Recruitment tips for business owners to manage the UK labour shortage

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Initially starting in the haulage industry, the UK’s labour shortage is beginning to affect all business sectors with job vacancies reaching a record 2.7 million in November. Businesses are struggling to find staff to fill posts which is piling on pressure for businesses especially as we enter the busy festive period.

Some businesses have gone to costly lengths to recruit workers by offering bonuses of up to £2,000 to ensure their business operations don’t suffer, as a survey reveals more than a third of British businesses say maintaining staff levels has become their biggest priority. According to the Open University’s annual British Barometer study, a staggering 63% of businesses are currently struggling to recruit 

Where did all the workers go? Many European workers have left British jobs due to Brexit, and the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to many workers moving to more stable positions, especially those who originally worked within the hospitality sector, one of the largest hit sectors for labour shortages. There is also a culmination of absence among employees who have caught Covid-19 and those needing to self-isolate. 

Let’s look at some tips to recruit workers and manage the UK labour shortage:

  1. Create a more attractive package – This does not mean throwing a higher salary at workers but making the role more attractive by offering training and development programmes to progress your workers within the business. In today’s business climate, flexible working opportunities has also become an attractive selling point for businesses with 52% of workers stating they would prefer a hybrid working approach.
  2. Look for temporary staff – If you have many employees off on long-term absence, or you’re struggling to manage supply and demand troughs then employing temporary staff might be a helpful short-term solution and help you fill labour gaps quickly and efficiently. Whilst temporary workers are harder to come by, digital recruitment processes have made employing temporary staff much easier due to digital screening processes which can match candidates to roles based on key artificial intelligence data such as age, experience, location etc.
  3. Look outside the box – It may be worth looking at groups of workers who you might normally dismiss such as students with little or no experience. Instead of looking only for workers with 3 plus years’ experience in a particular role, why not widen your search area and look for up and coming gems, such as students, with little experience who can grow and learn within your organisation.
  4. Recruit from within – Following on from our last point, it’s also fundamental not to ignore who you already have working within your organisation. Are there any up-and-coming employees who could be promoted within your organisation or re-deployed to areas where more labour is needed?
  5. Use your reputation – Workers who have moved from less stable organisations or sectors may be nervous about jumping aboard a sinking ship. Now is the time to use your reputation and promote your company’s reputation, history and use current employees to help promote your business to new candidates.
  6. Invest in technology – Whilst this is more of a longer-term approach, investing in technology will help to make jobs easier and therefore more attractive than those with legacy systems in place which are hard work to use. Investing in ERP systems that take the leg work out of everyday tasks will motivate your employees and help them do their jobs quicker. Self-service systems such as Payroll Self Service are also designed to motivate employees by giving them control to manage their payslips, holiday entitlement, personal data and more at a time to suit themselves.
  7. Build your social media profiles – Building your social media profiles and engaging in conversations with potential candidates on LinkedIn will help take some of the hard work out of finding candidates as some will likely to come to you if they have seen posts on social media advertising vacancies.

To summarise…

The record number of job vacancies indicate the current British labour shortage is not going anywhere just yet, highlighting a need for employers to adopt strategies to fill posts quickly and efficiently to keep their business operations running smoothly. Within this blog post we have listed some tips to help your business manage the labour shortage such as employing temporary workers or those with less experience who you may have once overlooked. Reviewing your employment package, recruiting from within and using your reputation to your advantage are all other factors to consider.

For more information on employee management systems from Pegasus Software please get in touch.

Posted On: November 24, 2021