The vast majority of Channel Islands employers say that they are offering or planning to offer increased flexibility to staff in the face of serious challenges to recruit and retain employees, according to polling at a recent employment conference.
At Walkers’ employment conference on ‘The War for Talent’ – which took place in Guernsey and Jersey last month – senior HR and business leaders were canvassed on their strategies for hiring and keeping staff.
Attendees were polled on various questions throughout the events.
The key findings in Guernsey included that:
- 100% of attendees were finding it difficult to fill vacancies – 66% at all levels, 20% mainly at junior level, and 14% mainly at senior level
- 73% were offering, or were planning to offer, increased flexibility / remote working to fill vacancies.
- 44% said work life balance is the workplace factor that matters most to them, 24% said cultures and values, 19% said compensation and benefits
The key findings in Jersey included that:
- 95% of attendees were finding it difficult to fill vacancies – 79% at all levels, 13% mainly at junior level and 3% mainly at senior level
- 79% were offering, or were planning to offer, increased flexibility / remote working to fill vacancies.
- 34% said work life balance is the workplace factor that matters most to them, 28% said cultures and values, 15% said compensation and benefits
The conference – which ran in Jersey on Tuesday 27 September and in Guernsey on Wednesday 28 September – featured sessions from the firm’s specialist employment law teams in both islands on: ‘Recruitment Strategies’; ‘Retention, Reputation and Relationships’; and ‘Rearguard action: Tactics when an Employee Leaves’.
In addition, there was a keynote speech from Suzy Levy of the executive consulting firm Red Plate on ‘The Importance of Treating lnclusion as a Skill’; and the conference concluded with an interactive panel session.
Daniel Read, the partner leading the Jersey employment law team, said: “The battle to recruit and retain employees is driving employer behaviour – and it is interesting to see that the difficulty in filling roles applies across both islands and across almost all of the sectors represented at our event.”
Sarah Ash, the group partner leading the Guernsey employment law team, said: “The move towards flexible working and work from home policies poses challenges for organisations – it is clear from the poll results that work life balance is a clear motivator for employees, and the employment law challenges arising from that in terms of effectively managing staff need to be taken seriously to mitigate legal risk.”
The Channel Islands employment law conference took place over two days at the end of September and saw approximately 150 attendees across the sessions.
The conference, delivered by the Jersey and Guernsey teams, focused on best practice, legislative and case law updates and current market trends giving their insight and advice on these topics to illustrate how employers can both attract and retain employees using a variety of employment law strategies.