When I’ve been out and about meeting people, whether it be at a client meeting or a networking event, I’m often asked about the “skills shortage” both nationally and regionally. I’m always a bit baffled by this! I’m no historian, but hasn’t there always been a skills shortage of sorts?

Back in the 1400’s Irish migrants would travel to England and Scotland looking for employment and these workers filled a labour demand that the English and Scottish were unable to fill. Roll forward several centuries when those growing up in rural areas were attracted to the towns to work in factories, leaving a labour shortage for working the land.

Really things are no different in current times. Jobs that have a skills shortage are forever changing and if you are unfortunately in one of those affected sectors, you may find that you have a smaller pool of candidates to choose from.

So, how do you make sure your company stands out amongst the crowd?

  • Start by writing your job advert promoting why someone would want to come and work for you, include details about the culture of the company and what it’s like to work for your organisation.
  • Make sure you get your advert out in all the right places. By getting your job out there for all to see, multiple job boards and social media, you’ll be right under the noses of those looking for your type of role.
  • And lastly, act quickly. If you are affected by a skills shortage, your competitors will be too, and you’ll all be after the best candidates to fill your roles. If you get an application in from someone who’s got the skills you’re after, get them in for interview and make a decision quickly, snap them up before your competitors do!

And just one more thing, if the skills shortage is affecting your area of business, keep your employees happy, it’s usually more cost effective to retain good staff than it is to recruit, induct and train new staff.