Recent economic reports published by the Chamber of Commerce have revealed that domestic and international sales have increased for businesses compared to this time last year.
Nearly 49% of business saw an increase in Q3 sales in 2021, compared to Q3 of 2020. There are suggestions that this improvement will also continue during Q4.
All this is against a backdrop of labour shortages where 62% of businesses are trying to recruit but are struggling to do so.
This news perhaps should not come as a shock given the recent headlines about the shortage of skilled labour within the haulage, hospitality, healthcare and retail industries, to name just a few.
Obviously, it’s impossible to manufacture skilled labour at short notice as by their very nature, these skills take time to acquire.
The situation leaves employers competing over the available skilled labour. One way of competing is financially by offering more salary than the competition. This could be counterproductive though if the competition does the same, driving up wages with resultant wage increases either eroding profits or being passed onto customers in the form of unwelcome price rises.
A smarter way of winning the war for skilled labour could be to offer a selection of benefits designed to appeal to potential recruits. Too often business owners select their favourite benefits when the target employee cohort would react more favourably to perks which better fit their lifestyle. According to a survey by Thomsons Online Benefits, 60% of employees are dissatisfied with their benefits package.
In addition, having the right benefits in place might tempt back those skilled workers who have departed for other industries.