Ireland has been awarded 21st place in a global ranking of countries for being able to develop, attract and retain quality talent. We are well into 2019 and demand remains high for qualified Accountants and talented Financial Services professionals.
Many Irish employers who wish to boost their strategies may be wondering what other companies are doing differently that makes them so desirable to jobseekers and employees. Furthermore, they might be wondering what a successful acquisition and retention strategy looks like and how to improve their workplaces.
In this article, we explore the make-up of successful methods that Irish employers can incorporate into their business strategy with the goal of increasing their number of quality hires and reducing turnover rates.
What Makes a Company Desirable to Employees?
The Society for Human Resource Management found that employee engagement is a key ingredient of successful acquisition and retention programs. Irish companies seem to be aware of the importance of this, as the 2018 HR practices in Ireland survey found that 54% of Irish companies rank employee engagement as their top strategic priority.
Other factors of a successful acquisition and retention strategy include attractive incentive schemes, giving employees a “sense of purpose”, providing flexible working solutions and offering exciting career progression opportunities.
Here are some examples of Irish companies who have unique and successful tactics for talent acquisition and employee retention.
What Successful Irish Companies Are Doing Right
Attractive Incentive Schemes – Xilinx Ireland
Irish companies can increase their acquisition and retention rates by developing and offering unique incentives that may not be available elsewhere. Deloitte recently found that 33% of millennials and 25% of Gen Z’s classify incentives `programs as “very important” when choosing to work for a company.
Xilinx has a highly desirable incentives scheme aimed at people looking to relocate to Ireland. The company provides new employees with accommodation for four weeks and a hired car for a month when they arrive in Ireland. They also cover shipment of their possessions and a month’s salary in advance.
Xilinx’s retention strategy is also very effective, which features a generous bonus scheme. It has a multiplying factor which means an employee will benefit as an individual if they do well, but also if the entire company performs strongly. Other benefits offered to staff are paid health insurance and a direct contribution pension.
A Sense of Purpose – DHL
For 6 in 10 millennials, a “sense of purpose” is part of the reason they choose to stay with an employer, according to Deloitte. The study also shows that among businesses where millennials say there is a strong sense of purpose, there is significantly higher reporting of financial success, employee satisfaction, and staff retention.
One global company with a base in Ireland that empowers their employees is DHL. Every year, the company allows its 450,000 employees worldwide to engage in its Idea Management Program, where employees can submit suggestions or project pitches to management level. People who pitch successful innovate and creative ideas are then called to work alongside DHL’s board of directors to implement the project across the company.
By giving such a high level of autonomy to their employees, DHL is not only shaping the direction of the company but giving their employees a high sense of purpose.
Flexible Working Solutions – SurveyMonkey
64% of Irish employees want flexible work environments, according to Deloitte. Not only do people appreciate not being tied to strict hours or locations, they also value the trust their employers demonstrate in granting that flexibility. Deloitte also found that flexibility is connected to retention rates – those that plan to stay with their employer for longer than 5 years report higher levels of flexibility.
In 2016, SurveyMonkey introduced several family-friendly policies to make sure its employees can prioritise family when they need to. For example, in addition to unlimited paid time off for staff who have been at the company for over a year, SurveyMonkey introduced extended parental leave of 16 weeks for both mothers and fathers.
SAP also provides flexible working solutions to their employees. They run employee engagement surveys to figure out what changes staff wanted to see within the company and after a unanimous suggestion that arose, which was to implement flexible working hours, SAP’s management granted the wish. SAP employees now have the option to work from home for several days throughout the week if they wish to do so.
Career Progression – Deloitte Ireland
In a global Mercer study, a startling 39% of respondents said they are satisfied in their current roles but plan to leave due to lack of career progression options. This number clearly illustrates that new employees crave career movement and they are prepared to change jobs if there are no progression options available.
Deloitte commits itself to the professional development of their employees; focusing on technical, client relationship and technology skills, and on-the-job learning. Their ‘lifelong’ tailored learning approach has the goal of ensuring every employee progresses in their career within the company. They have world-class learning facilities, a Deloitte Academy and offer specific training to people depending on the role they are in.
Thus, there are many ways Irish companies can boost their strategies to attract and retain quality talent. But it’s fundamental that Irish employers allocate the necessary time and budget to implementing the above methods, with the goal of making their EVP, business strategies and workplace cultures more attractive to new and existing employees.
Ireland’s working landscape is developing at a faster pace than ever before – but employers are encouraged to embrace it, not fear it. By engaging with employees and management and updating strategies where needed, the future workplaces in Ireland will be positive, successful and innovative.
For a more detailed discussion about aligning your business with talented Financial professionals or to discuss your career, speak to Paul McClatchie, Engage People