It’s a job hunter’s market: Why the war for talent could be costing your business.

August 3, 2017    Andrew Peers     

It’s a job hunter’s market – the figures confirm it. The number of vacancies across the UK is at its highest level since 2015, making it an ‘employment paradise for jobseekers’, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from, as reported on Workplace Insight.

But while job seekers relish in the opportunities this presents, the situation isn’t quite as rosy for employers. With fewer people competing for such a high number of jobs, the search for the brightest and best has become even more challenging and the need to retain star talent even more crucial.

Organisations must differentiate themselves in a bid to attract the best. As salary is no longer the principle factor when choosing a new job (particularly for the millennial generation) progressive employers are also using their workplaces, culture, health and wellbeing policies, charitable activities and corporate values to show themselves as attractive employers and to stand out.

It’s perhaps no surprise that the workplace is one of the most powerful tools to be deployed – particularly when the likes of Google, Facebook and others have shown that effective workspaces aren’t just desks and meeting rooms, but rather creative, stimulating spaces that inspire, encourage collaboration and really bring brand values to life.

Of course, not every business wants or needs a Google-style office, but every business does need a work environment that supports the detail of how they work and that reflects the practical needs of the employee. Whether that’s embracing agile working, creating spaces for relaxed and informal gatherings or designing dynamic spaces that lend themselves as much to staff socials as company meetings, it is the workplace that combines company culture with people to get the job done. Well-designed and well-equipped spaces help to convey the value placed on employees.

Consider that statistics from Gallup show that 70% of UK employees are disengaged and uninspired in their roles and the second part of this challenge becomes apparent – staff attrition. Replacing staff costs British businesses more than £4.3 billion each year, and the average cost for replacing an employee is £30,614, including recruitment costs and wages while the new employee reaches full productivity. For knowledge-based businesses the cost is even greater, because lost people mean lost business acumen too. In such competitive times, businesses must reappraise their recruitment and retention strategies and focus on creating cultures, building work environments and devising career paths that make employees want to stay.

Progressive employers understand that the workplace is more than just a place where work is done; it’s where culture and values are nurtured, where the best ideas are developed, where people come together to innovate and problem-solve and where loyalty and careers thrive.  In a job-seekers market, employers must use the workplace to differentiate and show themselves as home to the best talent in their field.


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