Struggling to employ good staff at the moment? Here’s why…
8th November 2017
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Let’s look at the timeline as I see it:

BREXIT – yes it did happen and yes, we apparently voted out! No we did, it was a nightmare, can you tell I was a remainer?! Go on shoot me now…

We then had the debacle of the change and fall of the government hierarchy…

And then we waited, we waited with baited breath to see what was going to happen.  We held our breath for so long that we had to let it go mid-September and rise our heads above the precipice and thought, it’s going to be ok, nothing’s changed, it might not change for two years, we can look forward, make a plan or two.

A great November was had in business, YES, it’s going to be okay!? Hoorah!

Then HARD BREXIT was announced in Dec and those brave souls that had raised their heads retreated once more. Dear god help the Small Businesses of the UK!

January - TRUMP happened!

It was a weird January, Feb, March; historically our busiest hiring quarter of the year, loads of jobs out there but no one moving, no one making a decision, no one wanting to take the risk of leaving their safe and comfortable role, clients taking an age to say yes, to commit to anything, interviews, hirings, just saying yes or no. They needed these staff URGENTLY most of them.

We then all came up for air, taking our 2nd breath in 9 months… and blow me if dear Teresa May went and announced a snap election!!! (Shoot me again!)

Times are hard, BREXIT, as hard as the government tries to tell us otherwise has halted small business especially in its tracks.  Couple that with a Hard Brexit announced in March and Trump coming to the fore then the announcement of the Snap Election (I was beyond annoyed that day, I was at a meeting all day, saw the news on Twitter and thought, dear god what else would you like to do, to halt the rise and prosperity of the recruiter and all the businesses out there!!!)  

Now let’s get the politics history lesson into context.

Recruitment is cyclical, the 1st three months of the year is VERY busy, 2nd quarter busy, July and August most recruiters go on holiday because all the decision makers are away.  Nothing happens in those months unless you deal in temporary hospitality staff, September everyone comes back to work raring to go and changes/fills jobs before December and their Christmas parties and bonuses. Rarely do people move jobs in December. They wake up on January 1st and their New Year’s resolution is right I’m going to lose weight and I’m going to change my job. The working world goes mad.

Well guess what?  This didn’t happen this year. Nothing, zilch, nada - the 1st of January came and went and nothing happened. The big clients hired, they threw money at candidates to get them in the door, they upped their game and their benefits. BUT, and it’s a big but, this nation of SME’s didn’t hire their 1st employee, they didn’t hire their 5th employee, their 10th employee. They sat on their hands watching and waiting; what next, dare we, shall we, can we risk it? What did the candidates do, they retreated? Why on earth would you move jobs - even if the package was massively better than where you were - if you know that on a last in, first out basis if something goes wrong you will be out of “safe” employment.  Maybe a job they had been in for 5 years, bored in, stifled, unhappy, underpaid, no progression - yes, they stayed - they stayed because they feel safer there than being the new boy/girl in the new role. 

So where does this leave you and me one might ask? Trying to find quality, talented staff for our roles? Well it leaves us in a bit of a quandary really doesn’t it?

I do this for a living and we struggle, but what can you do? Well you can look at who you are, what do you offer your employees? Not in terms of money but in other things to make you an Employer of Choice?  Your aim is make your company attractive and to get people to come to you and clamouring at your door. Think Google, Apple, Disney or a company similar to these that people are desperate to join?

Ask yourself why?

Some of the things to look at are:

  • Flexible working, where, how and when
  • Life, work balance
  • Autonomy in the workplace
  • The ability to form relationships, have friends, and a solid team environment
  • Happiness and work and emotional engagement of your staff? Do you even care about this?
  • The ability for your staff to make a difference, to you, to them, to their workmates, to your clients and to the wider community?
  • Your leaders, are they good, are they driven, can they motivate and inspire?
  • Can they create and innovate?

Make yourself an employer of choice and the world will be your oyster, stand out from the rest, be brave, do something different, take your staffs’ thoughts into consideration, ask them!! Courageous I know but so worthwhile…

I will talk about this again in more detail and how the world of work is changing but for now, if you are struggling ask yourself why? You know, yes you really do, you just might not want to admit it to yourself.

Mandy Brook is the OWNER/MD of RSE Group Ltd Talent Management Company she is a recruiter, leader, director of the Recruitment Employment Federation the recruiters governing body, she regularly speaks on the BBC, Sky News and in other mediums about employment and the world of work, she is a thought disruptor and soon to be qualified Neuro Science Practioner and just a jolly nice person as well as being a little direct and at times opinionated! You can contact her here or on 01424 830000

About the Author

Mandy B

Member since: 10th November 2014

A recruitment director, employer, entrepreneur, mother and lover of brandy and rescue dogs....

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