While businesses have had plenty to contend with throughout the pandemic, a fundamental shift has occurred – employees have gained accelerated influence over their working environment. They are more open than ever to move jobs for professional development and increased purpose. Among UK SMEs, the challenge is particularly acute. Old talent models simply are not cutting it.
The new Laws of Attraction
Businesses need to understand that the landscape has changed, that talent retention and attraction needs effort at every stage of the employee lifecycle. Organisations must repeatedly win the interest, engagement and loyalty of talent – and never take it for granted. To get to this stage, UK employers need to understand why the old models of talent attraction and retention are broken.
The cost of a failed talent strategy
In our 2021 Personio survey, only a quarter (26%) of HR decision makers in the UK and Ireland said that talent retention is a priority for their organisation over the next 12 months. This was a big worry even then. It was clear that businesses needed to change focus from short-term survival to a winning long-term talent strategy as the UK economy recovered.
Business leaders should care because losing talent:
- • Has a financial cost. Every vacancy costs the average UK employer £3,000 and takes an average of nearly a month to fill.
- • Has a contagion cost. A high-turnover environment hurts morale, lower productivity and has a further impact on turnover, especially among the most talented or highly-skilled employees
The new laws disrupting old talent models
Talent attraction has, until recently, been seen as an external strategy, in which the perception of a business is seen as the main driver to attracting candidates. We see this in the way many employers talk about Employer Value Propositions (EVP) when recruiting, but less so once recruitment is over.
Talent retention, by contrast, has been seen as an internal strategy. One in which the potential and performance of employees, as well as their learning and development, are handled solely by their leaders, managers and the HR department. The truth, of course, is a bit more complicated. That’s why enlightened employers are realising two key things:
- • Talent attraction can benefit from internal input (like feedback on recruitment experiences).
- • Talent retention can benefit from external input (like peer feedback, secondments or shared learning).
These new laws of talent attraction are blurring the lines between internal and external, attraction and retention. Attracting, engaging and retaining is part of the same strategy – not separate ones. Businesses need to move from concepts of attraction and retention towards a model of what we now know as Attraction Plus.
Find out more about the benefits of Attraction Plus and how to implement it in your organisation with our free guide: