Competition for candidates hots-up as skills shortage continues

Candidates remain in short supply, and the pressure is on recruitment companies to find cost effective solutions that give them an edge over the competition and help them win the talent attraction and retention race. Little wonder therefore, that interest in digital-first benefits and payroll solutions has piqued, says David McCormack, CEO of HIVE360

The shortage of good quality candidates for temporary and permanent roles shows no sign of improvement, with overall vacancy growth hitting a six-month high in March 2022, according to the latest Report on Jobs survey*.

Alongside is the somewhat unexpected Great Resignation brought about as a result of people ‘taking stock’ during the pandemic, and looking for ways of achieving a genuine work:life balance.

The combination of these factors is certainly adding to the shortage of workers. It is also placing an unprecedented focus on the creation of robust and relevant talent attraction tactics and effective candidate attraction and retention strategies.

As if dealing with the after effects of two years of a global pandemic isn’t enough, we are all striving to run a cost efficient operation, but to address the sustained and rapid falls in labour supply, we have little choice but to look at making changes to what is on offer to candidates. With a keen eye on budgets, these changes must be cheap as well as quick and simple to implement – and offer something more, an edge or differentiator, over our competition, in order to attract and keep talented candidates.

Changes
A change in thinking around how workers are rewarded really works to boost candidate acquisition and retention. Adding relevant benefits to earnings not only helps wages go further at a time when the rising cost of living is putting even more pressure on earnings, they also help to improve a candidate’s engagement and sense of loyalty, and in turn boost a recruiters’ overall offering in the market.

The good news is that it really is easy to make a few simple changes to the approach to what candidates are offered, and the value-add they feel from selecting your business.

Tools that harness mobile tech and which are focused on candidate engagement, benefits and rewards, are an excellent choice, particularly those providing 24/7 confidential support of their physical, mental and financial health and wellbeing. Further favourites are tools to help with the spiralling cost of living – times are hard, so helping money go further with savings and discounts on everyday spending, are a powerful way to help take-home pay go further, and boost the perceived value of hourly pay rates.

Safeguarding workers’ wellbeing and enhancing the employee experience generates loyalty and engagement, which are often the difference between keeping or losing candidates.

An integrated digital approach to how workers are supported also makes them feel recognised, rewarded, and valued, because they have access to advice, resources and support both inside and outside of their demanding working environment, when and where they need it.

Changes like these will make a difference, and won’t have a detrimental impact on running costs or operational resources.

Outsourcing
Outsourcing PAYE payroll to a specialist provider enhances operational efficiency. But what does this have to do with rewards and benefits?

HIVE360 provides compliant outsourced payroll and employment administration to permanent and temporary recruiters, SMEs and private businesses, and as part of this, our clients have automatic access to our unique, customisable benefits app, Engage.

Currently, Engage has an average of 200,000 user sessions every month, and an average user engagement of 81%.

Its solutions cover My Training, My Health, My Money, My Discounts and My Work features. Together, these mean the app delivers information, support and resources from 24/7 access to a personal doctor and mental health counsellors, to gym memberships, thousands of high-street and online lifestyle, dining and insurance discounts, mobile phone savings, more than one hundred online training courses, and GDPR-compliant pay and pension information to support worker’s financial wellbeing.

Kickstart
HIVE360 has carried out a review of employee and candidate experience in the UK. The headline findings are consolidated and reported in our eBook: ‘Attract: Engage: Retain: your complete guide to getting your people strategy right’

For those starting or evolving a people strategy or simply looking to enhance their candidate acquisition plan focused on giving the workforce a better experience and tackling the talent and skills shortages, the eBook includes practical guidance and hints on how to create employee loyalty, boost talent attraction and retention by ensuring people – employees or candidates – are happy, healthy, and productive at work.

More information
HIVE360 is a GLAA (Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority) license holder that provides HRMC compliant PAYE payroll services, with solutions designed to match the individual operations. Its innovative employment experience platform Engage is provided as standard to businesses that outsource payroll and employment administration to the company.  HIVE360 works with many recruitment businesses including Kingston Noble, First Call Contract Services, Rocket Software, Bell Cornwall Recruitment, and First Base Recruitment.

For more information visit:  www.hive360.com

David McCormack is CEO of employee benefits and outsourced payroll provider HIVE360. He has over 20 years’ experience as a Director within the recruitment sector and over 15 years running payroll businesses.

*Sources:
UK Report on Jobs, KPMG and REC

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