Skills shortages ‘holding back HR sector growth’

Many businesses in the UK HR sector are struggling to grow because of skills shortages, according to a report released this week.

The Reed HR 2012 Salary and Market Insight Report, which surveyed 1,500 employers and employees, found that 39% of respondents admitted that there are skills gaps in their organisations that are having an effect on business performance and growth potential. Half of senior managers who responded said that the skills shortages in their organisations are having a negative impact on their business.

The survey highlighted a number of other findings that paint a worrying picture of skills in the HR sector:

  • 40% of respondents said that they are worried about losing talent from their organisation;
  • one-third said that they have a skills shortage in their organisation, while a further third didn’t know if they have a skills shortage;
  • 50% of senior managers said that they have a skills shortage; and
  • one respondent in five was concerned about the migration of talent to other sectors or countries.

In response to some of these findings, the report surveyed the steps that businesses are taking to deal with skills shortages and loss of talent:

  • 46% of businesses are investing in training;
  • one-third are focusing on internal promotion;
  • a quarter are looking externally to recruit new talent; and
  • formal talent management and incentives/benefits come lower down the list.

One significant, worrying finding, however, was that 38% said that their organisations are doing none of these things to grow or maintain talent levels.

Jason Willis, divisional director at Reed HR, said: “The majority of businesses are now being run in a very lean way, with little surplus of skills to take up the slack when someone leaves for a new role.

“This means that effective talent management is more important than ever and the first step to this is understanding the skills within the organisation. However, while key skills are important, employers will also benefit from a degree of flexibility if they can find employees with the right mindset – as our research also found that one person with the right mindset is worth seven without.”

The report also found that the skills shortage may worsen before it improves. While it found that 61% of respondents are satisfied in their current roles, many are looking to move on to new challenges. At junior manager level, for example, 46% are either actively looking for a new role or are planning to start the search in the next 12 months.

Willis continued: “Junior managers are the leaders of tomorrow and an area where many companies invest a lot of time. They are also heavily involved in an organisation’s day to day operations and, therefore, too many departures at this level are likely to cause both short term disruption and create longer term talent gaps in the future.

“Inevitably, there will always be those individuals that move on, with talented people always in demand. So, employers should look carefully at this level within their business to identify where particular skills and talents lie.”

If you are thinking about the training and development of your employees, Personnel Today’s Buyers’ Guides can help.

Paul Champion

📱: 07540 704920

Twitter: @blogapprentice
Skype: paulchampion31

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