War for Talent UK Post Pandemic

Extra benefits and incentives as War for Talent hots up

Rewards such as extra wellbeing days, free gym memberships and joining and retention bonuses are becoming almost the norm to entice and retain the best employees according to North West based recruiter Walmsley Wilkinson.

The War for Talent – the well-known phrase coined in the late 1990s when employers first started encountering a more competitive recruitment landscape for skilled employees – is due to a number of market conditions in 2021.

Taryn Wilkinson, Director of Walmsley Wilkinson, said: “It is fast becoming a test of employers’ resolve, creativity and initiative in who can best appeal to the candidates they need.

“It’s becoming a battlefield out there across all sectors, a candidate-driven market where talented prospective employees can pick and choose roles depending on their needs and wants.

“Employers need to think about how they market a role, what their offering is in terms of salary, benefits and holidays and how the way they work also meets with their prospective employee’s expectations.

“Some candidates are simply turning down opportunities if it means having to travel into the office for more than a couple of days per week, citing the time and costs of travel and wear and tear on themselves.

“Employers are offering golden handshakes to employees after 12 months just to ensure they retain them because the hidden costs of recruiting someone at senior level can be staggering.”

Other trends for incentives being offered by employers are paid breakfasts, extra wellbeing holidays, free membership of a gym or club and staged increases in salaries. Some McDonald’s outlets are even offering a free iPhone for employees after the first six weeks of employment, while John Lewis has offered a £1,000 joining bonus plus a £5,000 pay rise to all its driving staff.

The true cost of hiring an employee with an average salary of £27,600 is said to be close to £50,000 in their first year of employment including National Insurance, pension contributions, the recruitment process and training and this can rise exponentially the more senior the hire.

In a 2021 KPMG Outlook survey, 50 per cent of companies said they will increase their HR resources to help manage employee wellbeing and mental health, and 14 per cent will examine shared office spaces to increase employee workplace flexibility.

Walmsley Wilkinson offers a professional partnership across all executive, management and specialist recruitment needs for all types of organisations in the private and public sector including private equity-owned businesses, large corporates and SMEs.

The company’s services extend across sectors including building technologies, advanced manufacturing and engineering, aerospace, health and social care, professional services and FMCG/distribution