Employers will lose talent if they don’t make better use of employees’ skills.

Employers face a challenge to retain their most talented employees, warns a Randstad survey.

The new report shows employers do not properly understand what motivates their employees to continue working for them.

It also found employers are failing to utilise fully the skills of their employees despite many workers broadening their skills during the recession.

According to Randstad’s World of Work Report 2010, which examines the current and future dynamics of the employment environment in the UK, employers ranked the main factors driving people to stay at a company as its brand, culture and the benefits package offered.

But employees ranked the most important factors in their choice of employer as the level of remuneration, training and development, a good career path and flexible working conditions.

In addition, the research found that half of employees surveyed feel their skills are being under-used, despite 23% of those surveyed having up-skilled during the last 18 months. This group has become known as Generation R.

During the economic downturn, a third of permanent staff and a fifth of interims and contractors have up-skilled to cover additional responsibilities, often because organisations have not hired new staff. The recession has also resulted in around 10% of people taking up positions that do not fully utilise their skills.

Brian Wilkinson, head of Randstad UK, said: “Our report highlights that there is a gap between what organisations think will motivate their key talent to stay with them and what their employees actually say will retain them. The research also showed that a quarter of workers, who are not actively looking, would consider changing employer if something attractive came up. It is important that organisations act now to resolve this gulf in understanding, otherwise they risk losing talented people who have up-skilled during the recession and made themselves more valuable.

“For many organisations it will be a fine balancing act between investing to hold on to key staff and minimising the overall labour cost base by building in more flexible employment strategies. In this complex market, we are finding that many organisations are turning to us for advice on appropriate remuneration packages and retention strategies.

“While organisations are focusing on managing the realities of today, they mustn’t lose sight of the long-term trends that point towards skills shortages, particularly as the number of people of working age declines and the population ages. Raising the retirement age will help organisations, but many will also need to adopt human resource strategies that make greater use of temporary and interim skills, as well as technology. Remote working has been spoken about for many years, but many people will expect to do more work this way in the future, so employers will need to adapt to access the best talent.”

Source: David Woods – HR Magazine

21st September 2010


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