A new survey finds that businesses are increasingly opting to offer training and mentoring opportunities to attract candidates as opposed to wage increases.

As the ongoing battle to fill roles continues, a new report by ManpowerGroup has revealed that almost half of UK businesses look to training and mentoring as a hiring incentive over increasing wages.

When questioned, over three-quarters of employers (77 per cent) stated they struggled to recruit due to a lack of skilled talent.

In order to attract new candidates, businesses reported they are offering a range of financial and non-financial incentives to convince candidates to join their company.

This includes close to half (44 per cent) offering training, skills development or mentoring opportunities while a similar number (42 per cent) are offering flexibility when it comes to employees’ work schedules.

Flexibility has also been harnessed by a third of employers (33 per cent) in terms of permitting more flexible working locations for staff and just under a fifth (19 per cent) are giving staff more non-financial benefits including holidays.

Despite this, monetary incentives still remain an important part of attracting candidates with three in 10 employers (29 per cent) offering increased wages.

Chris Gray, Director, ManpowerGroup UK said:

Many UK employers are turning to non-financial incentives, such as additional annual leave, hybrid working options and enhanced training opportunities. A third of UK businesses intend to offer flexible work locations as a hiring incentive, despite only a quarter of middle managers feeling positive about continued remote working. This disconnect is something that employers will have to contend with in a talent scarce market.

Although training and upskilling are being offered by almost half of UK businesses, 24 per cent have admitted that money is a barrier to these plans. And despite the government’s calls for the UK to become a ‘high-skill, high wage’ economy, more needs to be done to support businesses to deliver against these plans.

The UK does must avoid a salary spiral where wages continue to rise but is not met by an equal increase in productivity. Training is a long-term solution and one that will bring about an upskilled workforce of the future, in line with government ambitions.


*In order to gather these results, ManpowerGroup surveyed 2,033 employers in the UK.