Finding skilled workers continues to be a problem for a majority of companies. In a recent survey, 72 percent of companies worldwide said they have a hard time attracting workers that have the critical skills needed to fill their companies' job openings. Companies also face a challenge in attracting high potential and top-performing workers. Sixty percent of employers said that they had problems attracting high potential employees while 59 percent said they had problems attracting top-performing employees.
Not only did companies have a hard time attracting workers, but they also had a hard time retaining their employees as well. More than half of the respondents from companies around the world said that retaining workers was a challenge for their business.
"The demand for the best talent is as strong as ever, especially given a challenging economy and heightened global competition," said Laura Sejen, global leader of Rewards at Towers Watson. "But many employers are not taking advantage of opportunities to attract, retain and engage high-value employees by offering a work environment and the total rewards programs that are most important to them."
Stress appears to be a large factor in preventing employers from retaining their employees. Forty-eight percent of workers said that they experience excessive pressures at their job while 53 percent of workers said that they worked more hours than usual over the past three years. Workers also said they are not expecting the demands of the job to get any better in the next three years.
"There appears to be a mismatch between what employers are offering and what employees are looking for," Sejen said. "Employees, including top talent, are more focused on competitive base pay and job security. Employers, on the other hand, are emphasizing other items, such as challenging work, and their mission, vision and values."
Employers also admitted that they struggled in some areas that have the potential to keep workers happy. Sixty-two percent of global companies said they were able to effectively link salary increases to individual performance and 65 percent of global companies said they effectively linked bonus payment to individual performance.
"There are many smart companies competing and winning in the talent market right now," said Ryan Johnson, certified compensation professional, vice president of research and publishing for WorldatWork, an association of human resources professionals that conducted the research. "They realize that engagementis a two-way street — they actively listen to employees and then tailor total rewards packages that ensure the work is invigorating, satisfying and truly rewarding in more ways than just pay."
The research is based on the responses of 1,605 companies worldwide, including 278 in the United States. The research was conducted by Towers Watson and WorldatWork.