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Tags: Hot Topics, industry insights, blog

How does your employee offering compare to your competitors? Identifying and understanding candidate motivations is essential when attracting the top talent within your industry. We speak to clients and candidates daily and recently surveyed thousands to gather insights to gain a true representation of the current UK job market. From the state of salaries to the most in-demand employee benefits and perks, we’ve compiled a list of the top hiring trends in 2021.

Recruitment levels return to normal

With 97% of respondents confident their industry will recover in 2021, seemingly recruitment returns to pre-pandemic levels. 61% of businesses we spoke to are currently recruiting for new roles, whilst 53% are anticipating an increase in headcount before the end of this year. 

If you’re looking to bring new team members and skill sets into your team, our advice is don’t wait. After a year of change, we’re finding employees are looking for greater job satisfaction and are therefore keen to explore new opportunities. 

Salaries increase or maintain

If your competitors are in the position to offer a competitive and regularly reviewed salary package, then you also need to be to ensure you are staying competitive to attract and retain talent. Of companies surveyed, 49% expect salaries to increase in 2021, with a further 38% anticipating they’ll remain stable over the next 12 months. Whilst only 2% are at risk of implementing reductions. 

To retain top talent, you may want to consider reviewed pay increases. With some competitive companies implementing pay increases as regularly as every 8-9 months, how does your current offering compare?

Remote working is now expected

The Covid-19 pandemic spurred on a remote revolution where companies who had never considered remote working had to adapt. Not only does remote working minimise the health risks attached with Covid-19 but reducing the time and money spent commuting also allows for a better work-life balance. 

As such, employers must continue to advocate flexible working beyond the government’s proposed ‘Freedom Day’, whether that be through an ad-hoc or hybrid scheme. 

Wellbeing support is the most in-demand employee benefit

As the most in-demand employee benefit, wellbeing support was voted for by 93% of candidates. With the pandemic emphasising the importance of mental health and wellbeing support over this past year, many employers have invested significantly to ensure they build resilience within their workforce and their employees feel supported. 

If your company offers any form of wellbeing support, it is worthwhile adding this to your job specifications to ensure prospective candidates are aware of this. 

Training has gone from a perk to a necessity

After wellbeing support, ongoing training was voted second most in-demand employee benefit with a firm vote from 91% of candidates. Training schemes offer individuals the ability to develop their skill set and gain experience in new areas, which allows for greater job security and longer-term stability in today’s uncertain landscape. From an employer perspective, training promotes employee engagement and retention, alongside the benefits of having a more skilled team. 

Effective training programmes are typically part of a step-by-step process rather than a stand-alone one-off event. To implement ongoing training, start by assessing the needs of the business and considering remote training options for ease and speed.

Whilst many job adverts are simply a list of requirements and demands made of the applicant, why not entice more applicants on the first interaction by including information about your company, plus why they’ll flourish whilst working for you? If you offer remote working, pay for training or professional qualifications, or encourage regular pay increases, these are all things you should mention in your job descriptions and ads! By investing in your employee value proposition (EVP) or simply leveraging it, you can attract top talent, particularly within highly competitive markets.

Want to discover more insights on what candidates want in 2021 and what your competitors are offering? Download a free copy of our Salary & Benefits Guide.

At Search Consultancy, we have specialist consultants across twenty sectors to help leading organisations discover the top talent. Get in touch with us today.