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With more than half of UK firms planning to hire, many companies are gearing up to move from a position of surviving to thriving – and they need the best talent onboard. But the world changed significantly over the past year and potential recruits are keen to understand how businesses adapted during the pandemic and what the future might look like. Businesses must be forthcoming with this information if they are to capture the hearts and minds of new talent.

Issues around home working, wellbeing and diversity were bought to the fore during the pandemic and prospective talent want to know how businesses dealt with the undulations. Much more than just remuneration and role details, businesses must proactively share how they’ve addressed such issues and plan to move forward, if they are to attract and retain exceptional talent:

  1. Approach to remote working

Businesses should explain to potential hires how the organisation reacted to home working needs during the pandemic and the flexible options available in the future.  More than 70% of employees have stated they want to work from home at least one day a week, for example, but it begs the question around how promotions will be managed – as typically those office based are exposed to greater opportunities. With as many as 60% of businesses expected to continue to offer hybrid working, it’s something that organisations need to proactively address with candidates.Businesses must highlight how success and progress is measured, reassuring potential recruits that opportunities are available regardless of where employees are based, if they are to attract and retain quality candidates.  With employees putting a stake in the ground, saying they want to see a continuation of home working to some extent, businesses must let candidates know where they stand on the issue.

  1. Evolution of wellbeing practices

Rather than a nice to have, wellbeing practices became essential in helping employees manage their mental and physical health during the Covid-19 crisis and businesses need to showcase how they put their people first. From increasing mental health provisions and enforcing digital detoxes, to offering additional carer leave and providing enhanced flexible working options – potential hires want to hear about how the “human” has been placed back into “human capital”. Businesses must ensure they actively communicate how they manage wellbeing, as it can be a dealbreaker for many candidates.

  1. Embracing diversity

It’s been a tumultuous year for the inclusion agenda to say the least, with the death of George Floyd representing a tipping point for many, and potential hires want to hear about the business’ diversity strategy, targets, successes, and failures. It’s important that businesses are transparent throughout, as candidates are savvy to organisations merely paying lip service to the issue. Companies that are forthcoming with details about their inclusion strategy send a clear message, that talent is understood to come from a diverse range of employees – reassuring potential hires that there are equal opportunities for all.

To competitively operate in this new working world, businesses must show potential hires how they have adapted and continue to flex to meet shifting demands. Rather than waiting to be asked questions by candidates, businesses should take the initiative to offer information about how they managed throughout the pandemic and how it has shaped the organisation moving forward. By being open and honest with issues faced, talent will understand where they might fit in the bigger picture and be more likely to join the organisation. With many businesses moving from a position of surviving to thriving, it’s important that organisations have the best talent on board to compete.