By Stephanie Hatton – Zurich International
“The fundamental truth in most organisations is this: Your people are either the risk factor or the competitive advantage. I prefer to see people much more as the competitive advantage. If you’ve got your operating model correct, if you’ve got the right capabilities in your organization, if you’ve got the right levels of motivation and engagement, then you can have a superior advantage in the market-place.”
That’s the view of David Henderson, Chief Human Resources Officer for the Zurich Insurance Group, the leading multi-line global insurer. It’s an interesting point in the context of current recruitment and retention trends, and worth listening to because it comes from an expert at a strong global brand that helps companies around the world ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations.
From the pandemic, ‘wfh’ revolution and the so-called ‘Great Resignation’, to changing attitudes amongst workers regarding the moral and ethical expectations they have towards their employers, the employment landscape has evolved beyond all recognition in recent years. On the Island and internationally it’s created a perfect storm which has transformed the challenges of recruiting, retaining and motivating employees.
Here in the Isle of Man those factors have magnified longstanding issues which have contributed to the skills gap faced by businesses in many sectors of the economy. A recent Chamber of Commerce survey revealed 75% of businesses were finding it difficult to recruit. According to the most recent IOM Government figures, at the time of writing, there were 1,175 vacancies across all sectors and only 771 people were unemployed and looking for work. Add to that the additional challenges of se-curing work permits and persuading employees from overseas to relocate, and you can understand why more and more businesses are increasing their investment in employee benefits as part of a strategy to recruit and retain the best people.
Stephanie Hatton – Corporate Distribution Manager at Zurich International and one of the Isle of Man’s leading employee benefits experts – says that trend is set to continue in 2022 and beyond. “Increased competition to recruit and retain staff is a major factor that’s driving businesses to invest more in employee benefits. We’ve seen that first-hand with renewed interest in our Group Life and Income Protection solutions as a cost-effective investment which gives forward-thinking employers a distinct advantage over their competitors in the race to be the employer of choice in their sector. Experienced employees, or those that have specialist skills, are in the fortunate position of being able to pick and choose businesses that are prepared to offer them the best possible benefits packages to support the aspirations they have for themselves and their families. Hiring those key people, retaining their services and keeping them motivated, are all key factors for successful companies aiming to achieve business growth. Conversely, businesses that fail to invest in people and employee benefits are putting future growth at risk. Employee benefits are a wise investment that both reduces a key risk factor, and provides a competitive edge.”
Zurich International’s Group Life and Income Protection solutions are only available through an independent financial adviser. If you want to find out more, please speak to your IFA or go to www.zurichinternational.com/im
Stephanie Hatton, Zurich International Isle of Man’s leading employee benefits expert.