Staffing company identifies trends to help employers attract, retain top talent

“As we navigate this modern workforce—remote/hybrid work, generational divides, employee turnover—it’s inherently clear that traditional workplace norms are a thing of the past. Candidates expect more: more flexibility, more transparency, better benefits, etc.,” states Gary Irwin, president and COO of Creative Financial Staffing (CFS), in the introduction to CFS’s 2023 comprehensive salary guide, which the company says offers insights and hiring trends to assist large, medium, and small companies. CFS is a national company represented locally in its Peachtree-Dunwoody Road office.

The guide is published every year, according to CFA’s Atlanta office, which noted, “Our clients find it useful as they plan personnel costs, but people in the workforce often consult it to find whether their salary is in line with market norms.” CFS, which assists clients in identifying, locating, and evaluating accounting, finance and IT talent, in its current guide identifies trends “that may help employers to stay ahead of the curve to attract top talent.”

CFS recommends what it calls “simple changes to the hiring process,” with steps including streamlining the interview process by identifying decision makers up front so they are included in the first interview. Ensuring transparency, upgrading technology, and implementing training and career development programs also can make employers more attractive to job seekers, the staffing company suggests.

According to the guide, the top reasons employees leave jobs are personal wellbeing, the need for more balance between work and private life, the need for more flexibility, concern that the workplace does not offer adequate health protection particularly in light of COVID-19 risks, and lack of confidence in senior management.

“Employees of today are seeking happier, healthier, and more supportive work environments. They are putting a premium on health—mental and physical—work/life balance, flexibility and overall sense of purpose,” the guide states.

In addition to reviewing the hiring process, employers would do well to take steps to reduce turnover in what the guide calls an “ever-changing economic climate.” The guide recommends taking the time to train and mentor employees, which it says can not only lead to higher levels of retention but also will lead to “greater employee success” and “increased team productivity.”

Today’s employees want more than a salary and benefits, according to CFS, they also want to be recognized for their efforts. The company quotes a survey that indicates 53 percent of employees said they want more recognition from their managers.

The days in which employers could expect to be the highest priority in their employees’ lives are a thing of past, according to CFS’s findings. “The demands of the workforce have changed dramatically since the onset of the pandemic,” the guide states. Essential to reducing stress and preventing burnout is providing time away from work. While productivity will always be a goal for any employer, one of the best ways to retain talented employees is to assure they have time to spend with family and personal interests, it explains.

Employee mental health generally should be priority for companies, said CFS, noting that good mental health not only benefits individual employees, it benefits the company as well. The guide cites a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that states, “Depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks 20 percent of the time and reduces cognitive performance about 35 percent of the time.”

Although today’s workforce cares deeply about work environment and conditions, that doesn’t mean that salary is unimportant, the guide cautions. It quotes a Forbes study that reports that 57 percent of Americans say that their pay raises haven’t kept pace with inflation. The study also found that only 56 percent of Americans who work full time have received a pay increase within the past year. “With gas prices and the cost of living steadily on the rise, it is imperative to adjust salaries to match the current economic conditions,” the guide states.

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