The British Chambers of Commerce found that more than two-thirds of SMEs are struggling to recruit sufficient numbers of skilled employees. In addition, according to the World Economic Forum, more than one billion workers worldwide will need to be reskilled by 2030 – a whopping one third of the global workforce!

Our questions are, what has caused this skills shortage and what can your business do to combat it?

What is the skills gap?

The skills gap refers to the discord between the skills the workforce have and the skills that businesses need. Some of the top areas where the skills gap is the largest include accounting, ecommerce, transport, construction and engineering. Do you work in these sectors?

What has caused the skills gap?

Advances in technology and increased automation are leading to many skills becoming obsolete over time, while new skills become more important. Most businesses already operate in a heavily digitised space which means candidates are required to have computer skills – a demand that the current workforce has struggled to meet.

The impact of COVID-19 also meant that many people re-evaluated their career path, with some deciding to change careers, return to education, or take lower – level positions that favour flexibility and work life balance over financial gain.

Certain sections of the workforce have also decreased with many older members of the workforce deciding not to return after COVID, and young people choosing to stay in education longer which delays them entering the workforce.

How can you combat the skills shortage?

Here are a few ways your business can address the current skills gap, and future proof against further skills shortages:

• Upskill your workforce: With technology and automation ever present and on the rise, upskilling your employees to be tech-savvy is a must!

• Adapt your recruitment processes: With skills becoming more difficult to find, consider a more proactive approach to attracting talent. Using social media, crafting an engaging website, and working on your employer brand can be great ways to do this.

• Invest in training: It is often less costly to train existing employees than recruit new ones, consider whether employees in your business could be retrained and redeployed to carry out those hard to fill roles.

• Adopt a values – based approach to recruitment and succession planning: Recruit and promote employees with softer skills, like the ability to learn and build relationships as opposed to hard skills; this way your workforce will have the ability to adapt when your company’s needs change.

• Find ways to attract diverse sectors of the workforce: Taking on apprentices or offering older members of the workforce part time or consultancy – based contracts can be a great way to diversify your workforce and increase the range of skills available.

Still struggling? Here’s how we can help:

• Support you with conducting a skills gap analysis to identify what skills your company needs to succeed and how you can attain them.

• Review your recruitment process to make it more values-led, so you are recruiting the right people that fit your company culture.

How Hallidays HR can help

If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 476 8276 or email hr@hallidayshr.co.uk. And of course, visit our LinkedIn page.