Employers are underestimating the importance potential candidates place on mental health and wellbeing policies when looking for a new role, a failing that could affect their ability to attract the best candidates, according to a recruitment firm.
Just 9% of 355 hiring managers polled by recruiter Robert Heath believed that professional candidates regarded mental health and wellbeing policies as “very important” when considering which roles to apply for. By contrast, 88% of such professionals said such policies were an important consideration for them when looking for their next role.
Despite some employers failing to recognise the value potential employees placed on wellbeing programmes, 93% agreed that staff who felt their mental wellbeing was supported would be more productive at work, while 83% said there would be fewer absences due to illness.
Its The importance of mental health strategies in attracting top talent report found that 63% of professionals said they would be more likely to recommend an employer to their contacts if it provided effective mental health support. However, 66% of organisations only made this information available internally and did not advertise their policies when recruiting.
While 72% of the 891 professionals polled considered that attitudes towards wellbeing had improved over recent years, three quarters believed colleagues would still feel uncomfortable discussing their mental health at work.
Chris Hickey, Robert Walters CEO for the UK, Middle East and Africa, commented: “While hiring managers recognise that these policies can play a role in impacting a jobseeker’s feelings regarding a potential employer, it is clear that they could benefit when recruiting by investing more resources into these policies and placing greater emphasis on them when promoting themselves to candidates.”
He explained that with widespread skills shortages developing, employers should not underestimate the value of recommendations from their existing staff to jobseekers.
“With this in mind, employers should consider the impact that a positive mental wellbeing policy can have in terms of its ability to encourage staff to promote the business to their contact network,” he added.