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13th Sep, 2023

Louise Reed
Louise Reed
Job Title
Solutions Director

Arguably, businesses are currently facing their biggest challenge to date – how to futureproof their workforce. 

The labour market is constantly evolving, and this year there has been a noticeable shift. The most significant change from the previous two years is that the job boom that emerged directly after the pandemic has now come to an end and a new market is taking shape. However, despite the shift in the market, there is still very much a talent shortage in many sectors, and businesses are struggling to source skilled candidates.  

When technological change is added into the equation it becomes clear organisations really need to be on the front foot. 

Those which best adapt to these challenges will find ways to connect their business and talent strategies. The big question for organisations is to look at their five- and 10-year plans and analyse if they can realistically achieve their goals if they continue to hire in the same way they do now. 

Taking practical measures 

The first thing businesses need to do is carry out a skills audit and look at the current skills their workforce has.  

We know people want to feel invested in, so now is the time to identify any opportunities within existing workforces and to drive engagement and retention. 

There will, however, be gaps and this is where organisations need to have a proactive approach to hiring – so often, businesses hire in the same way as they’ve always done with an emphasis on experience. 

Hiring on experience is not only expensive, but it also comes with risk as these individuals are usually driven to move on more quickly as they can demand higher salaries elsewhere. The danger is the cost of hiring and therefore attrition will become untenable. 

Why focus on skills? 

Focusing on skills rather than experience is something many businesses are talking about, but only some are actively doing.

While it can feel like a bold move, such a change should be considered as part of an overall strategy. There will be specific business areas in which to run this type of programme - for instance in IT or digital and customer service, where talent shortages and attrition remain high, but skills are trainable. 

At Reed Talent Solutions, we’ve seen great success recently with a blue-chip telecoms provider which has seen the benefits of hiring for skills rather than experience to drive deeper and more empathetic conversations with their customer base. Generational diversity and social value were also critical pillars for this programme and have both been exceeded in terms of expectations. 

Recruit, train, deploy to attract fresh talent 

When it comes to overcoming chronic skills shortages, Reed Talent Solutions’ recruit, train, deploy solution works to attract, reskill or upskill, and deploy new talent. 

Our models are proactive, skills-based hiring solutions, designed to attract emerging and hidden talent, provide them with foundational technical and business skills, and then deploy them into businesses on programmes typically ranging from 18 to 24 months. During this time, they will work with a more senior team and be provided with an ongoing skills development programme supported by a mentor. 

At the end of the programme, the individual can transfer into the organisation at no cost, providing the business with a sustainable future talent pipeline who feel valued and engaged and are far more likely to stay with the company. 

Often used alongside more traditional routes to market, recruit train deploy enables companies to keep up with the pace of technology while still meeting their expectations from a talent-readiness perspective. It removes the burden of competing for professionals, ensures the quality of talent, significantly controls costs, and reduces the time and effort that other approaches require.  

Download our new survey report, ‘The Great Unlocking, harnessing the hidden workforce’, to find out more here 

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