Want to win the second half? Then let’s have a half-time team talk.

Author: Kris Flanagan, Managing Director, iMultiply

iMultiply Managing Director Kris Flanagan reflects on the first half of 2021 and how to get ready to win in the second!

Jobs, jobs and well, more jobs!

It’s been well documented in the press about the rise in job vacancies in the UK. The latest ONS Report highlighted that…

  • Job vacancies from March to May 2021 was 758,000, only 27,000 below its pre-pandemic level from January to March 2020
  • March to May 2021 saw quarterly growth of 24.0% compared with last quarter, with all but one industry increasing its number of vacancies.
graph showing the estimated number of vacancies betweenMarch and May 2021

This increase is also reflected in accountancy & finance vacancies in Scotland. At iMultiply, we have three core markets, Commerce & Industry, Public Practice & Executive Services. From January onwards, we have experienced month-on-month increases in the number of vacancies our teams are working across our three core markets and again, in line with the ONS data below, the biggest increase has been from SME organisations.

graph showing increase in vacancies in the quarter

The “War for Talent” is back!

Rising job vacancies as the country comes out of lockdown is not overly surprising, but it has created another ‘War for Talent’. Candidates now have more choices when looking for their next role, and it is up to the employer to be the most desirable of the options. That doesn’t simply mean paying the most or having the best benefits package. It means having a vision, a clarity of direction for the business, a strategy to get there and a first-class leadership team to make it happen. It means being able to articulate how this person will add to that journey, being clear on the role, what’s the challenge for them, and the development opportunity. But, then, it’s also about competitive pay, strong benefits and a great culture (which people will judge by looking at Glassdoor, Google Reviews, LinkedIn posts from the company and the team).

Over the past six months, we have noted that firms who are winning the war and hiring well are doing three key things…

1. The process happens at pace. Reducing the time from vacancy sign off to offer is critical to securing talent. Firms that have a clearly defined roadmap of deadlines to receive CVs, having the interview panel primed for the days they will be needed and providing timely and detailed feedback to applicants helps to reduce the timeframe and increases the offer to acceptance success rate.

2. They get the offer right the first time. Nothing dents a process like a low-ball offer, and in this market, you will lose potential talent from the process and incur reputational damage. Firms that want to secure the best talent put their best foot forward and secure them with a strong offer.

3. They treat the candidate as a new employee from the moment the offer is accepted. They involve them during their notice period, set up meetings for their first week and copy them into internal comms. All of this helps to reduce the chances of a counter-offer or being ‘gazumped’ by another firm during the notice period.

Can we expect more of this in the second half?

In short, yes. More firms are expected to hire in the second half of the year, and employers also need to be aware of what is getting termed ‘The Great Resignation’, where 40% of the workforce are expected to hand in their notice in the next 12 months.

This means that if you have a team, you are very likely to be hiring in the next 12 months and putting steps in place now to make sure you are prepared for that is key. First, identify your star players and those with high potential, and consider what you are doing to keep them engaged and challenged.

However, it’s important to remember that resignations should never be feared. Bringing fresh blood into an organisation is actually a great thing. It brings creativity, energy, positivity and new skills. Therefore, resignations and personnel changes should be treated as an opportunity to improve the team and the organisation as a whole.


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