By Simon Noble
Recession is here, according to the Bank of England, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that tough times are ahead. In addition to this, organisations are experiencing significant difficulties in hiring and holding on to top talent, with 47% of employers reporting they have hard-to-fill vacancies. Simultaneously, organisations are implementing recruitment freezes, and even cuts.
The combination of these trends may seem paradoxical, as businesses need people to ensure their operations can continue smoothly but are increasingly cutting down on hiring. Ultimately, in times of economic uncertainty, it’s all about doing more with less for hiring managers, finding the most cost-efficient approach to securing and retaining top talent. At the heart of this is ensuring that organisations focus on employee experience, taking a data-driven approach to drive success.
Ensuring the price is right
Although it’s not the only factor, pay and benefits clearly make up a large part of employee experience, with 59% of people still believing these is the most important aspect of their job. Clearly, within the current economic context, employees expect a competitive and appropriate salary for the work they are undertaking. Yet, renumeration goes beyond the financials when it comes to employee experience, as it can also be proof of the respect and value that the employer places on the employee, which are both critical parts of building trust and mutual cooperation. As such, the demand for a good salary is twofold, linked in the first instance to an employee’s financial wellbeing, and in the second instance building a strong relationship between employee and employer.
In tough economic times when businesses are closely monitoring their bottom line, there is a tough balancing act. It is essential for employers to be prudent, and to offer not only a pay package that suits the employee, but also one that isas cost-effective as possible for the business. This is no easy feat, particularly in a period of uncertainty where market conditions and employee expectations are constantly shifting.
Increasingly firms are turning to technology to assist them with these difficult financial decisions, optimise the outcome and master that balancing act. Using an integrated platform, that leverages real-time data on salaries, vacancies and many other variables, workforce management teams are able to get an accurate view of market conditions, allowing them to produce competitive salary packages to secure and retain top talent in a cost-effective way. Without this comprehensive use of data, firms could either miss out on top talent, or be paying over the odds, which harms their bottom line, and putting them at a disadvantage against their competitors.
Employee experience extends beyond pay
In addition, employee experience goes well beyond pay and encompasses several factors, many of which have been amplified post-pandemic. For example, when surveyed 67% of workers reported that the most important aspect of their job was a good work-life balance, with other factors such as job satisfaction and job security also scoring highly. Therefore, there’s lots of work for employers to do to ensure that they attract talent efficiently, and that recent hires don’t regret their decision and move on quickly. This is not only due to the cost implications of wasted training and having to re-hire, but also the negative effect it can have on morale and productivity.
In order to prevent high turnover and increase retention, the approach to employer experience has to be a lot more holistic than it perhaps once was, taking many things into account. Often today it involves providing flexibility, such as hybrid or remote work, as well as ensuring there are many avenues open to workers to develop their skills and aid their career progression since only 32% had the opportunity for promotion. Similarly, to making financial decisions, businesses can also leverage talent intelligence here to ensure that they are offering the best possible employee experience.
Harnessing the power of data
There’s a huge amount of data involved in the management of employees in modern businesses, particularly as those companies and workforces grow. Harnessing that data is crucial to be fully equipped to make decisions and keep employees engaged and productive. Talent intelligence is increasingly being used to help businesses fully understand both their own workforce but also the global market. This will allow organisations to fully optimise their employee experience and ultimately the success of their business.
Monitoring performance effectively is key to understanding what an organisation needs to focus on and how best to use the resources at its disposal. Firms are able to use data to assess this and make informed decisions as to whether they may need to hire new staff or to redeploy current workers to new roles. This ensures strong mobility both into the company and within it, meaning that employees have the opportunity to move into roles that are suitable for them but also beneficial for the company.
On top of this is the ability to capture worker sentiment in the form of feedback, surveys and opinions on a range of matters. Firms can then analyse this data to react to changes in the mood of their workforce and ensure that they keep up to date with changing internal cultures and desires. This allows them to monitor the turnover of staff and be able to predict any potential volatility within the talent market, to then take the necessary steps to ensure that their workforces remain resilient.
As we move forward in a time of economic uncertainty, it’s essential for firms across every industry to have resilient and engaged workforces, allowing them to meet the challenges ahead. Elevating the employee experience by leveraging technology and data is crucial to this endeavour and must be a primary focus to businesses throughout the global economy.
About the Author
Simon Noble is the Senior Vice President for the EMEA region at Magnit, a global leader in contingent workforce management. Simon has over 25 years’ experience in leading businesses through transformation thanks to the successful implementation and alignment of leading technology solutions.