What's the Best Way to Attract Talent in an Unprecedented Job Market?

Companies need to attract the best and the brightest talent to position themselves for continued and new success. But 2021 showed us that top performers have become increasingly selective regarding employers and professional opportunities. So, here's a look at what organizations can do to differentiate themselves as top employers and ensure they're attracting top talent in 2022.

The Great Resignation

Across industries and demographics, people quit their jobs in 2021. According to data by people analytics firm Visier, 1 in 4 employees left their roles. While it's certainly common to see some professional turnover, particularly among younger employees, they weren't the only ones changing things up in 2021. The most significant increase in resignation rates were employees between 30 and 45 years old, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. While organizations are eager to fill vacant roles, many potential employees are not yet ready to return to the workforce. Plummeting employment figures, paired with low reports of job searching among the unemployed, have shifted the economic landscape in favor of workers. With so many jobs available, workers are optimistic about their job opportunities and are comfortable waiting for the most suitable role and opportunity.

What Employees Want

The biggest lesson of the last two years is that employees want more from their employers, and they won't accept less. Flexibility is paramount: according to PWC's Workforce Pulse Survey, nearly half of Gen Z (45%) and millennial (47%) employees surveyed said they are willing to give up 10% or more of their future earnings in exchange for the option to work virtually from almost anywhere. No longer required to live within commuting distance of the workplace, many workers have relocated to areas that better suit their lifestyles. While most employees still find networking and professional value in going into the office, they want to do it only part of the week, and during times that work best for them. Workers are also eyeing more time off. According to McKinsey's future of work-study, 65% of employees left their jobs to restore work-life balance. Employees are burnt out and searching for opportunities that provide a greater sense of consistency in their lives. This goes beyond vacation time and manageable work hours. The feeling of being valued and connected is crucial. Employees want to work for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output and supports holistic wellbeing. Being trusted and valued by their manager and company in an environment where they're given the autonomy to work independently is vital. In addition, the potential to grow is incredibly desirable. Employees want to learn new skills to grow their careers and see it as imperative to their future career path.

What this Means for Employers

Across industries, workers are redefining what they need to work successfully. To remain competitive, employers need to focus on the overall employee experience and workplace strategy, including things like increasing investment to ensure employees can collaborate no matter their location. Connection will be key: technology-enabled collaboration spaces and training programs will bring together remote and on-site team members and encourage cross-service line engagement. To demonstrate their commitment to wellbeing, organizations should implement or expand policies around employee time off, mental health, and community engagement. Finally, to successfully roll out these initiatives and attract new employees, managers need to be equipped with soft-skills training and hybrid team management practices to foster a dynamic and productive work environment.

Much of a company's success stems from hiring top-performing talent, and the workforce is looking for more from their employers than ever before. Thoughtful and data-driven real estate decisions around location, amenities, and a comprehensive workplace strategy can create an ideal employee experience and help differentiate organizations in today's competitive market. If you're interested in exploring a workplace strategy to position your organization for long-term success, Cresa's advisors and workplace solutions team are here to guide you through this journey.

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