New generation of workers force revolution of HR processes

Capita Resourcing has published a major new study of HR professionals revealing that more than half (54 per cent) feel retention will become as big a challenge for businesses as recruitment over the next ten years. Further to this, 73 per cent think employees are becoming more demanding and aware of their skills and ‘brand’.

The study, Workforce Horizons, which combines a survey of 200 HR professionals with in-depth interviews of ten leading HR experts. It reveals that 94 per cent believe that it is important to engage with the very best talent even before a position is available to them. The results signal a subtle but significant power shift from employer to employee which is only set to accelerate even further over the next decade.

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Most organisations are falling behind employees in realising the importance of a brand, with only 18 per cent of those surveyed having developed an employer brand. Fewer still, only 11 per cent, have commenced training to develop their value proposition for the employer brand.

Nicola McQueen, Managing Director, Capita Resourcing, stated: “The current ‘one size fits all’ talent programmes are no longer fit for purpose. Instead, they should be transformed into personalised schemes for individual employees, and robust approaches to embedding diversity and inclusion should be implemented to achieve a competitive advantage and increase retention levels.

“Although our research does show that organisations are taking tactical steps to improve their employer brand, such as exit processes and employee referral schemes), few are approaching it from a strategic perspective. Being clear about what your company stands for and how it is positioned is a crucial first step. After all, it can take years of careful planning to build an employer brand and secure an enduring reputation for being a great place to work.”

The survey also found that 92 per cent of HR professionals believe employment flexibility (to include a wide mix of ‘total reward’ elements such as working from home or part-time) will become the most important factor for employees in determining the suitability of a future employer. According to the research, only 8 per cent of the workforce currently work on a flexible contract meaning a significant shift needs to occur to meet demand.

The study reveals the important role that data and technology will play in making HR a more strategic function. The findings show that 31 per cent believe big data enables HR to deliver more strategic value and, as such, are actively exploring how to get more value from their data. However, a lack of analytics skills to understand and interpret the data (36 per cent), is one of the biggest barriers to getting better value from big data analytics for recruitment and retention strategies.

“The key learning from our extensive study of UK employers is that organisations need to cultivate their employer brand and raise their game in a world where workers have more information and power. HR professionals have a major role to play in ensuring leadership is on side to improve workforce planning, superior management of the brand and engagement with talent.

“The organisations in best shape in terms of the composition and skill set of their workforce will be the ones that build their brand, incorporate a more flexible culture and are quick to implement the latest best practices and innovative new systems,” added McQueen. 

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