Retaining top talent is the key issue for HR Directors

May 12 2002 by Brian Amble Print This Article

A new survey reveals that hiring and holding onto talent is of greater concern to HR than managing absence. Recruiting the right people is of greater concern to HR professionals than both absence and organisational restructuring.

The IRS Employment Review survey of 145 HR directors and 168 managers, revealed that while seven in ten respondents cited recruitment as a major concern, only 62% chose absence and 59% restructuring.

The public sector appears to have been hit hardest by the recruitment troubles with nearly nine in ten reporting problems with filling vacancies, and they don’t expect it to get any easier.

Two-fifths of those in the private sector said that they believed it will improve compared to only 10% in the public sector

Across the sectors, over eight in 10 (82%)employers believe that the recruitment position will stay the same or deteriorate.

Employers also slated online recruitment saying that they were unimpressed by its contribution to improved recruitment. However, they were happy with the way it reduced costs.

In terms of retention of employees, services firms in the private sector were optimistic for the coming year, however, the public sector, followed by manufacturers, had the least confidence.

Three-fifths of all employers (58.8%) have encountered difficulties retaining employees in the past 12 months. However, things have been particularly bad for the public sector with 68.2% reporting problems.

”Finding and keeping good staff continue to present organisations across all sectors of the economy with a huge challenge. Many recruitment difficulties are the result of straightforward supply problems,” said IRS Employment Review managing editor, Mark Crail.

”Available labour lacks the required skills and training and jobseekers fall short of requirements in other ways - such as their personal qualities” said Crial. Some employers are also leaking talent to the competition, he said:

”A significant minority of employers have lost out to the competition, unable to match the salaries or staff benefits offered by rivals. And for manufacturers, geographical location is another factor for staff recruitment and retention,” he said.

The survey also found that employers who experience recruitment problems are more likely to be faced with difficulties in retaining their existing workforces.

While 58.8% of all employers experienced retention difficulties in 2001, this rises to 69.0% for employers who had encountered recruitment problems.

The full survey is published in IRS Employment Review. Contact Sue Jackson on 020-7354 6742