As you no doubt know, the UK is currently experiencing skills shortages across a variety of sectors. It’s likely to be as a result of a combination of factors, not least the opportunity people have had to reassess their goals while on furlough or working from home, causing them to change careers or decide to become self-employed.
Some businesses have had an extremely hard time over the past 18 months, placing economic strain on them when it comes to supporting staff. Meanwhile, others have seen a surge in business, resulting in sudden growth that can also, perversely cause economic and operational strain – especially if that surge now slows down as life returns to a degree of normality.
One thing’s for sure however, businesses are dependent on the people who work for them. It’s not just people that companies need either – it’s good people. Those who are dependable and good at their jobs. They are not only hard to come by, but it also takes time and resources to bring people up to speed with company practices.
The cost of hiring v the cost of upskilling employees
According to Glassdoor, the average cost of recruitment for a new employee in the UK is £3,000. That’s simply to get the person you think is going to be right for you. With the increasing importance of soft skills in the workplace – skills that are notoriously difficult to assess – that’s not even accounting for the fact that they may not work out in the role.
Meanwhile, a report by McKinsey found that in 75% of cases “it pays for an organisation to reskill an employee”. Even in the 25% of cases where there was no tangible financial return on that investment in employee training, the report found that organisations saw benefits that included:
- Controlling salary costs: It found that external hires are paid about 20% more than reskilled workers.
- Avoiding onboarding requirements: Ranging from regulatory compliance to familiarisation with workplace procedures and culture.
- Workforce diversity: Providing opportunities to candidates who would not necessarily get the opportunity via a traditional route.
- Improved morale: By feeling that the company has invested in them, employees feel more motivated and loyal.
Upskilling the people who take care of your business
The same report found that reskilling employees was an excellent way of retaining members of staff if/when the requirement for their specific existing skill set ceased to be relevant. This again resulted in improved loyalty.
All this said, there is an upfront cost to upskilling or reskilling employees and this has been cited as a barrier for lots of businesses. The UK currently has around 20% more job vacancies available than it did pre-pandemic. It is arguably the most competitive recruitment market in decades.
So, while investing in staff and their ongoing happiness at work might seem like something companies can’t afford the time or money to do at the moment, not investing in retaining good employees is really something you can’t afford either. Providing career progression to meet your skills gap could be the key.
At CamVision, our Career Boost programmes offer skills enhancement in finance, tech, accounting, engineering and investment.