What businesses can do to prevent the talent drain

Suitcase at airport
Image by Katy Veldhorst

Four in ten business leaders fear that the combination of the pandemic and Brexit will see their best talent disappear abroad, making hiring more challenging, just as the country begins to return to the ‘new normal’.

A further three in ten employees also felt pessimistic about the UK’s chances to compete for the best talent and attract global businesses post Brexit.

The results were revealed in a survey which polled more than 1,100 respondents and  suggests a new battle employers face in developing and offering the most enticing working environments to retain and attract the best talent.

The complexity of the decisions facing leadership as they define the next era of the workplace was illustrated in the research findings by the change management specialists  MovePlan, and the headhunters Hanson Search.

Worries over job security saw 27 per cent of of employees saying that they would remain in their current role for as long as possible, 24 per cent would prioritise working in a large, international firm that can look after them in turbulent times, while at the same time, 27 per cent want to work for a small-medium sized firm where they feel they “are more than just a number”, and one in five want to find a way of becoming their own boss or going freelance.

Their Future of the Workplace research also clearly established that flexible working has become a basic expectation and is no longer viewed as a nice-to-have. Nearly seven in ten employees and senior executives want to split their time between home and the office, with some wishing to define their working location on a weekly basis. Just 3 per cent of employees would work from an office full time and 14% would work from home indefinitely.

Cathy Ridley, Founder of MovePlan said: “The way business leaders manage change and implement sustainable working practices has never been more multi-dimensional or complex. We are undoubtedly on the precipice of a new era of workplace culture, collaboration, inclusivity and productivity and as a result, it is imperative that the role of the workplace is rethought and made fit for purpose.

“Creating a working environment that is true to today’s employee requirements and priorities, whilst also ensuring the ingredients are in place to grow, innovate and build the best team environment, is the most important job this generation of business leaders will have.”

Hanson Search founder Alice Weightman said: “With the war on talent heating up and a noticeable shortage of skills across industry sectors, those that get it right, will be at an advantage. Businesses that move in step with their employees and create an environment where learning, diversity of thought and approach is celebrated rather than stifled, will be on the front foot of attracting the best talent for the future.”

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