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Rising talent scarcity and how to overcome It

48% of employees have not received training or development in the last 12 months, but by providing training and development opportunities, businesses can help to build the skills and knowledge of their junior team members, which can lead to improved performance and increased productivity.

One of the consequences of the Great Resignation was that unhappy or unfulfilled employees moved elsewhere, leaving many companies with significant shortages in their teams. Recent research by Manpower Group found that 77% of employers are struggling to fill roles. Typically, there is a steady stream of talent entering the job market, but in 2022 almost 20% of working adults looked for new work, many of them found new careers or more senior roles. Consequently, far fewer are entering the job market in Q2 2023. With the rise of remote working, a lasting change across most industries since the pandemic, a drastically changing economic landscape, and changes in employee priorities – talent scarcity (ie. a limited pool of available and qualified individuals) is a genuine issue for many industries. 

Unemployment rates are at low – 3.8% in April 2023, so finding the right talent – and retaining it – is becoming increasingly challenging for companies and organisations across all sectors. How to engage and attract people is a major topic for recruiters, with substantial sign-on bonuses more common-place, and what were considered ‘perks’ are now often expected as standard practice by potential talent and applicants. As recruitment competition becomes increasingly heated, and with organisations constantly looking for new ways to set themselves apart from the crowd, what can your company do to overcome talent scarcity?

Future-Scope for New Talent
Often, especially during the current ‘Great Reshuffle’, people seek a new role to gain greater opportunities, skills or fulfilment in their work. Think about why someone would want the role you have on offer, and what it can bring them over the next five years? 

A personal and professional development pathway can bring a role to life and engage employees through their motivations for pursuing a new role. Companies with established and supportive training programmes in place – especially those who run training within a developed training framework – have a distinct advantage in attracting and engaging potential employees. In fact, research from imc, carried out through an independent research agency found that 92% of employees would prioritise a potential employer who offers L&D opportunities over one that doesn’t.

Increase Retention and Employee Engagement
Not only does creating a bespoke development framework for new hires help attract new talent by giving them greater insight into how they can develop within your organisation, it also  drastically improves retention for all employees. People want to work within companies that will inspire, engage and motivate them. While salary is important, if you can nurture an environment where talented people want to work and want to improve, your team will become your greatest asset. People make a business, so creating a career path for all of your team is important. According to our research, 52% of employees had left a role due to lack of personal or professional development opportunities, highlighting the importance of how creating pathways early for new talent, and following through on them, can reduce the overall frequency of attrition, keep employees engaged, and help you to nurture and retain talent for the long-term. 

According to research by Oxford Economics and Unum, the average cost of turnover per employee (earning £25,000 a year or more) in the UK is £30,614*. Employee turnover, especially amid talent scarcity, is a significant drain on company resources, and an obstacle for growth.  Our research reports that 86% of employees would continue working for their employer for longer if they were provided frequent L&D opportunities. In-house training programmes are proven to increase employee attraction, retention and engagement, making it a logical addition to any recruitment package for new employees. 

Nurture Junior Talent to Safeguard Your Talent Pool
When you are trying to grow a business, or navigate a difficult climate, it can be easy to focus heavily on the senior team leading your business. Junior team members, the entry-level employees and interns however should not be overlooked as they too can also make significant contributions to a company’s bottom line. Junior team members, ideally, have open minds too, are quick to pick up skills or tasks, and have unlimited potential for development. If you can tailor your training programmes to each individual, within a company-wide framework, you can nurture junior team members to meet future business needs. 

However, it’s not just about future-proofing with junior team members; it’s also about developing and nurturing them to maximise their abilities within their current role. Our research found that 48% of employees have not received training or development in the last 12 months, but by providing training and development opportunities, businesses can help to build the skills and knowledge of their junior team members, which can lead to improved performance and increased productivity. Additionally, by providing mentoring and coaching, businesses can help to foster a culture of learning and development, which can lead to a more engaged and motivated workforce. Better still, if you have trained them up and provided them the opportunity to learn, develop AND feel valued, they are likely to not only stay with you for longer, but work harder and happier during that extended period.

A progressive and proactive approach to developing junior employees also helps you to keep your ‘finger on the pulse’ of your industry – an avenue for knowledge and the latest business practices to enter your business. They bring fresh perspectives, new ideas, and a willingness to learn and adapt to change. In addition, they are sometimes more in tune with current trends and technologies, which can be invaluable in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

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