Are we in the midst of a new ‘industrial’ revolution?

Market News

Thursday October 29, 2020

David Clements

Prior to the Covid pandemic, due to a changing workforce and evolving industries, the market was experiencing a major labour, skill, and talent shortage.

In fact, according to some reports, almost a quarter of UK employers were unable to find the talent they need and this was the top emerging risk faced by organisations here in the UK. This emerging crisis was being driven by 2 key factors:

Skill shortage

We were facing significant skill shortages across industry, but particularly within the IT and Security, Engineering, Software Development, and Martec marketing sectors. This means there were less people available with the skills, experience, and qualifications needed to fill specific roles with numerous companies often competing for the same talent. This was great for the candidates, but not so great for the businesses trying to fill these skilled roles.

Talent shortage

Demand for employees who are change-oriented and innovative, with the ability to think strategically and motivate others, was at an all-time high. When looking to fill these roles, companies were likely competing with a number of other businesses.

In order for companies to prepare to meet this challenge, some of the major issues they needed to consider were candidate demands for improved work life balance and more flexible working patterns. One of the interesting by-products of the Covid experience has been the acceleration of the shift to remote working which not only allows employees to achieve a greater life balance, but it also means they can avoid office politics and, of course, for businesses this type of working allows them to keep costs down. The flipside to this is without regular F2F interaction, companies can weather the storm in short-term but medium term this stifles employee development, business transformation and innovation, which are key components of any businesses long term profitable growth strategy. It’s clear already that looking ahead things will not return to exactly as they were and employees and business will need to adjust to the “new normal”. How companies manage the balance between remote and office working, while retaining their unique culture will be a key challenge they will need to address.

Are we in a new ‘industrial’ revolution?

Already we are seeing companies start to think through their WFH policies. Instead of 1-2 days a week working from home, will the future be 1 or 2 days a week in the office focused on strategy, planning and creative meetings and workshops? Another softer aspect that I think will get more airtime is the importance of ‘learned’ behaviours, which are particularly relevant for people in their early careers. Watching and observing how more senior people operate in the workplace was a key part of my own professional development and is not something that can be easily replicated on a Zoom call. Finally, some of our clients are considering more radical new models, to improve productivity and work-life balance, like moving to a 4-day working week. At this stage it’s hard to predict exactly what the new normal will be, but it’s clear already that the workplace is under-going a significant re-think and transformation, a kind of 21st century industrial revolution that will shift the landscape considerably.

Here at Comoro, we understand the need for companies to address key talent shortages in their business to be able to leverage human capital and drive profitable growth. We can help you source the right talent to drive your business forward.

If you are a high growth business experiencing a talent shortage, get in touch. As a specialist recruitment agency, we can help you build a resourcing strategy and model for the “new normal” that will help you meet your current and future needs.

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