As the UK Economy has improved over last 12 months, skill shortages have proved even more prevalent.
SMEs are the worst hit, as they are often considered by potential employees to offer few benefits for their long-term careers.
What can SMEs and smaller tech companies do to combat this shortage and these issues? My companies use, and have used, the following strategies to help attract, retain, and develop our workforce.
1) Building relationships with local schools and colleges
This is a great way to find talent right at the source. This is especially relevant considering the recent push on computing in national curriculum. If you want to extend this idea, why not create apprentice and graduate courses that focus on career development? The investment will pay dividends in later years as staff skill levels rise.
2) Take on university placement students for their year in industry
This enables you to train up potential employees, for a graduate role on completing their degree. They have a year to impress you, and vice versa, so you can engage and cultivate the best talent long before they actually enter the job market.
3) Look for interested people
Look for employees who have shown that they are interested in investing in their own careers, such as those who have actively learnt a new skill or studied a relevant course. When you recruit new staff who are at the beginning of their careers, don’t be scared to move employees between roles for sabbaticals.
4) Recruit from within where possible
Recruit from within, and only use external recruitment selectively where specific skills are required that are not available from within. You should also ensure you employ an HR Manager; as a small company grows from a start-up to SME, the HR responsibilities can become beyond a mere background task, and a full time HR Manager is required.
5) Recruit for attitude, train for skills
Throughout an employee’s career, skills will need updating, but attitudes can be much more challenging to change. Many skills can be taught but finding candidates with the right cultural fit for a business can be much harder. Recruit staff against your company’s values and invest in any skills that are lacking in their role.
Continue reading more tips on page two…
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