVP over the last year will have been challenging given all the doubt and uncertainty which characterised the worst of lockdown. Mid-2021 feels different, however. The economy is moving enthusiastically in the right direction and organisations have the confidence to plan, to strategize and to move forward. But they need people to do that. Their current employees, engaged, full of purpose and with a clear understanding about how their work contributes to the direction of the organisation. And new people keen to add their passion, curiosity and potential.
Our second key insight from the research touched on people stories. There’s no better way to outline the employee experience to potential hires than through interesting, authentic and topical stories. Stories that narrate what sort of employer you were during the worst of times and what sort of employer you hope to be as we enter something closer to the best of times.
However, uncovering such stories and promoting them was the most pressing challenge over the next year, for more than a third of our research study. For many organisations, there is a lack of agility required to breathe life into such important stories. The stories which will help drive both retention and recruitment. The stories which speak to your internal culture. The stories which open up your organisation to future hires.
And it’s for such reasons that we have developed an Employer Branding practice which seeks not only to build your Employee Value Proposition, but to help articulate and land it with great people stories.
Your EVP is a compelling story waiting to be told – and it will be told through the experiences of your people. Let us help give your people a voice.
To find out more about how we help employers identify and communicate their EVP and employer brand to improve both employee retention and talent attraction, please visit our Employer Branding Consultancy webpage.