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The 7 Metatrends of Talent Attraction and Retention

​Find and Retain the Best Talent

​In a time of unprecedented change, organisations are struggling to attract and retain talent globally. In the UK there were just under one million job vacancies in the country at the end of last year with Ireland reporting over 25,000 vacancies in November 2023.

Cpl’s Future of Work Institute has identified 7 talent metatrends to help shape your current and future talent strategy.


Barry Winkless - Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Future of Work Institute

Barry Winkless, is Chief Strategy Officer with Cpl, a major European Talent Solutions organisation. As part of his role, he leads Cpl’s Future of Work Institute where he manages a multi-disciplinary team in executing senior client talks, workshops, engagements, and innovation pilots on topics important to leaders on the future of work. He was recently voted as a Top 50 Global Leader in the Future of Work and is a regular speaker, author and contributor on the topic globally.

Barry Winkless - Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Future of Work Institute

We are Living Through a Period of Intense Change, Challenge, and Crisis

When it comes to finding and retaining the right talent to meet these challenges organisations should harness new metatrends and thinking to flourish and catch the next wave of talent innovation.

Adopting a total talent approach, purposefully designing the organisation's value proposition, and reimagining what a workforce can be are all critical in creating a meaningful approach to talent attraction. 

Continuously developing a humanised working environment, evolving how roles, skills, and tasks are implemented, and putting wellness at the centre of how we do things for colleagues and communities will be fundamental to retaining the precious resource that is talent.

We have identified 7 talent metatrends. These are what you need to know to shape your thinking when it comes to your current and future talent strategy and better meet the challenges in a time of unprecedented change.

The 7 Metatrends of Talent Attraction

Total Talent Attraction:

Utilising a total and integrated approach in finding and attracting talent wherever it is.

70% of the global workforce is made up of passive talent who aren’t actively job searching, leaving just the remaining 30% as active job seekers. 

Using real-time data and platforms to manage the candidate experience are becoming more popular to tap into active job seekers effectively. 

Purposeful Value Propositions:

Fully designing integrated people value propositions (PVP) to continuously improve the value received by current and future employees.

Candidates use an average of 18 sources and read 7 reviews before applying for a role.

Creating and amplifying your value proposition and brand story is important for sourcing the right talent.

Harnessing the Blend:

Harnessing and professionally managing a blend of full-time employees, contingent workers, delivery partners, suppliers, customers, and contractors.

20-30% of the workforce in the USA and the EU-15 is part of the gig economy: that’s up to 162 million working-age people.

Consider how utilising contractors, freelancers or contingent workers can benefit your business, talent pipeline and internal processes. 

Deconstructed Roles and Augmented Work:

Considering work beyond traditional role boundaries towards competencies, universal skills and task augmentation.

Over 30% of professional positions don't require a degree, a 36% increased compared to 2019 (LinkedIn) 

Transversal skills will become ever more critical in driving the success of organisations and leaders to empower results. 

A Human Space:

Continuously improving the humanity of an organisation by focusing on personal, emotional, and social needs across diverse workforces

In the UK the employment rate of disabled people is 53%, compared to 82% of non-disabled people. 

The global average of women on boards is under 20% and women continue to be excluded from the highest levels of corporate leadership.

The creation of a human space requires a constant focus on ensuring a fully diverse and inclusive environment that allows people to have the opportunity to work and be themselves at work.

Journeys of Growth:

Creating journeys of meaning, progression, and growth for employees throughout their employment.

75% of employees who find meaning in their work are more committed to their organisation (McKinsey)

With five generations at work, there is an opportunity to provide more personalised career experiences and journeys for employees.

Wellness-Centred Leadership:

Taking proactive responsibility for the health and well-being of workforces and the organisation's wider sphere of influence in the environment they operate in.

70% of employees have experienced burnout and mental health challenges in the last year.

Leaders who seek to intellectually stimulate, support, and grow members of their team and manage pressure and performance have a direct impact on the culture of wellbeing throughout the organisation. 

Download the Cpl Salary Guide for Ireland | 2024

Face the Future of Work with Confidence

The Future of Work Institute (FOWI) supports organisations become future ready by designing and deploying future of work solutions and attraction, engagement, and retention experiences.

We pride ourselves on being unique, innovative, and strategic. Taking best and next practices, independent research and creative sessions, we have developed world-class frameworks and approaches to deliver value for our clients to enhance their people strategies.