When Marks n Spencer’s run out of Percy Pigs and McDonald’s runs out of milkshakes, you
know something is wrong. It’s been reported that the driver shortage continues to impact not
only the haulage industry, but many more industries. Its like the ripple effect.
Employee retention will be one of the biggest issues facing business owners across the
board for the rest of the year and beyond. There are multiple reasons for this, but it starts
with a surge in the market, coupled with a lack of skills, creating a candidate void in the jobs
This reduction in the number of new candidates looking for employment is down to a number
of ISSUES, including the sharp rise in demand across all sectors/industries coming out of
the pandemic, furloughed staff, a reluctance to seek a new role due to economic uncertainty,
fewer EU candidates because of Brexit, and highly–skilled candidates already being snapped
up at the beginning of the pandemic, now finding themselves out of work as they’ve been
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistic (ONS) show there are almost 1.5m live
job vacancies in the UK – hiring, employee engagement and employee retention are huge
concerns for all employers as we enter March 2022
No sector or Industry has been left with untouched from the problem, but we have noticed
that some industries are feeling it more than others. January and February got off to a slow
start, but one thing we noticed was that IT skilled jobs and individuals were very few and far
between. Even some of tech skills that our clients were looking for, proved to be really
difficult to find the right candidates for. So, what can employers do to address the issues
Why are staff having re–thinking about things?
One thing is for certain, the remuneration package is key, but not the only reason. As with
most things, supply, and demand, is driving an increase in the average salaries across all
roles and sectors.
We are also seeing the reintroduction of a contract market as businesses look to
consultants, temporary hires, and contractors to fill the gaps, especially where they are
struggling to attract high calibre candidates or under time pressure with projects.
Candidates are now looking, not just for money, but also for a better work life balance. Many
have had the last 18 months working from home. They’ve enjoyed the time and the flexibility,
and now want to continue with the same and not go back to the 9–5 office–based role.
Some companies have embraced the new way of working, and you can see the mental
wellbeing of people really starting to take effect within the work force. However, some have
not. Some have decided to go a split of 3 days WFH and 2 days in the office. Some
companies have completely gone against the idea and insisted that all staff return to the
Taking this approach can lead to problems retaining staff, and I don’t believe that we have
seen the last of this change in working patterns.
Minimising the impact
Companies that take the time to understand the need for greater employee engagement also
appreciate the freedom it gives. For those that have embraced the hybrid way of working
have seen a greater retention in staff, and it’s given the employees that worker further away
from the office an opportunity to complete remote working.
A lot more employers are now reviewing the competitiveness of their company
offerings to attract new recruits, conducting salary benchmarking, analysing the competition
for key company skills, working conditions and flexible work options offered by those
competing for their staff.
With employees returning to the office from being at home for the last 18 months, they will of
course have mixed emotions. We found with one of our clients that completing a feedback
survey, you can check in with their mental health wellbeing and address any issues as
quickly as possible. Especially if people are travelling back and forth to work.
Acting on the information is key for all employers. Identify the issues and act on them
quickly. Those employers who retain employees, listen to the employee requirements, feel
more secure. Thus, this gives the employer more time to focus on the business at hand.