With an average of 63 days to fill a position, UK businesses are fighting for survival. Nick Thompson, CEO of DCSL GuideSmiths, shares practical tips on finding talent following the pandemic and comments on why team augmentation is the way of the future
The UK is currently undergoing a skills crisis the likes of which have never been seen, with 1.66 million vacancies reported at the end of August – according to research. With government schemes such as furlough, bounce bank loans and CBILS having ended, the second phase of true recovery is upon the founders and decision-makers who have navigated their firms through the imminent period post crisis.
Although UK business confidence has hit a four-year high, a recent report from Lloyd’s Bank shows that companies have highlighted that the skills shortage is one of their primary concerns for sustained survival and growth. Further, recruitment company Hays, has warned over ‘clear signs’ of skills shortages worldwide stating salaries are subsequently rising in IT, technology and life science sectors.
Thompson highlights some of the key points for employers when finding talent.
- Consider the skills. Consider carefully the skills that the employee you are bringing in needs to possess, this seems an obvious first step, but many firms focus on hiring a job title and not skills. Which skills are business critical? and what can you teach them along the way? It is important to prioritise and then compromise on skills that come lower down on the list.
- Consider the kind of person they are. The kind of person you will hire is also important. Experience is always desirable, but after the impact of the pandemic which disproportionately affected younger sections of society, it can be hard to find. Many young people, although perhaps lacking experience, have spent the last year and a half working on skills and are now raring to go in order to impress.
- Make working conditions clear. Remote working, from what we have seen, is very much here to stay, with a recent report for the BBC stating that 70 per cent of workers don’t anticipate a full return to the office. Therefore, it is vital to have an up-to-date policy in place that deals with this issue. Make it clear what that policy is on your job descriptions and be willing to cater to the needs of the individual you are hiring. Buzzwords and phrases like ‘flexible working options’ will no longer cut it for a workforce in constant flux and demanding home working options.
- Businesses need to sell themselves. Competition for skilled talent has never been higher, with record numbers of vacancies and application numbers falling rapidly. Therefore, the business needs to sell itself to candidates as much as you are looking for them to impress you with their skills and experience. Prepare a clear vision of what actually makes your business stand out over rivals in your space or just as a place to work. The historic perks of pizza parties and office drinks will no longer be enough to make the firm an attractive place to work, but that doesn’t mean that other initiatives, perhaps with purpose in mind, shouldn’t be present and mentioned.
“The recruitment arena is flush with a number of methods from which employers are able to source workers; with the traditional agency route being one of the many methods with which to secure skilled resource,” Thompson said. “In many cases, sourcing the correct role for the brief at hand is the initial challenge closely followed by ensuring that individual or team integrates
into the infrastructure of the business seamlessly; to support this,
team augmentation sources an immediate skill solution for the brief at hand at a significantly lower cost that traditional recruitment.”