How can HR help you with skill shortages?

Skill shortages







Skill shortages and what this means from an HR perspective

The National Office of Statistics has identified a couple of areas where there will be serious skills shortages this year and this will almost certainly affect your business in some way, unless your HR team or the agencies your partner with are getting creative about how they search for their candidates.

  1. High end Technical and Engineering
  2. Sales & Business Development
  3. Finance, Professional, Managerial

Not having the right skills at the right time in your business could mean you missing an important sales target, or not knowing the important figures in your business which could prevent you from making effective business decisions, or not having the ability to develop a new product that your customers are demanding. All of these skill shortages will certainly have a financial impact on your business, which with a bit of creative thinking could be avoided.

Here are my top 5 ideas for finding the people with the right skills for your business;

  1. If you need highly skilled people such as Engineers or people with a particular technical skill to work in your business, find out where these people work and think about what organisations they might be a member of such as the Institute of Mechanical Engineering, (IMECHE) or the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE). Use Linked in to either contact people directly from the organisations they are working in or find the groups that they might be a member of and try to connect with them and talk to them about the opportunities that your business has for them. This can be a time consuming activity, so you need to have someone in the business to take on this role who is social media savvy and can build good relationships with people via email or the hone, but the rewards could be huge!
  2. If you need sales or business development people, where would these people be going to improve their skills, what are the best business development courses or sales courses in your market or industry? I would then send someone from the management team, my HR team or recruitment team, who would benefit from the course, but equally could be talent spotting and building relationships with the delegates as potential recruits to your business.
  3. If you need professionals or managers, find out where they network, what local business groups they belong to and again, ask a business representative to start going to these vents on a regular basis to build relationships with the key members of these groups, which again creates a pipeline of potential people you would want to recruit into your business as and when the opportunity arises.
  4. A longer term strategy could be to create a future pipeline of talent for your business, Firstly, you need to identify where you are having problems recruiting and look at creating an undergraduate or post graduate scheme for the skills you need in your business. Once you have identified the skills you need, find out what colleges or universities are doing the best courses in these subject areas and build a relationship with them, go and talk to the students about opportunities you will have for them when they leave, and see if you can employ people if they are doing a sandwich degree course with a year in industry placement. That way you are getting some resource for a year at a very competitive salary, they are learning your business and at the end of their degree, you will have a pipeline of people with the right skills who also know your business.
  1. Always, ask all your existing employees and business contacts if they know of anyone with the right skills and experience to fill your difficult vacancy. If you can afford to, perhaps offer a financial incentive to employees if they put someone forward for a role and you fill it from their referral or as a business contact, you could take them out for a meal as thank you, or buy them a small gift, if your company expenses or entertainments policy allows this.