More than 80% of HR professionals based in the U.K. say their organisations’ talent acquisition efforts aren’t adapting to candidate needs and preferences quickly enough, forecasting continued challenges with hiring and retaining the right talent, according to new research in the iCIMS 2022 Workforce Report. Facing a diminishing supply of applicants, coupled with a job market in which the candidates hold virtually all the cards, HR professionals have been forced to rethink how they attract, engage, hire and advance talent.
The second annual Workforce Report from iCIMS, the talent cloud company, provides a comprehensive look at the latest labour market activity, key business trends and priorities for employers navigating the new world of work. Key findings showcase HR trends with a focus on retention, internal mobility and DEI initiatives, including:
- Organisations have mixed feelings on DEI hiring. While hiring a diverse workforce is the top priority for HR professionals over hiring candidates quickly or at a lower cost, 86% agree that they feel pressure to prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals. Additionally, half of all respondents are concerned that their organisations’ sourcing, hiring, and/or internal mobility technology are not meeting their DEI goals. Companies should consider a technology partner that provides a holistic approach to diversity hiring to mitigate bias, leverage explainable AI and create a more equitable process and inclusive culture to propel their program forward.
- Talent attraction and retention tactics are both priorities. Organisations report offering flexible work schedules, increased offerings in benefits packages, greater pathways for internal growth at the organisation and higher wages to attract and/or retain talent. Almost all (94%) HR professionals plan to make investments in talent tools this year, notably for talent attraction (41%), modern talent engagement (35%) and internal mobility (34%) technology.
- Training and internal mobility opportunities are increasingly important, but mostly manual. While 45% of HR professionals say their organisation provides current employees with training programs to maximise employee potential, HR teams personally reach out to current employees with roles they are well-suited for, a manual process that is not scalable. Organisations can maintain personalised experiences, improve internal mobility and enhance the user and talent experiences with digital internal career sites, opportunity marketplaces and employee-generated video content.
- A good candidate experience is crucial, but companies aren’t adapting fast enough. While 84% of HR professionals agree that the experience they provide to candidates is directly related to their business success, the large majority (83%) are concerned that their talent efforts aren’t adapting to candidate needs and preferences. Organisations should provide authentic, easy experiences, showcase videos and testimonials of real employees, provide 24/7 support through a digital assistant, make job recommendations based on a person’s skills and interests, and provide options to apply from a phone with just a few clicks or via text. People want to immerse themselves into the brand and culture and ensure alignment with a company’s values before joining.
- Long-range strategic plans in short supply. Despite hiring being a top priority, HR professionals in the U.K. are cautious, looking at hiring plans every other month, on average. Furthermore, less than half of employers (37%) are proactively nurturing a talent pipeline strategy, which could result in major challenges and negatively impact business success when they have open positions that need to be filled.
“Shifting priorities and talent expectations require us to think differently and take a more strategic, holistic approach to talent transformation,” said Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer at iCIMS. “It is no longer solely about external talent acquisition; we need to be sure we’re addressing and empowering our existing workforce with career opportunities. Top performing employees are being courted by other organisations every day, and it is up to us to power career inspiration and growth within our businesses. Employee-centric talent tools can help turn hiring strategies inward to create a more engaging, efficient experience and improve retention amid labour challenges.”