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The results of the spring running of our UK Reward Management Survey highlight a growing trend for recruitment and retention challenges within the third sector.

Here we will explore these trends in a bit more detail and take a look at the different ways in which employers are trying to combat the issues faced.

Retention challenges in the third sector

An increasing number of respondents have said that retention is an issue amongst third sector employers, with 67 per cent flagging that they anticipate retention issues in the next 12 months (compared to 60 per cent experiencing difficulties over the last 12 months).

Recruitment challenges in the third sector

Recruitment tells a slightly more positive story; whilst 65 per cent report having experienced difficulties in the last 12 months, only 50 per cent anticipate recruitment difficulties over the next 12 months. Employers are more evenly balanced as to what the next 12 months holds, which may in part be driven by the political turbulence that currently prevails with a leadership contest underway and a continuing lack of definitive detail around what Brexit will mean in practice.

Conflicting salaries

Customers are increasingly telling us that loyalty does not guarantee a larger pay award, with half of organisations having to offer new recruits salaries that conflicted with those paid to existing employees. This is a consistent trend we have seen since 2017 in terms of the number of organisations that offer higher remuneration as a recruitment tool.

Of those offering increased salaries to new recruits, there has been an increase in those offering up to 10 per cent more, with 85 per cent of third sector employers now offering increased salaries at this level, whilst a further 10 per cent have offered up to 20 per cent more in order to make the required additions to the team.


Download your copy of the third sector reward trends report, taken from the spring edition of the UK Reward Management Survey.

Download UK Reward Management Survey Spring 2019 - Third Sector Report(pdf)

Strategies adopted by respondents to tackle recruitment and retention challenges

In the face of the challenges caused by these recruitment and retention conditions, employers have sought out a number of new recruitment and retention strategies:

1. Accessing new talent pools
As employers are realising the opportunity of diversity and equality in workplaces, some employers are focusing on promoting their industry to women and ethnic minority groups to access wider talent pools, such as attracting more women to STEM careers. Outreach programmes with universities and schools were also commonly referenced to promote links with business at the earliest opportunity.

2. Developing action plans
These plans detail the critical steps taken to address issues arising from exit interviews, implementing plans to increase diversity within organisations.

3. Benchmarking reward and benefits
Reviewing salaries and enhancing benefits, including bonus design, against market rates keeps them competitive and sets an organisation apart in their employee value proposition. Organisations have had to offer salaries above the market rate to recruit and are increasingly offering total reward statements to demonstrate the value they offer employees.

4. Culture
Building flexibility into the workplace in terms of working arrangements is a key tool in promoting employee engagement and giving an employee a sense of autonomy over their work. This trust strengthens the employee and employer relationship over time.

5. Creating clear career pathways
Supporting internal development and progression, setting up frameworks to ensure parity of pay and improving clarity around how to move up the salary range for a role or gain a promotion is crucial in motivating and retaining employees.

6. Employee value proposition
Developing compelling messages for prospective employees that can be reinforced with attractive recruitment literature can bolster the effectiveness of campaigns.

7. Remaining responsive to employees
Building existing talent pools by gathering feedback on satisfaction and using deferred cash payments, out of cycle pay increases and retention bonuses are all key tools to respond to employees and decrease employee turnover rates. Some respondents had implemented dedicated engagement teams.

8. Targeted recruitment strategies
Strategies include evaluating recruitment channels such as where roles and targeted campaigns are advertised, increasing visibility at recruitment fairs and using specialist agencies. Some respondents are using revitalised referral schemes and social media as a recruitment tool.

9. Technology
Improving the process for recruiting and the wider employee experience by way of using IT was considered key to promoting employee satisfaction, starting with employee on-boarding. Effective inductions and appraisals can be driven by the smart use of technology.

10. Training
Growing capabilities within the team by creating dedicated programmes supports progression for apprentices, trainees, graduates, managers and future leaders. As part of up-skilling employees, improved secondment opportunities are being offered.

11. Succession planning
Reviews of grading structures across organisations ensure that there is a strong pipeline of talent throughout the organisation to deliver the business strategy.

Reward designed to recruit and retain the talent you need

As employers face the recruitment and retention challenges of the year ahead, Paydata can help provide you with the tools you need to attract, engage, motivate and retain the people you need.

Get in touch to discover more and discuss your requirements.

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