Success and sustainability in the Chemicals Industry – Attracting future talent & succession planning

With the first quarter behind us and the upcoming CHEMUK 2023 Expo in mind, Wallace Hind have been reviewing the performance and ongoing challenges of the chemical industry and sharing our insights on recruitment industry trends.

In the UK, the Chemical industry employs more than 94,000 people, with an estimated turnover of £73 Billion – making it the second largest manufacturing industry. Within this substantial industry there have been many difficulties to navigate such as the wider economic downturn, labour shortages, energy costs and resource shortages following supply chain disruption with Brexit and the war in Ukraine. In addition to this, 87% are concerned about skills leaving their business by either retirement or industry moves, and over 50% have said that the persistent shortage of talent was their biggest business concern.

A key theme for many industries is sustainability, which is also a key theme throughout the CHEMUK 2023 Expo. Historically the industry hasn’t had a good reputation for sustainability and there is increasing pressure to promote sustainable business practices and manage carbon footprints. The Chemical industry has managed to achieve this by focusing on three sustainability initiatives: reducing GHG emissions, reducing plastic waste, and using more renewable raw materials.

Supply chain
Post-Brexit, leaving the EU has negatively affected business with 76% reporting seeing an increase in their cost prices in 2022 and 31% planning to bring part of their supply chain in house and internally manufacture the required chemicals, meaning the potential need for additional staff and skill sets.

Attracting new talent
There is a talent shortage in the UK chemicals industry and attracting new talent is essential for business to continue to develop. We all work within an exciting and economically important industry and events like CHEMUK 2023 Expo help to showcase the vast scale of businesses and demonstrate the allure of working within the industry.

Graduates and apprenticeship schemes are a great resource to bridge the skills gap, introducing new talent and creating a foundation for internal progression. It is worth considering if this type of recruitment would work for you and if you have the resource to facilitate the new skillsets and career mentoring required, it can be a successful proactive approach to attracting new talent into your business and balance the workforce skills and demographics.

It is also important to consider and understand the culture within your business or organisation. Lifestyle and financial benefits, continuous training and talent, hybrid working opportunities where applicable and the culture that you have within your company can give you the competitive advantage when attracting new hires, not only graduates but also from experienced candidates who have been made redundant or are looking to move.

Wallace Hind offer headhunting, talent mapping and salary survey’s, paired with our industry expertise in order to establish a competitive market rate for the positions you are looking to fill. We can also advise the commission, lifestyle benefits, insurance and health benefits that other companies in the industry pay to ensure you are competitive and considered by the right candidates, making us a successful recruitment partner. This is demonstrated by our 19 out of every 20 fill rate and 72% repeat or recommended business.

Staff retention, opportunities and enforcing a positive work place
It is important to look for potential and opportunity in your existing workforce to reflect on capabilities and opportunities to upskill with training and explore complimentary job functions. As responsibilities are becoming more digital and different processes emerging to counter external threats, workforces need to be able to adapt to these changes.

Workplace culture and employee engagement is also fundamental to a happy and productive work force, a positive workplace culture improves teamwork, raises morale, increases productivity and enhances staff retention – benefits that meet employee needs can drive a 78% retention rate.

The chemical industry has always been resilient and remains a vital sector for the UK economy, it will be important for the industry to showcase itself as an attractive and exciting industry to build a career in, key role models within the industry and events like CHEMUK 2023 Expo help to do this by showcasing the best of the industry and the sheer scale and range of companies and individuals involved. It is an exciting time for the industry, and we look forward to seeing what is on the horizon for the future.

Louise Ozier | 01604 683 324

Luis | 01604 683308

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