- An overwhelming 93% of respondents in SunTrust's annual Business Pulse Survey said they're actively taking steps to address the talent shortage. Driven by the need to attract and retain talent and stay competitive, 45% of employers said they have raised pay rates. Most respondents (73%) described the outlooks for their businesses as strong and said their top priorities are upgrading employees' technical skills, managing cash and preparing for possible mergers and acquisitions.
- Along with raising pay, respondents increased benefits (43%), offered more flexible work arrangements (36%), trained current employees to fill vacancies (31%), hired more employees that required upfront training (24%), offered additional recognition programs (23%) and offered college loan repayment and/or college savings programs (17%) to combat the talent shortage.
- Survey results showed that 54% of respondents said a lag in technology was a major deterrent to achieving business goals, an increase of 14 points from last year's results, SunTrust said. To address the rise of automation and other technologies, 77% of employers surveyed said they plan to make big investments in learning and development programs to provide workers with new skills for new roles as their businesses grow.
Employers recognize how talent acquisition, automation, emerging tech and new skills requirements are shaping the future of work, and they're taking action to meet the challenges. For HR, finding and hiring high-quality candidates is a top priority for 2019. Five trends occurring within recruiting coincide with SunTrust's survey results: 1) upskilling remains a priority; 2) employers are hiring for potential — not experience; 3) managers treat talent like consumers; 4) recruiters recognize wages, flexibility and benefits; and 5) technology's role is significant.
As employers fight to keep current employees and bring new, potentially less-qualified workers on board, HR has turned to learning and development, too, to prepare workers for open jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers today often look past workers' credentials and experience and consider instead their soft skills and learning potential. Though learning opportunities may help HR retain and recruit talent, successful L&D programs require employers to invest more than their money. Employers must make time to identify the training needs of their workforces, understand what their workers want to learn and work with them to set achievable learning goals.