Broadstone Employee Benefits

How to fill the skills gap in your business

The UK is facing a skills crisis and if you are one of the many companies struggling to recruit the right staff for your organisation – you are not alone according to the latest Recruitment Trends Snapshot report from The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo). The shortage of skilled staff is also reiterated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) who reported at the end of 2021 that more than 50% of businesses were struggling to meet customer demand because they couldn’t recruit the staff they needed for the roles available.

Broadstone consultants work with numerous industry sectors and we are all receiving the same message – clients are concerned how they can continue to meet customer demand and grow their business without the right people in the right positions.

Of course, the demand for staff is good news for the economy. With the hiring market buoyant it’s a sign we are in a good place but that will only be positive if firms can find and hire the talent they need. However, with both permanent and contract vacancies failing to be filled, it’s a critical time for the economy and for individual businesses who must attract and retain the staff they need now and in the future.

Existing talent

It is worthwhile to map the type of roles your company will need in the short, medium and long term. Make your colleagues aware of the skills required in the future and where feasible look for opportunities for internal promotion and re-training. If you fail to focus and invest correctly now you will lose your competitive edge in the future and so nurturing your current employees could offer a solution.

If you have a loyal and committed staff base invest in them and offer a development career pathway with internal and external training at its core.

Your competition

Your competitors will be having similar issues to you – in some cases, it may be relevant to consider pooling your HR resources to lobby Skills Councils, professional associations, local schools and colleges and even your local authority to encourage education and training that fills the skills gaps in the regional economy. This complements the government’s levelling-up agenda and will ensure that young talent is not tempted to leave a local area for employment.

Internal referrals

It stands to reason engineers will know other engineers, marketing personnel will know other marketeers, personal assistants will know other personal assistants and so on, therefore encourage your staff to refer exceptional candidates from their own network. Offer your existing staff a ‘finder’s fee’ or other reward when you recruit a candidate based on their recommendation and you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

It will save you a lot of time and money in recruitment and existing staff are naturally selective and careful who they recommend. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.


Of course, you can also research and headhunt prospects from elsewhere, sometimes known as passive recruitment. However, if you do take this route, the power is firmly in the hands of the potential recruit. This means they are likely to demand a higher salary as well as looking for a benefits package that meets their needs.

The great thing about the right benefits package is that it should be cost-effective for the employer yet be perceived as having a higher value by the employee. Broadstone’s expert team are on hand to help design a package that meets the demands of the discerning employee who really understands both the monetary and added value it can offer – from employee discounts to mental health and wellbeing, from healthcare plans to financial engagement, whatever your new staff want, they can have.

The right benefits package will help attract new staff and working with an experienced benefits consultant will ensure it attracts the candidates you want. And of course, just like your business we don’t stand still and will continually review the package you offer to ensure it is flexible enough for the demands of your existing and future workforce. This ensures your reward package positions your company’s reputation as an employer with a great reputation that the most talented candidates will want to work for.

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