Which way have you been going and which way do you need to go?

The skill shortage is creating a problem for businesses. With the Covid-19 pandemic, roles that may have lain dormant or perhaps, in the cases of tech roles, did not even exist prior to the pandemic, now need to be filled at speed. This has, in turn, exposed the knowledge gap and shone a light on the moribund practices going on within recruitment.

Whereas previously, companies could pretty much wing it when it came to hiring, taking on short term hires to fill gaps, perhaps hiring consultants or contract workers instead of putting employees on the payroll, now the seriousness of the situation is rapidly becoming apparent.

With contract workers having to adhere to the IR35 legislation, a loophole has been closed on businesses yet the main problem for businesses is not trying to get around these obstacles. The lack of talent on the market and the unfortunate reduction of the workforce due to death, long Covid illness, self-isolation or other complications that come with a pandemic, have left companies who are looking for candidates in an invidious situation, with fewer options.

The mindset of the workforce has seemed to have changed due to two factors. Firstly, everyone has faced their mortality recently, and there has been a reassessment of what people are looking for, with work/life balance being very high on the agenda. Secondly, the newer workforce, made up of millennials and Gen-Zers, having seen how the previous generations have coped with their work/life balance, opting to ask for what they want and not simply take what is given. Career progression, for example, is high on their agenda. Of course, that is not to say that they are immune to the draw of money though.

Salaries are going up. This is because there is a shortage of individuals. Yet throwing money at the situation has not solved it. It is merely a sticking plaster at the moment. The place where the in-demand candidates are, is in roles already. They have taken a journey and arrived at a place where they are happy. They must be poached from those roles but what do these desperate companies have to offer them?

Asking someone to leave their current role and join your company is a serious business. You are asking that individual for at least a 2-3 year commitment. Many firms fail to consider this especially in terms of the upheaval of the candidate’s life, not to mention the cost it would cost the company in terms of onboarding, training, etc. A big commitment is being asked of them.

The marketplace for quality candidates is going crazy right now and this is down to a lack of planning. We can only hope that the mindset of those organisations will change and that now they will appreciate the need for long-term plans.

A few years ago, a company would think nothing of getting rid of employees if they didn’t fit into the company’s short term plans, certain that they will be able to find a new hire in short order. This mentality arises from companies not planning in the long-term. As this pandemic, plus other problems that are running parallel to it, rumbles on, it is becoming clearer and clearer that the short-termism has led us to a place of unpreparedness, which impacts the workforce, which impacts a company’s ability to run as it should, which impacts profits and viability.

Why wouldn’t, or why shouldn’t, a candidate leave a job every 12 months if their salary can jump £10K-£15K-£20K every year? One could argue that the reason the salaries are skyrocketing is because that is the only card that businesses have left to play. Imagine a millennial rejecting offer after offer because they are looking for something more, looking to make a difference, but at some point the dam breaks and they give in to the money offer because they are not crazy. This type of scenario is happening everywhere, and it is driving up salary expectations. Perhaps this is levelling the playing field more. That can’t be a bad thing but businesses need to start planning for the long-term right now, offering candidates more than merely money whilst demonstrating a respect for them and their future, which will also help ensure the business’s future too.

But where to start? Well, there are specialist recruitment partners you can engage to help you with not just the recruitment side but the team building, planning and research element for your strategy.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.