Kate Hawkesby: Who'd be an employer, given how fussy staff are today

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Friday, 2 August 2019, 9:10AM
We talk about the plight of workers, it's not that easy being an employer either.


I have a lot of mates who are employers, and I don't envy them for all the world.

It's tough being an employer these days. Recruiting staff, retaining staff, motivating and incentivising staff.

Once upon a time people were grateful for jobs, worked hard to get them, they saw a job as a career - somewhere they'd stay for more than a few months.

But these days with the advent of the gig economy, combined with a new breed of workers who are picky and have high expectations, employment has turned upside down.

That's before we get to the fact that apparently a third of us are hunting for a new job. 

We're unsatisfied with low wages, bored with routine and want more opportunities.

So recruitment agencies are now having to ask: how do employers retain staff? How do they keep them engaged and stop them from walking away?

It's a challenge for businesses to stay on their toes. They need to be socially conscious, provide opportunities, flexi-time, and added incentives.

Employees are fussy, they have a higher sense of entitlement and expectation. Gone are the days when you were grateful for a job and asked what you could do for the employer. These days candidates are more likely to ask what it is as an employer, that you are going to do for them.

We have more issues these days too. Bullying is a big one. The scope of what's considered bullying has now extended to things that would never have constituted bullying before.

Asking an employee to lift their game could now be construed as bullying. You might find yourself in front of HR answering why you're picking on them.

Another problem is employees don't want the job they've applied for for long.
They start at a company with the idea of fast tracking up the corporate ladder ASAP. 
If you're not stimulating them as an employer, or providing them some upskilling or new opportunities, they're likely going to ditch you.

One recruitment agency said according to a survey they did, lack of promotional opportunities is a key reason people hunt for new jobs. So the pressure on employers is immense.

How can you tell if staff are hunting for another job, or losing interest in the job they currently have?

Employers these days have to be mind readers as well as mentors and social workers. 
And the flip-side of this of course is that if an employee is useless, it's nigh on impossible to get rid of them.

So I feel for everybody walking that fine line of hiring, retaining and juggling staff.

Because for as much as we talk about the plight of workers, it's not that easy being an employer either.

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