From my own experience as a specialist recruiter I’ve seen first-hand the benefit of putting in place a sophisticated recruitment programme that not only encourages new and emerging talent, but also incorporates clear progression structures and formal training opportunities to nurture and support their staff at every stage of their career. For some companies like Softcat this has become common practice and as a result they have a fantastic graduate programme in place and a great reputation as an employer of choice.
Taking this long-term approach to bringing in junior talent and training them from the bottom up will require a significant push and change of direction for many employers, but one that is crucial if we are to avoid the potential ‘risk of the UK being left behind in the global skills race’ – according to new research published by City and Guilds Group this month.
This recent report cites some pretty scary percentages with only 54% of UK employers forecasting a rise in Learning and Development investment, and only 66% of UK workers thinking their employer is keeping pace with the changing skills needs.
It’s not all doom and gloom however, these stats although concerning give us valuable insight and opportunity, and for many businesses small changes can have a significant impact. More and more of my clients are setting up graduate schemes and apprenticeship opportunities and I’ve been working with many of them on some simple employer branding techniques and talent mapping exercises that are revolutionising the way they attract and retain clients.
For those companies in the channel struggling to fill crucial roles and losing out to bigger businesses my advice would be: –
- Listen to your employees training needs,
- Focus on your employer branding
- Take the time to map out your current and future skills gaps and talent identification
Thanks to my peers for their input on this hot topic, whether you’re in the IT channel or not, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the skills shortage agenda and what actions you’re taking to safeguard your own business.
Zoe Chatley, Associate Partner and Specialist IT consultant, Wallace Hind