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Candidates want to work for companies investing in automation, Hays finds

Employers are urged to better promote their investment in automation and technology when recruiting to avoid missing out on top talent according to a new report.

The What Workers Want 2019 Report, released by Hays, found that although 70% of organisations are investing in automation, nearly a quarter (24%) of employers do not currently promote their investment when recruiting.

Nearly half of candidates (48%) would be attracted to work for an organisation that was investing in automation or has plans to do so. Currently, over a third (37%) of organisations say they promote their organisation’s investment in digital transformation during interviews, a third (34%) said they promote on their website and over a quarter (27%) do so in job ads.

The research comes as employers are struggling with skills shortages across several sectors, with nearly two thirds (58%) of employers saying they lack the skills to implement automation amongst existing staff, whilst over a third (39%) say they are experiencing moderate to severe skills shortages when hiring.

Staff in the private sector are slightly more interested in working for an organisation that is investing in digital transformation, at 50% compared to 43% of workers in the public sector. Over half (51%) of professionals currently working in very large organisations are more likely to want to work for an employer who is investing in digital transformation, more so than 42% of professionals currently working in small organisations.

Of the respondents who said they wanted to work for an organisation that is investing in digital transformation, over half (56%) expect to be updated about this in an interview, 50% expect to see information in job adverts and 48% also expect to be able to find information on an employer’s website. Only 13% expect to find out about digital transformation investment at offer stage, and 17% expect this during onboarding.

Simon Winfield, managing director of Hays UK & Ireland, commented, “Employers shouldn’t be afraid to promote their investment in digital transformation and automation, in fact they should be shouting about it. Our research found that employees are positive about digital transformation in the workplace and nearly half of UK workers would be attracted to work for an organisation who is investing in these areas.

“As employers compete to find talent, they should be promoting their investment at key points in the hiring process, ranging from job ads to the interview stage. By promoting it more heavily they’ll open up the talent pool by appealing to workers who rate this investment highly.”

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