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Recruiting no longer ‘top priority’ for business leaders; workplace safety slots into first place

Ensuring a safe work environment is now the top priority among business leaders, according to a new survey conducted by Oasis. While attracting new talent still ranks high on the list of priorities — it drops down for the first time in three years, slotting into fourth.

Jasper Spanjaart on March 03, 2021 Average reading time: 3 min
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Recruiting no longer ‘top priority’ for business leaders; workplace safety slots into first place

Every year, HR services provider Oasis studies the top priorities on the horizon for 300 business leaders across the United States. In lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the questions they asked were challenge related. As the pandemic surged through Northern America — challenges visibly shifted. When asked which issues will become more challenging over the next 12 months in 2021, in comparison to the year before, 36% of the respondents named ensuring a safe workplace as the top priority.

Move over, recruitment

While the sudden urge for employee safety should come as no real surprise, it is surprising that it wasn’t even ranked in the two years prior to 2020. Meanwhile, attracting new personnel, which had been steady at #1 on the list of priorities, has dropped down to fourth place in 2020. “No matter the industry they serve, all businesses have had to adapt to new regulations and local and state mandates as the pandemic evolves”, said Teresa Carroll, president of Oasis.

“Whether employees have faced cutbacks or mental health challenges brought on by the pandemic, all workers have been impacted.”

Likewise, whether employees have faced cutbacks or mental health challenges brought on by the pandemic, all workers have been impacted”, she continued. “In turn, this has brought workforce management and overall physical, financial, mental, and social employee wellness front and center among business leaders’ list of priorities.”

Remote struggles

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, personnel shifted to office desktops, colleagues and desks to laptops, LEGO intermezzos and impromptu offices. On the managerial side of things, nearly half (49%) of all survey participants reported that they found managing employees more difficult. Compared to 2018, ‘managing people’ reportedly takes up 11% more of their time. With personal and professional lives taking place at essentially the same place — it has once again heightened the manager’s struggles managing people that have personal issues that conflict with their work.

Nearly half (49%) of all survey participants reported that they found managing employees more difficult.

Stressed work environments

Another notable, yet perhaps expectable outcome is the rise in general stress levels: 21% of business leaders say they feel ‘much more stressed’. Meanwhile, 54% of business leaders say they are now more aware of their employees’ stress levels than before COVID-19. With burnouts on the rise among workers, it poses a significant challenge to business and talent leaders.

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Want to know how you can boost your team as they continue their remote work? Learn from talent leaders across the world during ToTalent Live 2021: The European Recruitment Leadership Event.

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Writer and editor at ToTalent

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