Post-Pandemic Talent Attraction: Are you prepared for the Talent Exodus?

Post-Pandemic Recruitment


At the Careers In Group we’ve thought a lot about the Covid-19 crisis and how this will impact employers. Talent attraction has changed considerably. Candidates are now flooding the market and filtering through irrelevant CVs is a time-consuming task that should be avoided. It is currently a critical time for the industry and we are here to ensure that you secure the very best talent in the most timely and cost-effective way.

Preparing for a potential post-pandemic talent drain

As businesses within the UK and Ireland set their sights on recovery and a return to business-as-usual, the threat of a huge talent exodus is looming on the horizon.

Many businesses have understandably been in crisis mode over the past 15 months, and some have either knowingly or inadvertently neglected their people strategy along the way, leading to growing disconnect between staff and employers.

A recent survey by Personio of 500 HR decisionmakers and 2,000 employees in the UK and Ireland found that over a third of workers (38%) would be looking to change their job in the next 6 or 12 months, or once the economy is stronger.

This potential talent exodus could cost the economy up to £16.9 billion in HR costs and lost productivity as businesses scramble to fill their staffing gaps with suitable replacement employees.

While 45% of HR decision-makers admitted that they were worried their staff would consider leaving once the economy improves, only 26% said that retaining current staff was a priority for their business over the next 12 months.

Why are employees looking to move?

Many of the main reasons that employees are looking to move jobs, as cited in the research by Personio, are the same as the reasons given by candidates in the Careers In Group surveys over the past 10 years. Missed pay rises and missed promotions is a top motivator to move, along with a worsening work-life balance and a dislike of the company’s culture. The citation of company culture as a reason for wanting to change jobs has increased substantially over the past 7 years to where it is almost given as the motivation for changing jobs as often as a lack of pay rise or promotion (approx. 22% vs. 26%).

The Personio research found that while both employees and HR staff generally agreed that a worsening work/life balance or a pay freeze/cut are major motivators for a change in job, there was a disconnect between the perceived importance of the third major motivator - a toxic workplace culture. While only 12% of HR decision-makers saw this as something that would cause workers to look for new roles, the number of employees who saw workplace culture as a major reason to move jobs was almost double this at 21%.

HR decision-makers also overestimated the importance given to a reduction in benefits and being furloughed, with 18% of HR respondents citing each of these as the main reason staff may want to leave, while only 8% of employees chose a reduction in benefits and 5% chose being

This disconnect in perceived importance of push factors between HR teams and employees suggests a lack of understanding by employers on what is really motivating their workers to stay or leave their companies.

What can businesses do to combat a disruptive talent exodus?

The past 15 months have been unlike anything the workplace has seen before and has made many employees re-evaluate what is important to them regarding work moving forward.

Previous research by the Careers In Group suggests that once an employee has made up their mind to leave their job there is little a company can do quickly to change their mind. When asked what could make a potential leaver stay in their current role in our previous research surveys, the responses stayed fairly stable around the top two responses – ‘offer a pay rise/promotion’ (35%) or ‘there is nothing that could make me stay’ (15%).

Businesses that have prioritised their people strategy long term, and especially over the last 15 months, have a better chance of retaining talent once the pandemic dust settles. For those businesses that do not cite people strategy as a top priority, which is 39% of companies according to the Personio research, the task of retaining dissatisfied talent may be an impossible one.

How can businesses minimise the cost and time taken to replace lost workers?

Obviously, any mass exodus of talent from a single business needs investigation into the reasons for staff leaving, so that insight can be gained into any changes needed within the company and remediations put in place. However, if there is little that can be done to retain dissatisfied workers once they decide to leave, what can businesses do to reduce the monetary cost and time needed to replace those lost?

For businesses that require staff with specialist skills and experience, partnering with the most relevant suppliers to deliver the best results is key. Many businesses have brought their recruitment in-house over the past few years to reduce their cost-per-hire and gain more control over the candidates they interview. While it can be tempting for in-house recruiters to place all job advertisements on the most populous generalist platforms and hope for the best, a tailored approach is much more effective in reducing irrelevant responses and time spent reviewing unsuitable candidates.

Niche job boards, such as those run by the Careers In Group, are the most effective place to find highly suitable candidates for roles that require specific skills, qualifications and experience. All of our candidates are highly experienced and most importantly – actively looking for new opportunities. This means our clients find the candidates they need quickly and without the time-consuming hassle of filtering through hundreds of irrelevant applications from job advertisements on generic job boards, Indeed, and LinkedIn.

What to do next

To get ahead of the competition and attract the very best talent across Audit, Risk, Compliance, Cyber Security and Data Analytics in the coming months, get in touch with one of our industry experts today.


Download a PDF version of these insights here.


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