The April ‘UK Report on Jobs’ issued by researchers Markit and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation highlights an increasingly worrying prospect for employers.
In summarising the report, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said:
“Finding people to do the jobs on offer is rapidly becoming employers’ biggest headache and many are reporting an increasing number of white collar jobs as hard to fill."
"The availability of candidates for permanent vacancies in the North of England deteriorated sharply in March and to the greatest extent since July 2016.
Anecdotal evidence highlighted shortages of a wide variety of professionals, including engineers, designers, managers, surveyors, estimators, developers and administrators."
"Shortages of appropriately skilled, willing and able candidates was a problem before the referendum. Our concern is that Brexit will make the problem worse, particularly if onerous restrictions are imposed on people coming from the EU to work."
Key permanent staff skills reported in short supply include:
Executive & Professional: Senior Sales Managers, Merchandisers, Designers, Office Professionals.
Construction: Estimators, Quantity Surveyors.
IT & Computing: PHP Software Developers, Ruby Software Developers.
Engineering: Engineers (general).
Secretarial & Clerical: Administrators (general).
Other: Support Staff, Sales, Telesales.
So there we have it. On the back of recent reports citing 95% of UK workforce already in employment, increasing demand for staff in the North, dwindling supply and the prospect of Brexit making matters worse, we appear to have a 'Perfect Storm' brewing.
So as employers, what can we do to protect ourselves from the problem of skill shortages?
Here’s a simple 4 step process:
1. Make sure your current (and particularly your best) employees aren't lured away by a competitor. Offer them training to enhance their skills and show commitment to them, and set out a clear and attractive career path for them. Make sure you are providing competitive remuneration & attractive benefits packages.
2. Make your organisation a ‘go to’ place for candidates looking for work. As in (1) above, training, career opportunities, competitive remuneration & benefits packages all help.
3. Grow your own. Recruit apprentices, school, college & university leavers. Train them in the skills you/they need and once again, map out an attractive short/medium term training regime and career path for them.
4. Check what people are saying about your organisation on social media and employer review sites like Glassdoor. Update the look and feel of your website and check your customer service scores. Understanding how you are perceived externally will help you to establish a strong employer brand and help you to boost your talent attraction efforts.
If you need more detailed information about training, career development and benefits, you’ll find it here in other recent blog posts.
And finally, if you’d like a copy of the full ‘Report on Jobs (North)’ or the ‘Report on Jobs (UK)’, email email@example.com
and I’ll happily send you a copy.
In meantime, set your course, batten down the hatches and make sure you're prepared for the storm!