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What employers can do in the War For Talent [Ireland 2024]

If you are an employer, you’ll know that it is harder than ever to attract and retain the talent you need to make your business thrive. With the after-effects of the global pandemic ricocheting through the economy, increased pressure on the cost of living, and the trend known as the Great Resignation, employment has become a candidates market. What can employers do with such a competitive recruitment environment to find and keep the employees they need? At CareerWise Recruitment, we are experts in all aspects of the job market. Here is our guide to help employers stay on top in the War For Talent.

What is the War For Talent?

The global pandemic is having huge repercussions both socially and economically. With such a sudden and dramatic shift in working habits – remote working, working from home – and with long periods of isolation in which to assess their lives, many employees have reconsidered their careers. The sense that life is short and shouldn’t be wasted has led many dissatisfied workers to hand in their notice and has become so common that it has been termed the “Great Resignation”. This has combined with increased demand as industries reopen, to create critical labour shortages.

A candidates market

The shortage of workers has created a candidate’s employment market. While many employers are struggling to find the employees they need, the applicants that are available are increasingly aware of their market power and are shopping around for the very best roles. In the UK, the Office for National Statistics revealed that there were a record 1.29 million job vacancies between January and March 2022. Similarly, in the US the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that there were 11.3 million vacancies in February alone, with nearly 3% of the American workforce leaving their posts. Even when a post is filled, the battle for their services continues, with recruiters needing to work hard during the initial notice period to ensure their new recruit doesn’t get poached by another employer.

What can employers do to hire and retain talented employees?

Although recruitment is currently a struggle, there are many strategies employers can put in place to ensure they make the best of the situation.

The number one thing to remember is to keep your current employees happy. If you already have staff who are working well, you need to retain them. As well as the obvious pay rises, there are many measures you can take to make your staff feel valued and like an essential part of the team. Take stock of the employee benefits that you offer and consider what you could improve. Encourage a sense of company loyalty by investing in community-building events and staff parties. See if you can stretch to end-of-year bonuses or thoughtful gifts on special occasions. Could you award extra holiday or partner with other businesses to offer discount schemes?

Pay does of course play a major role in determining employee hire and retention rates. Industries that have seen the steepest decline in jobseeker interest are being forced to increase their wage offering, with wages growing by as much as 10% post-covid. For example, in the US, the construction industry has seen its biggest pay increase in 40 years due to a 27% drop in candidates. If the wages you offer are not competitive then you risk losing employees to better offers elsewhere.

However, pay isn’t the only factor to consider. Since the pandemic changed the working landscape, many employees are seeking roles where flexible and hybrid working are possible, in order for them to maintain a better work-life balance. According to a survey in the US by Owl Labs, 32% of those surveyed said they would quit their job if they were not able to continue working remotely. Employers that show an awareness of employee needs, and are open to new ways working, stand a much better chance of hiring and retaining the talented workers they require.

With the Great Resignation encouraging workers to reflect on their careers, employers that offer personal development opportunities are also putting themselves ahead of the competition. Showing an interest in your staff by providing access to training and career guidance will not only give you a better qualified workforce, it will also help them feel at home in your company.

Many successful businesses are also concentrating their efforts on employee wellbeing – whether that is implementing schemes such as no Zoom meetings on Fridays, or mental health days off. But at the root of all these ways to attract great talent is great communication between employers and their staff. The War For Talent will be won by the businesses that listen to the needs of their workforce, and respond.

Are you an employer struggling in the War For Talent?

Let CareerWise help. As professional recruiters with a nationwide network of experts, we are proud of our skill at matching the right person to the right role, every time. We work with the finest talent specialising in the engineering, supply chain, science, pharmaceutical, IT and accounting industries in Ireland.


Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0) 21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.


Cork Office

CareerWise Recruitment. EastGate Village, EastGate, Little Island, Cork.

Phone: +353 (0) 21 206 1900