It seems most employers agree hiring and retaining employees this year isn’t going to get any easier. And all employers can do is to look for new sources of talent and alter the skills required to get work done.
At least that’s what a recent survey found. The survey was done by Willis Towers Watson (WTW), a global advisory, broking and solutions company. It had 1,650 employers from around the world respond to their 2021-2022 Reimagining Work and Rewards survey, which was conducted between Oct. 28 and Dec. 10, 2021.
The survey revealed that 83% of the participants expect to have problems attracting employees this year. Compared to the first half of last year it was 62% and in 2020 it was 33%. And 74% believe retention will be a problem too, compared to 51% the first half of last year and 22% in 2020. And the difficulty went across all workers: Digital talent (82%), salaried employees (67%) and salespeople (40%).
Most important hiring, retaining changes
When asked what will be most important to them over the next three years, all categories rose significantly:
- altering skills needed to do the work (up 73%)
- multi-skilling so employees can do tasks from different jobs (up 68%)
- changing employee preferences (up 52%), and
- finding new sources of talent (up 36%).
“Companies in virtually every industry are now under significant pressure to adapt to a new business environment and sweeping workforce changes,” said Adrienne Altman, managing director, North America, Talent and Rewards, WTW. “And there’s no greater challenge right now than hiring and retaining workers. Unfortunately, organizations do not expect the situation to improve this year, especially for critical-skill roles.”
5 key areas
Five key areas that have gained major momentum and headed the charge in workplace changes over the past three years are:
- increased focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (78%)
- how employees work, including increased flexibility (74%)
- changes in technology strategy (66%)
- importance of organizational agility (56%), and
- changes in leader and manager competencies (45%).
Thanks to this pressure, employers indicated they plan to make big changes in three vital areas:
- optimizing work and job design (e.g., multi-skilling, remote work, technology, sourcing talent)
- rethinking “Total Rewards” (e.g., compensation, benefits, wellbeing), and
- defining careers (e.g., job architecture, job levelling, career progression).
Benefits pros play vital role
As you can see, Benefits pros are going to play a large role in the changes that will be implemented over the next few years. But this shouldn’t take you by surprise as you have already played a pivotal role in the changes since the pandemic hit. The key is to keep your finger on the pulse of your employees’ wants and needs. That means using surveys and letting employees know you have an open-door policy.