Harrogate town centre

Harrogate Business Face Staff Shortages: What Leaders Can Do To Help And Adapt

25 August 2021

Thanks to a myriad of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and changing trends in focus from young staff, many businesses in the UK are facing staff shortages.

These staffing issues show no sign of going anywhere, which means that companies need to learn how to adapt to these challenges.

Business success is driven by its team. Without a talented and dedicated workforce, your organisation won’t be able to provide the products and services that your clients expect.

In Harrogate, many businesses are facing staff shortages already. As the economy reopens, many companies in the city have seen staff shortages.

These issues come at a very bad time for UK businesses, particularly in the hardest-hit industries, such as hospitality. These markets have already faced challenges because of the pandemic and the closures that it caused, so staff shortages mean that companies might struggle to grow or even survive in the future.

Business leaders that are facing staffing issues need to be proactive and dedicated to adapting to this problem before it becomes a major catastrophe.

Here are some useful ways that you can adapt your business around staffing problems and work to prevent them over the coming months and years.

Improve Wages And Working Conditions

While the pandemic and Brexit might both be part of the issue around staff shortages, for some businesses, these problems will be exacerbated by poor working conditions and low wages. So, if your business is paying less than the average wage to your staff and you have poor working conditions, then you need to be proactive and improve matters before you start hiring new team members. These improvements might seem costly, but they’ll save you money and effort in the long run. If you need financial assistance funding these improvements to your worker’s conditions, then check out the business loans available. Brokers such as Capalona have access to a selection of loans designed to help small businesses like yours to fund improvements and developments, so you can find a cost-effective solution that helps your business to improve working conditions and attract top industry talent.

Check Your Online Reputation

Now that the hiring process is almost entirely online, your business’s online reputation could affect the way that potential candidates perceive you. One of the first things that applicants will do before they apply for your role is to search your business name and use review sites to see what others think of your organisation. Some sites also encourage former and current employees to review your business, so you need to make sure that you manage your online reputation to ensure that you always attract and hire the best possible candidates. If you find negative comments online, you should either try to address the issue by responding professionally and accurately or engage with the platform on which the comment is posted to get it removed. The latter approach is only applicable if the comment could be considered defamatory and slanderous. With an active approach to managing your online reputation, you’ll increase your chances of hiring the top talent that you need to drive your business to success. You’ll also be able to improve your reputation with potential and current clients, which is even more reason to focus on your online reputation in 2021.

Streamline Your Business Processes

For small businesses that are only experiencing minor issues with staffing, streamlining your organisation could be the ideal solution. By working to improve time management and optimise your business, you could save valuable time that could help you to deal with the reduced number of staff you have at your disposal. Consider auditing every task that you have in your business and the processes that you and your team go through to complete it. Then, see if there are any ways that you can streamline this process and make it easier using the resources that you have at your disposal.

Work Out What Can Be Outsourced

After you’ve audited your business processes and tried to streamline them, you should also consider if any tasks can be outsourced to another company. For example, if you work in the food industry and you currently have your customer-facing staff making deliveries as well as dealing with clients face-to-face, whether that’s in-store, over the phone, or both, then you could consider using an outsourced food delivery service. This approach will save your staff time and resources while allowing you to offer the same service that your customers desire. Think about what parts of your business you could outsource and then explore the best options in the Harrogate area.

Automate Basic Business Tasks

As mentioned above, a key part of streamlining your business is finding ways to remove tiresome and time-consuming tasks and pass them on to someone else. While this could be outsourced agencies, you could also consider using automated tools to save time and optimise your organisation’s workflow. There are many simple ways to automate small tasks, such as uploading data or sending out automatic messages with a template. So, it would help if you considered the ways that you can use technology to improve your business and reduce the impact that staff shortages have on your team. In some cases, you might be able to find free tools to automate business tasks, such as Excel. However, in many cases, you will have to subscribe and pay for your automated tools, so you should take the time to explore the solutions on the market to find the right one for your company.

Consider Using Alternative Hiring Platforms

In some cases, you simply can’t avoid the need to hire new staff. When this happens, you need to find ways to hire the employees you need, even when there is a staff shortage. Even if you have a great culture, a strong reputation in your industry for being a good employer and an enviable benefits package, if there are too many roles and not enough staff, you’re going to find it hard to hire new team members to advance your business and sustain your current success. If you’re only using traditional job advertising platforms, such as CV-Library and Indeed, then you could be missing out on a key demographic. Consider using the online platforms on which your target candidates spend most of their time. Often, this means using social media sites. Even the most unusual platforms that you wouldn’t think of can be used to recruit talented staff if you use them right. For example, if you’re looking to hire young staff, then you can use the popular video-sharing platform TikTok for recruiting. Explore all of the digital recruiting options to ensure that you get access to the best candidates for your role.

Promote Internally Where Possible

While external job candidates might be required to fill up hours and get bodies into your business, that doesn’t mean that they have to be skilled. Finding skilled workers with the qualifications and experience you need is harder than simply selecting new team members to take on menial tasks. So, when hiring new staff, you should consider making the most of your existing team and optimising it, then bringing in new employees at the bottom, rather than hiring talented and expensive staff. If you already have experienced team members, then consider promoting them to supervisory or even management roles and then hiring new staff to replace them in their previous position. If you require a specific skill or qualification, then think about training existing team members before you hire externally. This approach will help you to not only get the staff you need for your business but also to improve morale among your current workforce. Your employees will see that there is room for personal growth in your organisation and will be motivated to showcase the traits that you desire to improve their chances of being chosen to fill a more senior position.

Support Local Training Schemes To Shape The Workforce Of Tomorrow

Working with local education providers and training schemes might not benefit your business right now, but it will help you invest in the future workforce. This approach will also show potential candidates, clients and business associates that your organisation is committed to supporting the local community and driving business excellence. So, try to find unique and innovative ways to support young people and encourage them to enter your industry. There are many ways that you can achieve this aim. You could consider funding a training course or a publicity campaign for your industry. Alternatively, you could lend your time to the cause, and provide mentoring services and offer talks to encourage new individuals to train in specific skills that could benefit your business and others further down the road.

The staff storage will cause issues for almost every business in the corporate world. Even if your company isn’t directly affected, you might find that your suppliers and service providers are and that you have issues in your supply chain and other vital parts of your business process. Use these tips to help yourself to reduce the direct impact that this issue has on your organisation and to help improve the future of the recruitment market in Harrogate and throughout the UK in the future.

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