Thorn Baker Group Skills Shortage What Are Candidates Really Looking For

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Skills Shortage: What Are Candidates Really Looking For?

Skills Shortage, Hiring Tips

Rob Ford Thorn Baker Construction

Recently we have discussed ways that a business could become more attractive to employees. How Industry bodies are reacting to the skills shortage and what solutions they are offering, now it’s time to look at what our candidates have to say. In this blog, we will share our survey results.

Rob Ford, Thorn Baker Construction Director

Times are getting harder for all of us, from petrol to pasta everything is getting more expensive. While the below figures do suggest that more people are coming back to employment, we still need more staff.

So, if you’re a business that is already working to tight margins what can you do to be a more attractive employer? Is increasing salary the only competitive edge a business can offer?

The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) (January to March 2022) has shown that over the quarter there was a decrease in the unemployment rate, while the employment and inactivity rates increased.

Key points:

  • The UK employment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points in the quarter to 75.7% but is still below pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels.

  • Total job-to-job moves increased to a record high of 994,000, driven by resignations rather than dismissals.

  • No. of payrolled employees for April 2022 showed a monthly increase in March 2022, to a record 29.5 million.

  • For the first time since records began, there are fewer unemployed people than job vacancies.

  • The number of job vacancies from February to April 2022 rose to a new record of 1,295,000

Our survey was sent to over 40,000 people and we’re delighted to share the results with you – from key job attractors to favoured benefits and perks.

Our first question might be the most obvious but it’s an interesting result...

When looking for a new role what attracts you to a job the most?

Not really a surprise that salary hit the top of the list. But what’s interesting is that career opportunities came a pretty close second.

Thorn Baker Group Skills Shortage What Are Candidates Really Looking For

If you’re a business that is already working on a tight budget you can’t always amend the salary but you can change the positives about your business that you promote. Talk about the great career opportunities that you have in-house, training staff takes time which is effectively money so promoting within is not only better on your bottom line but it’s always a fantastic talking point when recruiting.

It’s attractive to potential staff to know that a job has become available because you promote from within.

‘I’m looking for training and long-term career opportunities.'

And the below graph backs this point up.

When asked which they would rate the most attractive feature when applying for a job (bar salary) career opportunities were the clear winner.

Thorn Baker Group Skills Shortage What Are Candidates Really Looking For

Which perks are businesses offering vs. Which perks do candidates find attractive?

This is quite interesting when you look at the results there are some surprises (and some that aren’t) and on the surface, there seems to be a mixed bag of responses but if you look a little closer there could be some quick wins for your business.

Thorn Baker Group Skills Shortage What Are Candidates Really Looking For

A couple of things stand out from the above, the first being Refer a Friend. This is something that we as a business do and we have found that it gets quite a lot of traction (read about it here). It’s something simple to organise and implement, it boosts your online content, and it rewards your current workforce. Sounds like a win.

The second is paid training. We recently shared with you some resources currently available to help with training in our blog Skills Shortage: What Training is Available? Money is going to be tight for everyone for some time it seems, so when you look at the advantages of making the most of training help and support it makes sense.

We already know that workers are looking for career advancement opportunities and if they’re currently working for your business you know their potential, make the most of this and help give your current workers the chance to train, progress and ultimately spread the word about how fantastic it is to work for your business.

The third is the staff canteen. Now, this isn’t always possible, it’s dependent on your site so it’s not going to apply to everyone. If you do have one on-site it’s clear from the above that you should be talking about it, and if not what could be done?

Maybe you’re on an Industrial estate or on a site, is there a great cob/roll/barm (depending on your location) van nearby? A breakfast cob can be a great thing on a Friday we all know that especially when the weather gets colder. If you’ve got one nearby why not talk about it or if there’s one you can strike up a deal with to be there at certain times why not ask.

To summarise I would say to look at what data is telling us or better yet run an internal survey as well. Who better to ask than your own workers? You can’t always help restrictions or competition with salary, but you can highlight why you’re a great business to work for. Just because somewhere has a high salary or maybe joining bonuses doesn’t mean their staff turnover won’t be high as well.

Think about your positives and highlight those, even something as simple as free parking can make a big difference to a household budget.

If you’re looking to talk about how you could make the most of your business's best points contact the team today.