Unemployment rates at a record low – So, why aren’t employers increasing wages to compete?

It’s been confirmed that unemployment is now at its lowest level since 1975. However, it’s not all good news for employees, as wages have only been increased on average by 2.7% when compared against the same period to June last year.

Only this week, I sat down with a well respected friend and leader within financial accounting to discuss how we’re both helping business owners grow to achieve their success – mostly focused on their exit strategy and financial reward at the end point. Once again, the subject of ‘millenials’ came up and we both agreed that employees no longer focus on their own compensation for doing the job but more on their purpose.

Millennials are having a positive impact on business culture

Are employers benefiting from this new approach to work? Maybe. When availability of fresh new talent drops in the marketplace, employers tend to increase wages of their workforce to remain competitive, retain talent and attract new people but figures suggest this doesn’t appear to be a continuing trend.

If you don’t change your strategy you’ll lose out!

We’re seeing employers taking a completely different approach to attracting new talent, with a focus sell the benefits of working at a company and making the overall proposition of a career with XXX company as ‘the best move you’ll make’.

Here’s 4 things that you could do differently to attract new talent:

  1. Place an emphasis on you as either a establish or aspirational leader in the industry, your vision on where you think the industry should be going and what you’re doing to achieve this vision – It shows an enormous amount of passion!
  2. Shout about what it’s like working for your company, not just all the standard rubbish that we see on every advert but what makes you so different from others?
  3. Engage your team on the journey of becoming a more externally attractive organisation (it’s easy to forget that people can’t see through walls), taken their opinions on-board and don’t get too caught up in the negative comments as there’s always opportunity for the best of businesses to change.
  4. Take a look at career advancement across your business and ask yourself, if I was good, would I need to leave to progress my career elsewhere? We never want to lose our highest potential employees and sometimes we have no choice but if we could keep them and they fitted within your future plans then don’t let them go anywhere.

The news of unemployment levels seems hard to digest, especially when we’re trying to grow successful businesses but if you can do more to retain the talent that you have and stand out amongst the other 800,000 jobs being advertised across the UK (according to the REC) then you need to be doing it now.



Author: Gary Parsons
Gary is Managing Director for Talk Staff Group, where he is on a mission of inspiring people and delivery results - through sustainable people strategies.