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The battle for talent: Candidate shortage boosts salaries and benefits

HSBC has predicted a global battle for talent, as it forecasts a 13% rise in headcount across businesses, as 70% of organisations say they plan to hire more staff. Here we look at the battle for talent: Candidate shortage boosts salaries and benefits.

The sector-wide candidate shortage is leading to increases in starting salaries, with recruitment agencies in the UK reporting the sharpest monthly rise in offered starting salaries for permanent workers in 24 years during the last quarter. And now, half of UK employers are looking to award higher pay increases to staff in 2022, compared with this year.

Though the trend for more considerable pay increases is being driven by difficulties with recruiting and retaining talented employees, salary and benefits are still seen as the top factor when moving jobs by almost half of all business leaders (46%), with flexible working policies being the main deciding factor, followed closely by physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

How can you stand out from the crowd?

The pandemic pushed the need to invest in your people to the very top of the business agenda, with many employees using the time to reflect on their work/life balance.
Amid the skills shortage, businesses, particularly SMEs, need to be innovative in attracting and retaining their people. As seen by the stats above, it also extends to non-financial factors like well-being and flexible working policies.

Review your reward packages

As Covid-19 forced us all to focus on new priorities, it is likely that your rewards package hasn’t been reviewed since before the pandemic.
Your rewards and benefits will help to keep your employees loyal to your company. They can range from ‘added bonuses’ like healthcare and pension schemes and staff celebration days to the more unique end by offering unlimited annual leave or ‘bring your pet to work’ days.
As salaries begin to rise, it has never been more important for SMEs to provide a rewards package that will help them stand out from the competition.

Flexible working is high on the agenda

Flexible working is a boost for wellbeing, with 39% of business leaders reporting that flexible working arrangements were a key driver in attracting new talent.
While it’s not always possible to offer remote or hybrid working, being flexible with your staff by allowing them time off to attend important appointments or adapt their working hours around other commitments (like childcare) will help your company to be noticed by job seekers.

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