Skills shortage means employers need to think more laterally

The skills shortage and concerns that ongoing uncertainty is stopping some people from moving jobs mean that employers need to cast their net more widely.

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Shot of a CV held by a professional recruiter

A survey at the end of last week by Indeed found that only 11 per cent of workers on furlough or not working are looking for a job. The majority [71%] weren’t looking for a job because they were hoping to return to their previous job. Many unemployed people who weren’t urgently looking for work said they could afford to do so, while a significant proportion were worried about Covid safety.

Indeed says the survey may in part explain the problems employers are facing over recruitment. Others say that furlough has given people a cushion to think more carefully about their next move and that it is unclear how many jobs will remain as the scheme winds down. Uncertainty about jobs may also be a contributing factor to people not wanting to move or wanting to take their time if they do. There are also concerns that school leavers are also choosing to stay longer in education until there is greater certainty about the employment outlook.

What it does mean is that employers are having to be more creative in how they attract potential workers. That means understanding what motivates potential workers, but also what hampers them. That includes greater flexibility over working conditions in addition to other family-friendly benefits and reaching out to, for instance, talent pools which they may previously have overlooked – such as returners, people with disabilities, older workers and so forth.

workingmums.co.uk is holding an employers’ roundtable on returners in September offering best practice advice and tips. In the last week it has been reported that international accountancy group Azets has launched a drive to recruit retired accountants backed by a ‘work from anywhere’ approach. Several other financial services groups have been similarly looking at employing ‘alumni’ on annualised hours to meet skills shortages. In our recent article on disability and employment, Liz Johnson, managing director and co-founder of The Ability People, calls on employers to create work environments that are more inclusive of people with disabilities by talking to them and asking what the barriers are. She says: “Take the initiative, remove the unnecessary barriers and you will start to see your workforce thrive.”



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