Employers return to pay and careers as the way to retain talent
Thursday, October 28, 2004Forget trendy human resource strategies such as flexible working and employer branding. If bosses want to hang on to their talented employees they need to offer decent pay, career progression, and a stimulating working environment.
Research into staff retention from the Recruitment Confidence Index (RCI) has found that nearly half of employers think pay and rewards, career opportunities and organisational culture are key to retaining good staff.
But only 26% say flexible working has a high impact on keeping hold of people, while 24% say it has no impact at all.
Nor do managers believe that employer branding, which has been hailed as the solution to talent management problems, has much affect on retaining the best people. Only one in five employers (20%) said it had a high impact, while nearly one in three (30%) said it had no impact on retention.
When it comes to reasons why staff leave, pay and rewards figure highly again. Half of employers (50%) say this prompts staff to move on. But only 18% say staff leave to improve their work/life balance.
The Recruitment Confidence Index is quarterly research produced by Cranfield School of Management and The Daily Telegraph in association with Personnel Today. In addition to producing tracking research, the RCI concentrates each quarter on an issue relevant to UK managers.
Commenting on the results of the retention special report Professor Shaun Tyson from Cranfield School of Management said: “In a time of nearly full employment, retaining talented people who have a lot to contribute to the organisation is absolutely vital.
“These figures suggest that it is not sophisticated branding or flexible working options that are keeping staff, it is more basic issues – convincing people there is a good future through pay and careers to stop them moving on to competitor organisations.”
Steve Playford, Head of Recruitment Advertising at The Daily Telegraph said recruiters should look closely at these results and think more carefully about how they entice talent into their organisations. He said: “Employers are missing a trick. It’s clear that careers are still important when it comes to hooking people into an organisation. But recruiters rarely mention career prospects in their advertisements preferring to use valuable space on selling the brand.”
Mark Moorton, HR Director with AXA PPP healthcare which sponsored the research, said:
"The results provide interesting reading and, perhaps for HR professionals, highlight the need for some rethinking on how to attract and retain high calibre staff. It demonstrates that HR strategic management needs to be constantly reviewed and monitored to ensure that employers are getting the best out of their people spend."
Approximately one in five employers (19%) have problems retaining staff. Retention problems are highest among junior managers, clerical staff and new graduates. However, women and directors tend to stick with an organisation. Only 10% of employers say they have problems retaining female workers. And only 3% of employers cannot keep board directors.
- NOTES FOR EDITORS
- The Recruitment Confidence Index is a quarterly survey of public and private sector employers that measures expected changes in recruitment activity and business conditions during the next six months. It also looks at recruitment methods, skills shortages, staff turnover and pay rates. The RCI was established five years ago by Cranfield School of Management and The Daily Telegraph and is currently produced in association with Personnel Today.
- The autumn survey attracted responses from 1,496 public and private sector employers. They range in size from 25 to 100,000 employees with about 50 per cent having at least 250 employees.
- This quarter’s special report on staff retention was sponsored by health insurers AXA PPP healthcare. For more information contact Mark Moorton, HR Director, on 01892 505814 or 07974 832074.
- The full RCI report is available to the public, price £50. To obtain a copy, contact Dr Emma Parry, Cranfield School of Management on 01234 754808 or e-mail email@example.com. It is available free of charge to the media.
- The RCI web site can be found at www.rcisurvey.co.uk
For more information contact
Fiona Leslie, Press and PR Officer, Cranfield School of Management on 01234 754348 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org