As the economy continues to pick up, along with a resurgence of the UK manufacturing sector, Yorkshire businesses are facing the challenge of attracting and retaining the talented people they need in order to expand, staff retention is becoming a key issu
Many manufacturing companies in the region are strategically moving their focus from cost reduction and consolidation to investment in order to achieve growth with expansion often creating additional jobs. At the same time, we are seeing confidence in the labour market increasing, making it even more important to retain staff as well as compete to attract new recruits becoming fiercer.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) reports that the recovery in living standards following the recession has been much slower than in previous recessions, largely as the result of ‘weak growth in earnings for those in work’. It is only now, thanks to an improving labour market and falling inflation, that we are seeing median household income returning to pre-recessionary levels.
According to the latest MAS barometer, the costs of salary rises together with the problem of recruiting quality people are seen as key issues by SMEs. Steven Barr, head of the Manufacturing Advisory Service at the Business Growth Service, commented: “It was noticeable that recruitment issues are weighing heavily on the minds of business leaders, both in retaining their best staff and in identifying skills that can support the growth they are trying to manage.
“Over one third of firms questioned said the pressure to pay higher salaries was a concern, which could be down in part to the larger manufacturers having the first call on the available pool of experienced people. Our Business Growth Managers – who work closely with hundreds of manufacturers every week – are hearing stories of SMEs changing their wage structures to keep existing employees and paying exceptional starting salaries for technically skilled staff.
“The skills gap continues to be a major issue too. Nearly a third of respondents say they can’t find new recruits with the skills they needed, a worrying trend that if not addressed could potentially curtail the UK’s industrial resurgence.”
What’s more, the situation is likely to worsen with 50% of SME manufacturers in the MAS survey predicting that they will see further staff increases in the six months to June 2015. To help prepare employers for this ‘war for talent’, Clarion is holding a breakfast seminar for Yorkshire businesses which will look at growing and protecting your business in an upward economy and in particular looking at staff retention and recruitment. The event will explain how aligning employee incentives and objectives with business strategy and targets can deliver success. It will specifically focus on what incentive plans and processes can be put in place to achieve increased growth and sales; and will also consider legal protections/restrictions that affect talent retention and acquisition.
Sarah Tahamtani comments: “While it’s easy to conclude that a well-structured remuneration package is key to driving growth strategies, it isn’t as easy to identify what incentive programme will deliver the most productive team with optimum performance.”
The staff retention seminar is being held on Tuesday 2 June, from 8.30-10.30am, at our Elizabeth House offices on Queen Street, Leeds. To reserve your place, please contact Heather Oates on 0113 336 3345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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