The Changing Labour Market And How Suttons International Adapted To Become An Employer Of Choice

Over the past 2 years we have seen fundamental changes to the labour market. Industry standard ways of working became obsolete upon the onset of the Covid Pandemic. Recruitment and staff retention during this time presented a number of challenges and opportunities to the entire industry, including Suttons International.

At Suttons we are committed to adapt alongside the labour market to be the employer of choice in our industry. To do this the business had to understand and adapt to the fundamental changes that had occurred.

How Covid-19 changed recruitment

Virtual recruitment over video calls became the new normal. This posed a challenge as hiring managers rely on hidden cues from candidates to truly gauge new potential. Not being in the same room with an interviewee means that the unspoken signals that people give off, such as body language, can be lost, alongside the personal touch that is so important for businesses.

A knock-on effect of the move to virtual recruitment has seen a drastic increase in the rate of interview no-shows. These cost businesses time, energy, and a great deal of frustration. Recruiters have also seen an increase in last minute offer rejections due to financial incentives being offered by existing employers.

During the pandemic the wage market became drastically inflated. Wage demand soared across the industry, often outstripping supply and the internal resources needed to support.

The final and largest change that occurred was the dynamic between jobseekers and business’s looking to hire. Companies have to impress potential candidates if they want to have a strong and successful team and it was noted that this period of time was a looked upon as an ‘employees’ market’.

Becoming an employer of choice

Suttons International is committed to becoming the employer of choice in the industry. We address the above-mentioned changes to strengthen our offering to perspective candidates, while improving the working environment for our current employees. To achieve this the business laid out short-, medium- and long-term targets.

In the short-term, Suttons supported colleagues with industry beating salaries to outpace the inflated wage rates. This was the first natural step to keeping existing staff retained and engaged while appealing to potential new employees.

We took advantage of the mass adoption of virtual recruitment and video calls and combined it with the face- to- face meetings we had historically utilised to create a hybrid approach. This gave potential candidates flexibility, while ensuring that our business made the correct hiring choices for our existing team and culture.

Our medium-term strategy to become the employer of choice focuses on internal management, internal engagement and colleague development and enhancement. Our goal is to develop our culture and have all employees connected to the Suttons Core Values.

We believe our Core Values create the bedrock for a brilliant culture and successful team. A new culture team has been established to nurture and encourage the Core Values in our staff, and to set examples for a positive working environment.

We have implemented hybrid working, offering staff remote working at least two days a week. This has become the new normal post-covid and we fully support it as it provides employee wellbeing opportunities and provides an enriching work life balance.

We have doubled down on internal development. Investing in our people and providing structured development plans helps each member of staff reach their full potential. There has been significant investment in our IT systems and infrastructure, which again gives staff the best tools available to excel in their roles.

The business has also made a significant investment in a brand new, bespoke workspace for UK International. This open plan office encourages communication and understanding between teams.

We have a renewed focus on team building and social events which fosters a productive work culture by building rapport between team members.

Employee wellbeing is a priority to Suttons International. From simple regular check-ins with staff, to building personal wellbeing awareness and knowledge across the team, we are nurturing a robust and resilient culture of openness and support for colleagues.

Finally, our long-term aims are to future proof our business by building on the work already done and to solidify a winning culture in the team.

Our expectations demand we have a team that always operates with transparency and trust. All staff are extremely valued and are continually reminded of the importance of their roles within our business.

Initially, the dynamic shift from Covid and the subsequent lockdowns presented the business with a number of challenges. At Suttons we embraced these challenges and took them as an opportunity to modernise our workplace in many ways.

We are very proud of the work that we have done in attracting new talent and equally as proud of our existing staff maximising their potential every day.

By achieving our goals as an employer of choice, we have set the business on the path to a bright future, driven by high performing individuals in roles across the business.

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