Nearly half (45%) of UK organisations invested in learning and development in 2021 to retain staff amid the Great Resignation. A further 51% are planning to prioritise internal promotions, with 48% targeting older workers to solve shortages, according to the latest Global Hiring Trends Report from HireVue, the global leader in video interviewing, assessments, and text-enabled recruiting tools.

The report reveals UK businesses are seriously rethinking retention strategies to avoid losing top talent in an increasingly competitive labour market; as the cost of replacing an employee reaches new heights in the UK and the current cost of living and wage debate looms over their shoulders.

HireVue’s annual ‘Global Hiring Trends Report’ surveyed more than 1,600 hiring leaders, including 300+ UK respondents, exploring how they are navigating current challenges and what changes they’ve implemented over the past year.

In addition to training and employee recognition, other incentives to keep employees happy include increased compensation – such as salary, benefits and pension which nearly two in five (37%) respondents have invested in. A further 27% added employee culture events, while over half (51%) prioritised internal promotions to demonstrate their commitment to their workforce.

Speed of hire is also a top priority for HR leaders, as demand for new workers is at an all-time high. Three quarters (75%) of businesses recognised the benefits of virtual interviews and adopted the technology, 39% moved to a combination of in-person and virtual interviews, and 27% moved solely to video or virtual interviewing. Respondents who implemented CV screening tools and conversational AI in the last year reported greater flexibility (51%) and time-saving efficiencies for businesses (57%).

“Resilience is key for businesses right now”, comments Darren Jaffrey, General Manager of EMEA & APAC at HireVue. “Businesses must be flexible in their hiring approaches and welcome new technologies and initiatives to help retain and attract talent. If they don’t, they will face significant challenges as they navigate fluctuating pandemic protocols, inflation and mass resignations.”

In the search for new talent, 48% of UK businesses stated they were targeting older, mature workers and 40% were aiming for junior workers. Employers are also moving beyond standard qualifications, adopting a competency- and skills-based approach; communication was ranked the most desirable soft skill employers look for (19%), followed by job-specific knowledge (10%), dependability (9%), and adaptability (8%).

Despite tapping into broader groups of workers to ease worker shortages, nearly half (48%) of businesses struggled to find quality candidates during the interview process and for the majority (59%), filling a position took between one to three months in 2021. However, the benefit of adding technology to the hiring process is clear. 57% of hiring managers who implemented CV screening and conversational AI reported time-saving efficiencies and 51% reported greater flexibility.

In the coming year, nearly a quarter (22%) of hiring leaders want to see faster turnaround times for hires, streamlined communication between recruiters, hiring teams and candidates (18%), and an improved candidate experience (16%). A quarter (25%) of UK businesses are already comfortable with automation and using it across part of their hiring process. Additionally, 27% of UK businesses are confident with and already using chatbots and text messaging in hiring, 45% use job-matching technologies, and 23% use game-based assessments.

Darren Jaffrey continues, “The Great Resignation kickstarted the need for not only better-hiring processes but also workplace cultures that advocate employee happiness. But HR leaders cannot successfully do this alone. By making use of technology – like video interviews, AI and assessments, businesses can augment their hiring processes and secure the best talent.”

About HireVue

HireVue is where hiring happens – transforming the way organizations discover, engage, and hire the best talent. Connecting companies and candidates anytime, anywhere, HireVue’s industry-leading end-to-end talent experience platform features video interviewing, assessments and conversational AI. HireVue has hosted more than 26 million video interviews and 150M chat-based candidate engagements for over 800 pioneering customers around the globe.