Honesty’s the best policy

Honesty’s the best policy

Firms that want to capture and keep top talent need to look to their branding and be frank at interview time, says a new report.

EMPLOYER branding is re-affirmed as an effective tool for recruiting and retaining talented managerial and professional employees, a new survey reveals.

Its findings are based on a study by researchers at Durham Business School commissioned by Nigel Wright Recruitment, the international recruitment consultancy. Their online survey examined attitudes to work, jobs, and organisation by professionals registered with the company.

Emphasis was laid on what attracts hard to- get key talent to particular organisations and the sample comprised just over 1,000 responses from professionals within the North East. Its findings suggest: Social value factors are most important; 85 per cent of respondents felt a good relationship with colleagues was vital, 81 per cent wanted a good relationship with their boss.

Salary and benefits, although important, came eighth on the list of priorities. Around 42 per cent agree that people in their community think highly of their organisation, while 54 per cent feel their organisation is considered one of the best in its sector. And 57 per cent say they like working at their organisation, while 50 per cent feel satisfied with their job.

Also, 96 per cent agree they would prefer jobs with stimulating and challenging work, while 94 per cent would prefer jobs giving chances to learn new things from their work. Around two thirds (67 per cent) agree they are taken seriously, and 68 per cent feel they are seen as being valuable at work.

Leaders are reported as being the strongest in seeking new opportunities, with 60 per cent agreeing their managers do this, complimenting individuals also for their outstanding work. Respondents’ life satisfaction is high with 78 per cent satisfied as a whole and nearly three quarters (73 per cent) agreeing they lead a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Mark Simpson, director of UK operations at Nigel Wright, says: “The report highlights factors that attract individuals to particular organisations. As a recruitment consultancy, we see the impact daily, first hand.

“These factors can include employees’ need for personal development through their job and their work. Employees with a high need for achievement respond more positively to enriched jobs that have high levels of skill variety, task significance and autonomy.

“This also links directly to employees’ self esteem in the workplace. It is significant in determining their motivation, and affecting work-related attitudes and behaviours.” He says that in the current market very few individuals stay with a company for a long period due to career ambitions, money or change in pace, which in the present climate of uncertainty could go either way.

“This trend is also reflected within the report. Only around a quarter of respondents (27 per cent) say they would be very happy to spend the rest of their career with their organisation, while 38 per cent agree the organisation has a lot of personal meaning to them.

“So the need for strong employer branding and improved staff retention strategies is becoming increasingly important to the success that organisations seek.” Graham Dietz, lecturer in human resource management and director of the MA programmes at Durham Business School, believes the study can help human resources managers, business owners, and the gifted managers and professionals themselves.

“They will understand people’s job-choice decisions better,” he explains. “They will also understand better how employer branding shapes employee attitudes and behaviours in the workplace, and beyond.”