The “Great Reassessment”: UK Workers Rethinking Priorities

By 29 Febbraio 2024News
great reassessment

Inflation is not just a number on a spreadsheet—it’s squeezing household budgets and forcing workers to make difficult choices.  As for UK workers unemployment rate ticks upward, HR professionals and recruiters face the challenge of not only finding qualified candidates but also providing job offers that resonate in a time of economic strain.  

Understanding the changing priorities of workers is key to navigating this landscape.

Economic Context

Several interlinked factors are contributing to the rise in UK unemployment. 

The ongoing cost-of-living crisis, driven by high energy prices and soaring inflation, is eroding the purchasing power of households. 

As wages fail to keep pace with the rising cost of goods and services, workers face a real-terms pay cut. This squeeze on disposable income forces individuals and families to re-evaluate spending and prioritize essentials.

Additionally, rising interest rates, implemented to combat inflation, increase borrowing costs for businesses. This can lead to hesitant investment, slower growth, and potential job losses.  The economic uncertainty also makes consumers less likely to spend, further dampening economic activity.

Implications for HR and Recruitment

The economic climate of rising unemployment and wage stagnation has significant ramifications for HR professionals and recruiters. Here are some of the key challenges:

Candidate AttractionIn a tighter job market, where there may be more job seekers than available positions, employers might need to work harder to stand out. It’s crucial to re-assess compensation packages to remain competitive. Highlighting non-monetary benefits (flexible work arrangements, development opportunities, company culture) becomes even more important.

Increased Turnover RiskWorkers feeling the financial squeeze might be more likely to seek new jobs offering higher pay to match their rising cost of living. This poses a risk of increased turnover for companies not actively working to improve employee satisfaction and provide a clear path for growth within the organization.

Changing Worker Mindset: Job seekers, especially those who’ve experienced stagnant wages, are potentially re-evaluating their priorities. Salary, while still crucial, may not be the sole motivator. Factors like work-life balance, flexibility, company values, and a sense of purpose at work can become equally, if not more, important for attracting and retaining the right people.

Strategies for Success

While these challenges might seem daunting, proactive HR and recruiting teams can adapt and thrive in this environment.  Let’s explore some key strategies to navigate this changing landscape:

Realigning Recruitment StrategiesTraditional recruitment methods may need an overhaul. Consider broadening your talent search by looking beyond typical sources, tap into underemployed or overlooked groups,  and emphasize transferable skills over strict experience requirements. Additionally, focus on upskilling your existing workforce to fill gaps and reduce the need for external hiring.

Focus on RetentionDissatisfied employees are more likely to leave in a challenging economic climate. Proactive measures like conducting stay interviews, offering professional development opportunities, and fostering a positive company culture can increase loyalty and reduce turnover costs.

Emphasize Employer BrandingIn a competitive market, highlighting your company’s unique strengths becomes paramount. Showcase your company culture, commitment to employee well-being, and opportunities for growth to win over top talent who are looking for more than just a paycheck.

Looking Ahead

While economic uncertainty presents challenges, it also creates opportunities for forward-thinking HR and recruitment teams.

Those who prioritize employee well-being, invest in their employer brand, and embrace flexibility are best positioned to not only survive but thrive in the changing UK job market.

Companies like Pyou, with a commitment to candidate-centric approach, transparency, and personalized support, understand this changing landscape. By partnering with an agency that aligns with your values, HR teams can gain valuable insights and access a wider talent pool, ensuring success in any economic climate.