The state of the UK job market is seemingly in favour of employees right now.
According to figures from LinkedIn co-founder and vice president, Allen Blue, published by the World Economic Forum, there were “two active applicants for every open role in the UK” in January 2023.
This means that potential employees may have the luxury of choice when searching for a new role.
Meanwhile, the next generation of society – “Generation Z” – is entering the workforce, with these individuals now being the youngest adults on the job market. And, just like those before them, this generation will have specific expectations and desires for their employers to meet if they’re to accept the roles on offer.
As a result of these factors, it’s perhaps even more important than ever for you to make yourself a standout employer, allowing you to attract – and retain – the best talent.
So, find out what sort of things you could offer to be a standout employer in a competitive market.
Offer flexible working to your team
Thanks to technological improvements, and almost certainly accelerated by the need for homeworking during Covid-induced lockdowns, it’s almost imperative to offer flexible working in your roles if you can.
Whether that’s hybrid working, with employees spending part of their time in the office and the rest at home, or a relaxed approach to the hours they work, offering flexible working is now a cornerstone of the modern workplace.
According to Business Leader magazine, one study of the 10 most desired work perks in the UK found flexible working hours to rank second, only missing out on the top spot to paid overtime. The concept of a “remote work from anywhere” policy propped up the list in tenth place.
So, if the nature of your work allows it, you may want to consider having some form of flexible working policy.
Implement a four-day workweek
Of course, while flexible working is a desired perk, it’s also one that’s commonly offered – according to the CIPD, three-quarters of employers now offer hybrid working. This begs the question: how do you make yourself a standout employer in this way?
One option could be to implement a four-day workweek in your business. An idea floated many times throughout the 20th century by influential people such as economist John Maynard Keynes and former US president Ronald Reagan, the concept of cutting back to a four-day workweek has become increasingly popular over the last few years.
In fact, you may have read about the businesses that trialled a four-day week last year. As reported by the Guardian, 61 companies in the UK took part in a six-month trial, with many finding that staff were able to achieve a better work-life balance as a result.
Crucially, as the Guardian reports, the director of the 4 Day Week Campaign said that “business productivity has either been maintained or improved in nearly every case.”
On this evidence, it would appear possible for you to not only give your staff a better work-life balance, but to continue operating at the same rate, too.
The trial seems to have been a resounding success, with 56 of the companies having extended the trial, including 18 who have made it a permanent part of their operations.
So, if you want your offer of flexible working to stand out, a four-day week could be an option.
Put environmental, social, and governance factors first
Aside from salaries and the perks they’ll receive when working for you, a key factor that younger workers in particular are now emphasising when choosing roles is the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) credentials of the company.
ESG factors have become a significant part of the business landscape over the last few decades, particularly in regards to investment. Now, many investors choose companies with strong ESG credentials, so that they only put their money into businesses that align with their values.
Within the younger workforce, this appears to include the businesses they work for. According to figures published in Professional Adviser, one-third of 18 to 24-year-olds have directly rejected job offers based purely on the employers’ ESG credentials.
As a result, it may be a sensible course of action to ensure that your business has as positive a social and environmental impact as possible, and fair, equitable governance in your leadership. This could help you to stand out from your peers who might not take these elements as seriously.
Of course, it could be challenging to communicate your ESG commitments to potential employees, but one way you could do this is by applying for B Corp status.
Created by nonprofit B Lab, certified B Corporations are businesses that:
- Demonstrate high social and environmental performance, as measured by the B Impact Assessment.
- Are accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, making a legal commitment to this and changing their corporate governance structure.
- Exhibit transparency, allowing B Lab to publicly display information about company performance on their website.
As of March 2023, B Lab states on its website that there are just over 1,100 B Corps in the UK, and more than 6,000 in the world. So, B Corp status would really make you stand out in the UK business landscape, and clearly, objectively demonstrate your ESG credentials to younger workers.
Get in touch
If you’d like help managing your money as a business owner, please do get in touch with us at Rosebridge.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01204 300010 to speak to us today.
This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.