Competitive salaries vital for talent attraction

Despite a weakening global economic outlook, I believe we are working in a local business environment of pragmatic optimism. Sustained recovery in the oil and gas sector, technology innovation and diversification activities are contributing to business growth and new employment opportunities.

But an old business adversary began to make its presence felt in the latter half of 2019. Diminished for several years, competition for talent is re-emerging with skills shortages impacting effective recruitment. In the latest Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce Oil & Gas Survey, employment costs and recruitment challenges are cited as one of the top concerns for the next 10 years.

Accustomed to engineering and technical vacancies being hard to fill, it will probably not surprise you that employers seek our help to recruit draughtspersons; design engineers; electrical, instrument, process and mechanical engineers; machinists; software developers; web developers; helpdesk and support engineers.

However, competition is also intensifying for tax and payroll professionals; newly qualified accountants and lawyers; commercial contracts professionals; HR and training advisors; managerial staff and executive level leaders.

Associated with the recruitment and retention of skilled staff during 2020 we anticipate:

  • the frequency of candidates receiving multiple job offers and counter-offers will increase.
  • investment in upskilling, retraining and coaching.
  • improving bonus schemes and over-time rates as well as introducing enhanced benefits such as flexible working and health care.
  • a renewed focus on graduate and apprentice hiring.
  • greater emphasis on practices that support the retention and promotion of skilled, professional women in the workplace.

Effective talent attraction is multidimensional however, offering a competitive salary remains one of the most impactful ways to attract and retain talent with 61% of firms reporting in the Oil & Gas Survey that their need to retain staff was a primary driver for pay changes.

Job seekers and employers often have different opinions on the financial value of a role and its associated skill requirements and this disparity is one of the reasons why salary benchmarking is such an important element of the recruitment process.

For information on rates of pay by role type; expert advice on employee benefits; engaging with your staff after the new IR35 rules come into force and the benefits of graduate recruitment, download a complementary copy of our north east salary guide: