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Three quarters of employers are struggling to recruit and retain staff in the Great Resignation

Talent|Future of Work
N/A

November 10, 2021

Over three quarters of employers are having problems finding and keeping employees as the Great Resignation hits home.

LONDON, November 10, 2021 – Over three quarters of employers (77%) are having problems finding and keeping employees as the Great Resignation hits home, according to a poll by Willis Towers Watson.

Only 2% of employers say they are having no problems at all with attraction and retention, while a further 19% say that they are not struggling at the moment, but they may do in future.

What’s driving the Great Resignation?

All over the world, people are re-evaluating what they want from their working lives in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, demand for talent is outstripping supply in some countries, with sectors like hospitality, manufacturing and transportation hit particularly hard.

People are leaving their jobs because they can find better pay elsewhere, with 76% of employers saying this is impacting people’s decision to leave. They are also moving because of a perceived lack of career opportunities in their current organisations, say 64% of employers.

Stephanie Rudbeck, Senior Director at Willis Towers Watson said: “Listening to the organisations which are working with us, we are hearing more and more about people’s desire to do something completely different. People are questioning what they are doing, taking stock, reflecting on their lives and thinking about what is next.”

People are questioning what they are doing, taking stock, reflecting on their lives and thinking about what is next.”

Stephanie Rudbeck | Senior Director, Talent & Rewards

How can organisations attract and retain talent?

Companies must create visible career opportunities to attract talented people, said 63% of the HR leaders who responded to the poll. Candidates want to have a clear idea of how they will progress once they join an organisation.

Increasing flexibility and hybrid working (58%) was another top attraction tool. The pandemic has rewritten the traditional workplace contract, with employers and employees alike coming to terms with what the future of work will look like. “Many employers are asking us questions about how to develop a hybrid strategy which will resonate with prospective and current employees,” said Rudbeck.

Increasing pay and benefits (52%) is a third key lever for employers. In a competitive environment, it’s no surprise that employers believe that pay and benefits feature so high on people’s priority lists.

Rudbeck observed: “Embedding Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) is lower on employers’ priority list than we would have expected. But perhaps the vast majority of organisations who responded to our polls are already working very hard on embedding I&D and already recognise it plays a huge part in their talent strategy. It could be a similar story with wellbeing strategies and ESG: a significant amount of work could already have been done in these areas.”

Alignment between attraction and retention

Employers are trying to live up to the promises they make, with similar factors driving both attraction and retention. “It’s encouraging to see employers practising what they preach,” said Rudbeck.

John Bremen, Willis Towers Watson’s Global Head of Thought Leadership and Innovation advised: “In these uncertain times, it’s important to keep listening to employees. What drove people before the pandemic may not drive them today. People’s needs have changed, as have demographics. Don’t assume that what brought them to work before or during the pandemic will bring them to work after it.”

About the survey

Willis Towers Watson surveyed 160 HR leaders in October 2021.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 45,000 employees serving more than 140 countries and markets. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas – the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.

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