UK companies are facing a mass departure of talent, with four-in-10 employees looking to change roles in the next six to 12 months. According to a new study by HR software company Personio, once the COVID-19 pandemic is over a staggering 55% of workers aged 18-34 are planning to leave their current employer.
The research findings reveal how firms face a looming skills gap that could prove difficult to address. Estimates are that the potential cost of all this additional staff turnover adds up to a potential £16.9 billion charge for businesses in the UK and Ireland. That equates to around £10,076 per business, with SMEs alone facing estimated costs of up to £5.8 billion.
Despite the storm clouds gathering on the horizon, it appears many firms are either unaware of the upcoming talent exodus or aren’t actively taking steps to prevent it. Indeed, while almost half (45%) of employers say they are worried that staff will leave once the job market improves, only a quarter (26%) stated that talent retention is a priority for their organisation over the next 12 months.
Tackling the talent shortage challenge
The disruptions created by the global pandemic have seen enterprises focus energies and resources on keeping customer channels open for business and building out the processes and procedures designed to keep workforces productive throughout work-from-home mandates.
As a result, many companies have spent the last year focusing on the multiple challenges associated with digitalising their operations and enabling remote working strategies at scale and speed. In the process, however, the long-term vision for nurturing and supporting talent has been put on the backburner.
Yet for some forward-thinking companies, the lessons learned during recent months have opened their eyes to the possibilities of innovative workforce approaches. That includes exploring new ways to harness talent and deploy their people resources.
Having adapted at speed, these firms have gone beyond simply replicating old structures or ways of doing things. Instead, they’ve leveraged their digital investments to create a foundation for further future innovation and a more connected and productive workforce.
Realising that more roles than were previously thought possible can be undertaken remotely, these companies are shifting mindsets and redefining workforce strategies. As well as enabling senior managers to work more collaboratively with employees, they are initiating workplace cultures that encourage experimentation and acting early, putting their remote working policies on a more permanent footing. Plus, they are focusing intensely on the next challenge – preparing employees for the future of work.
With hybrid working now firmly on the agenda, these forward-thinking enterprises are also exploring new ways to turn talent into a competitive advantage. That includes undertaking a rethink in terms of the talent they deploy and where in the world these people are located.
Tapping into the global talent pool
There can be little doubt that the untethering of previously office-bound workers from physical locations has had a fundamental impact on workplace cultures and management styles. It has also driven many companies to reappraise their workforce planning and talent sourcing strategies. That includes finding ways to turn talent into a competitive advantage.
Pre-COVID, companies were already struggling to address the emerging skills gap associated with operating in a digital economy. Now, with technology that makes it possible to remotely interview, onboard and support talent that is hundreds – or thousands – of miles away, hiring talent from anywhere is an achievable reality.
For companies facing talent shortages in their own country, this means they are free to look further afield for the right person for the job. Accessing a significantly expanded talent pool to connect workers to employment based on their skills for the role, rather than their physical location. Going beyond borders to capture the best talent available and ensure the company has the right skills, at the right time, to adapt fast to rapidly changing demands.
Little wonder that, according to a recent PWC survey, 43% of companies say they expect their international workforce population will increase.
Driving progress, delivering enhanced value
Following the world’s biggest ‘work from home’ experiment, McKinsey research of employers around the globe found they are experiencing better productivity from remote workers – with 41% of workers saying they were more productive working remotely than before.
Having cut through the cultural and technological barriers that got in the way of remote work in the past, many companies are now rethinking their skills pools with diversity in mind.
Smart leaders already know that companies can benefit significantly from attracting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce. Indeed, studies show that diverse teams generate increased financial and operational performance. It’s also the route to creating more innovative companies.
People with different backgrounds and experiences see problems in different ways and come up with different solutions. Companies that want to enrich their innovative capabilities can now look to truly diversify their workforce across a variety of dimensions – gender, age, nation of origin, career path, industry and educational background.
In a post-COVID world, business leaders are looking to reimagine how work gets done and differentiate their workforce strategies to generate positive results that will be sustainable for the long term.
A multitude of benefits
Now able to hire anyone, anywhere, today’s enterprises can now access the best talent and create diverse team cultures that address their talent and recruitment challenges. Whether that’s breaking into new markets or enriching the existing workforce to achieve future strategic and commercial goals, the new working landscape that has emerged in the aftermath of the global health pandemic will enable companies to truly leverage global talent for competitive advantage.
Nicole Sahin, CEO and Founder at Globalization Partners:
Nicole Sahin is CEO and Founder of Globalization Partners and visionary pioneer for the global Employer of Record (EOR) market. Nicole built the industry-leading global EOR solution in what experts call a trillion-dollar opportunity in the new era of global remote work. Globalization Partners’ SAAS-enabled solution, eliminates the traditional HR, legal, and tax hurdles companies otherwise face when building global remote teams. It enables companies to hire anyone, anywhere, within minutes – without setting up international branch offices.
Nicole Sahin, Founder and CEO at Globalization Partners