It is fascinating and encouraging to see how businesses have moved from a state of hibernation 12 months ago, to an ‘all systems go’ state now. 12 months ago, HR Leaders were dealing with lock downs and all that came with it. The most common concern and consideration for many HR leaders now, seems to be around recruitment and resourcing. There are gaps and shortages emerging.
The pinch seems to be concentrated in a few common areas.
As a business that recruits into HR and Sales, we are seeing first hand how hard it is to recruit good Sales people. However, for our latest Snap Shot we also spoke to HR leaders of manufacturers who are just unable to fill roles on the shop floor. HR professionals from food production businesses have huge labour gaps. Warehousing, logistics and distribution firms just can’t fill packing, driving and logistics vacancies. Service sector businesses associated to sport and entertainment are really struggling to find seasonal customer service and first line support staff. Businesses associated to ‘risky Covid sectors’: hospitality; leisure; travel are all really struggling to attract people generally. Where labour is scarce, businesses are having to increase salaries.
There was a variety of factors highlighted in my calls.
Of course, there is the ‘pingdemic’. The need to isolate when pinged is a factor affecting job searching and application numbers for sure. But, when you dig deeper, other more permanent issues become clear.
At the operational, entry, customer service, distribution, warehousing and food production level, many mentioned that minimum wage staff they would usually hire casually and seasonally, are all employed in test and trace centres in their geographies. Others talked about a lack of European resource being available which has left a gap. Some talked more about this, describing an awareness of a lack of immigration and a loss (due to pandemic and Brexit) of some of their European workforce. Businesses in this space seem to be reviewing pay to ensure that they are competitive next to test and trace and their local competitors. Retention bonuses were being created for casual staff. Others were moving to job share and shift patterns to attract new demographics. Some were converting flexible, casual resource to permanent head count, to create new apprenticeships and build new succession talent pipelines.
At the skilled end, these did not seem like new problems – skilled tradespeople and experienced developers have always been hard to come by it seems. But the pressure seemed even greater (perhaps because some had hibernated and relaxed their activity for too long).
Software and tech businesses were inevitably considering where roles could be located and were recruiting remotely overseas. In the trade space – no one had any quick win answers!
Are you struggling to meet your resourcing needs in your business? Would love to hear your comments below:
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