Is your business skilled for growth?

The shortage of skills is a topic on most business’s agenda. The focus on people has intensified with business’s struggling to attract and retain the skills they need to grow. Although the issue is critical, not enough organisations are reviewing their approach to recruitment, development and organisational culture and as a result, are battling to become the employer of choice amongst a limited pool of skilled individuals.

There are a number of external factors that impacts the shortage of skills, this includes an aging workforce, unskilled and inexperienced candidates, introduction of new technology, plus the ongoing impact of Brexit.

However, there are a number of internal factors that also affect a business’s ability to recruit, all of which are in the leadership team’s power to address and improve and could have exponential impact on a business’s ability to grow.


The problem: Outdated recruitment methods

Times are changing! Assigning vacancies to recruiters with the hope of finding a star is something of the past!  It can be difficult for recruiters to showcase your employee brand effectively. But people want more than just a salary, they want to work for a business that has a conscience, that invests in their staff and provides a positive culture and working atmosphere. The fat pay check and company car just isn’t enough anymore – especially when big brands have cracked this years ago and are draining the already limited pool of candidates!


The solution: Employer Brand

Taking control of your business brand and public profile is the first step to success. Ideally your business needs to promote your brand, your values and your culture, not to mention all your successes and achievements and plans for growth.

Potential candidates will be looking to the media and the internet to see whether your business is right for them.


The problem: Knee-jerk recruitment

Without a people strategy, your business can quite easily fall into the “one in – one out” scenario, which can results in recruiting replacements without questioning whether the job description is fit for the future. The threat of an empty seat can cause panic, with managers conducting poor, unstructured interviews with an under-whelming pool of candidates just to fill the seat.

Poor recruitment is the start of a host of problems: poor performance, low morale, impact on team/business productivity, impact on managers time and potentially expensive legal costs – not to mention the costs to employ a replacement when they finally leave!


The solution: Getting recruitment right is critical to business growth

The first step is to ensure the people strategy is firmly aligned with your business strategy, resulting in all recruitment being conducted with the business objectives in mind.

Secondly, best practice selection and assessment methods need to be integrated into the process, ensuring your managers are clearly and fairly able to measure and appoint individuals that either have the potential to do the role, or have what it takes to hit the ground running!

Don’t be afraid of the empty seat! In Richard Branson’s words, “I’d rather a hole in my team than an A**e hole in my team!”


The problem: Stagnant Employee Experience

Ask any millennial what they want from an employer, my bet is on personal development and career advancement. Once recruited, not enough attention is given to the employees work experience. The lack of a learning and development strategy and opportunities for progression can drain morale and cause skilled people to leave your business and go elsewhere.


The solution: Map the employee experience

Having a people strategy that maps the skills your business currently has, plus the skills it needs to grow, will help your managers create development plans that can advance people’s careers in the business.

Creating career pathways will help individuals understand where they can move to in the business, what skills they need to develop and how long it will take them. This helps to motivate and build loyalty for your business.

Most importantly, communicating the development process, learning opportunities and career pathways will help attract people, and following through with your commitments will retain them!


The problem: Poor leadership

Most people don’t leave a business, they leave their manager. The impact of poor leadership cannot be underestimated. People want clarity on objectives and direction, regular non-judgemental feedback and consistent treatment across the business.


The solution: Consistent and cohesive leadership

The strategy and aspirational culture should influence leadership behaviours. Leaders should collectively behave in a manner that is going to build trust, develop confidence, capability and accountability across the organisation. With consistent leadership comes consistent management. When people know what is expected of them, are given feedback and recognition for their efforts and able to personally develop, they’re going to be motivated to stay with your business for longer.

To win in the war for talent, business’s need to actively review their strategy, their culture and their approach to recruitment and retention. No matter what the size, if you can demonstrate you’re a great place to work, with exciting opportunities for growth, you’ll start to land the skills you need to flourish.


Have a look at our download for ‘The six faults that keep the door revolving.’


At Think Forward consulting, we offer a full end-end organisational development service that can help implement the changes you need to grow, call us to chat through your people needs!