A Growing, Household Name Client

Our client, one of Europe’s leading retailers, remains dedicated to ensuring its continued growth and continues to break boundaries in engaging with customers and employees. Data and insights have always been at the core of their attraction strategies, which made our People Insights offerings suitable for them.

We initially supported this business in 2019 before their move to a purpose-built Head Office. At the time, our client was keen to understand the outlook of the external labour market. We were able to ascertain the level of awareness of the firm’s relocation and if it had impacted candidates’ level of interest in working for the business. This process empowered them to fully understand the availability of skills within their desired area to support future recruitment. Following this project, our client completed an extensive recruitment process to support their relocation process.

This client re-engaged with us in 2022, when they were removed from their Head Office move more than a year ago. It had been a success, and they were ready to begin a recruitment project to support further growth. Before commencing, they wanted to revisit the outlook of the labour market post-relocation and whether perceptions of the business and their move had changed since 2019.

New Talent Pool 

As a global business, it makes sense to utilise Brand Perception Research to understand the outlook of the talent pool before a recruitment process, especially one the size our client was planning. It is usual for the outlook of a talent pool to change over three years, but many would argue that external audience research has become more valuable than ever in recent years.

Since 2019, the UK has experienced Covid, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis, which have been catalysts to some significant trends within the labour market. Perhaps most notably, candidates work considerably more from home than they did in 2019, and they consider this to be more important than ever. This has potential implications for our client, and therefore several questions – is a new Head Office a less enticing proposition to potential candidates? Are people less interested in commuting, or are they willing to commute further if it means not having to go to the office for as many days?

Our client also requires some of their employees to be able to speak multiple languages. It was therefore important for them to understand how much Brexit affected the number of second language speakers within their talent pool. Similarly, more than three million Britons learned a second language during lockdown. Could this mean that there were more potentially suitable candidates in 2022 than in 2019?

These two examples demonstrate just some of the ways that the talent pool may have evolved over the past three years and what impact it may have had on our client, demonstrating how worthwhile it is to understand the attitudes of these professionals.

 

Process

We conducted an extensive external research programme to understand the labour market near our clients’ new Head Office. Our client identified the range of functions they had factored into their recruitment strategy, and we identified and approached candidates with the skills or experience matched to them.

Our client was looking to hire candidates from a range of levels, so it made sense to ensure that we interviewed the full scope of professionals within each function. Segmenting these professionals would also allow the business to understand if there were any specific requirements of those within a specific job level or function.

Our research primarily involved directly engaging with potential candidates within a 30-mile radius from their new Head Office. However, we also extended this process to consider potential candidates interested in the flexibility of hybrid working. 150 candidates were interviewed throughout this process.

 Considering the possibility of the Labour Market’s attitudes and needs around their recruitment process, it was important for our client to understand the motivators of potential candidates. This process would support advertising for future roles in their new Head Office as they would be able to adjust their proposition to be a more attractive employer. Our external research discovered the following:

  • Current and desired pay.
  • Likes and dislikes regarding their current role.
  • Motivators from a new role.
  • Ability to commute to Tolworth from home.
  • Maximum commute factors.
  • Flexible working requirements.
  • How they would source their next role.
  • Awareness and perception of client.
  • Awareness and perception of respective job function in business.
  • Interest in working for the business and within the retail sector.
  • Awareness of our client’s Head Office relocation.

These factors were almost identical to what we researched in 2019. This was intentional, as it allowed us to present a direct comparison of how the talent pool requirements have evolved between these years.

 

Results

After our telephone interviews, we were able to present our insights to our client. This included a range of recommendations, indicating how, based on our research, they would effectively position their proposition and offer a broader understanding of the market.

Our research revealed that there had been some significant changes within the requirements of candidates since 2019. Some were expected, and others came as a surprise to our client. Our research allowed them to understand what they need to do to adjust their proposition to make their company one that candidates would be interested in working for.

Not only has this process empowered our client in having a recruitment process which will be successful, but it would also support in maintaining employee satisfaction and retention.

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