How Workforce Optimisation Can Combat the Candidate-Driven Recruitment Market

Brexit and COVID-19 have created a perfect storm of staffing challenges. Between the loss of 200,000 European workers and the so-called “Great Resignation”, 2021 saw the worst staffing shortages in the UK for over two decades. 

The result? A candidate-driven market, in which businesses compete over scarce talent. From hospitality to the industrial sector, leaders are being forced to rethink how they approach recruitment. 

But as we explore in this article, the solutions most businesses have resorted to are not necessarily the most effective.

Conventional wisdom is flawed

The most popular solution to these problems has been employer branding. The thinking goes like this: there are fewer candidates for each job, so employers have to stand out. And how do they do this? By offering better benefits, bigger signing-on bonuses and more flexible working arrangements.

There are two problems with this. First, it is needlessly expensive. Throughout 2021, we saw unprecedented wage increases for low-skill roles, as well as four-figure signing-on bonuses for particularly unattractive jobs.

Second, there is little guarantee these efforts will bear fruit. As rival businesses lean on the same levers, they undo each other’s efforts - meaning they spend more resources without creating any real competitive advantage.

Ultimately, this means many businesses have focused their efforts on unsustainable and ineffective solutions. Because instead of worrying exclusively about hiring, they should have been thinking about retention and optimization, too.

Making the most of what you’ve got

You may believe your existing workforce is maximally productive and perfectly loyal. But the reality is, that most businesses have huge untapped potential within their existing workforce. 

The reason they don’t realise that potential is simple: they don’t have the technological means to do so. Rotas are produced manually, without sufficient data on staff availability or how many workers will be needed for each shift. This leads to an inevitable lack of flexibility, inefficiency - and lots of wasted resources.

With the right workforce management software, you can optimise every rota to get the most out of your existing staff.

Here are three ways this can combat the candidate-driven market:

Increased retention

The better your retention rate, the lower your recruitment needs. Some studies estimate that losing a single employee can cost a business 33% of that worker’s salary. And as recruitment gets more expensive, this figure will only increase.

In the industrial sector, for example, many leaders are concerned that staff will jump ship to a competitor if they aren’t given enough shifts. But they struggle to know exactly how many hours individual workers want - and when will most suit them.

A platform like Rota enables leaders to see who is available for additional shifts and how much each employee has worked. This helps you provide a sufficient workload for individual employees - and therefore increases the likelihood they will stay with you.

Improved engagement

The average employee engagement rate globally is roughly 68%. By improving engagement - and therefore productivity - many organisations can massively reduce their need for new and external staff.

Disengagement is also contagious, meaning that new hires brought into a dissatisfied team are likely to have a less positive impact. While many organisations patch over disengagement by simply bringing in more workers, they would see far better results if they actively engaged existing employees.

Rota is designed to do precisely this. It empowers staff to choose their shifts with just a few clicks, giving them flexibility and autonomy. It also makes viewing up-to-date rotas easy for staff, making them feel informed and in control. 

Optimised spending

Inflated wages and recruitment costs have led to increased staffing costs. But in most cases, businesses are not getting the most out of their staffing spend. From miscommunication to overstaffing shifts, manual processes lead to huge inefficiencies.

With Rota, businesses are able to put their money to the best possible use. The platform provides detailed real-time data, providing insights into your labour costs and enabling you to make more informed staffing decisions.

Ultimately, it ensures that you are making the most of your existing workforce - and reducing the need for external workers or new recruits.

To discover how Rota could help you navigate the candidate-driven market, book your demo today.

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