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Employers are very confident that they have the right talent. Are employees?

Why are employees less confident in their organizational talent than employers?
NOV 08, 2023

Employers are very confident that they have the right talent. Are employees?


In our 2024 Workforce Trends Report, we surveyed 1,500+ employers and 500+ employees/job seekers in the U.S. to see where they agree, where there are gaps in alignment, and how wide those gaps are. The good news is that 64% of employers are very confident that their businesses have the talent to consistently deliver their products or services. The puzzling news is that the employees themselves aren’t quite as sure that their companies are well-positioned for success. Only 49% of employees are very confident that their organizations have the talent to consistently deliver their products or services. This may suggest an even wider skills gap than employers suspect.


So why are employees less confident in their organizational talent?


According to the employees we surveyed, these are the biggest challenges facing their teams today:


  1. Colleagues are unmotivated/disengaged 32%
  2. Understaffed/need more resources 30%
  3. Management is out of touch 28%
  4. There is no room/money for promotions 26%
  5. Not enough skilled colleagues 23%
  6. No time to upskill/develop 21%


It seems clear that employers need to do a better job of retaining, engaging, and upskilling their existing talent while attracting and recruiting more highly skilled talent. Of course, that’s easier said than done. In fact, one thing both employers and employees agree on is that retaining and attracting talent over the next year will be challenging (67% employers and 67% employees).


So, how can employers more effectively attract and retain talent?


It shouldn’t come as any surprise that compensation is the number one priority for employees, but did you know that it’s also number two? “Offering more bonuses” was the second highest response when employees were asked how an organization could best recruit or retain them:


What steps can a company take to attract and retain talent?


Increasing compensation.
Employers 34%
Employees 44%


Offering more bonuses.
Employers 32%
Employees 41%


Offering better employee benefits.
Employers 36%
Employees 41%


Allowing more flexibility (work location or schedule)
Employers 36%
Employees 40%


Offering new professional development opportunities
Employers 33%
Employees 33%


While employers and employees are seemingly aligned on the importance of perks like more flexibility, employers must understand that better compensation and benefits packages are still the best ways to attract and retain top talent.


Employers should also make DEI a higher priority.


Another significant misalignment between employers and employees was in how much companies are doing to promote diversity in the workplace—91% of employers say they are doing enough, while 68% of employees say more can be done. That said, only 26% of employers say they are making diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) a priority in 2024—a major missed opportunity to align with what many employees feel is an important element of talent attraction, development, and retention.


Are you in sync with your workforce?


Find out how aligned employers and employees are on topics ranging from compensation and culture to AI and DEI. Download your free copy of our 2024 Workforce Trends Report today.