Thorn Baker Efm Labour Shortage

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The Labour Shortage: Who Will Be the Winners and Losers?

Hiring tips

Joanne Crampton, Head of Thorn Baker Estates, Facilities & MaintenanceFruit is rotting in fields, buildings are going un-cleaned and we’ve all seen the impact from the severe shortage of HGV drivers on everything from our local supermarket shelves to our pharmacies.

This is not a Talent or a Skills Shortage (although, that has long been the bane of the construction and technical markets) – this is a Nationwide Labour Shortage. There are simply not enough people looking for work in this country to fill all of the jobs available.

Joanne Crampton, Head of Thorn Baker Estates, Facilities & Maintenance.

However, this does not mean that candidates are impossible to find. Quite the opposite.

The ONS recently reported that there are still 1.6m people actively seeking work, and the group with the most potential are the 8.5m people who are economically inactive. People who are currently not involved in the labour market in any way either through early retirement, long term sickness, stay at home parents, students or similar.


​When the going gets tough through either recession or candidate shortage, there are always companies that are winners and losers. 


Keep reading to discover our predictions as to what type of companies will come out on top and who will be the perennial losers...

Thorn Baker EFM Labour ShortageWinners: Companies with flexible working hours and job shares

Want to tap into that huge market of experienced early retirees, returning parents and people who otherwise can’t work full time? Be flexible with your working hours and shift patterns, change the start and finish times to suit the school runs and baby classes. Create a job share program to split shifts, there are so many options. They’ll appreciate it (and you) all the more for it.

Losers: 'We can’t change our hours, if we do that everyone will want to!'

And? What an awful suggestion, to make things easier for your current workforce as well as attracting your future employees?! Yes, if you un-restrict working hours, your current employees will want to take advantage of that opportunity as well – and this is a GOOD thing. If they secretly want a more flexible work schedule, they’ll find it somewhere else.

Thorn Baker EFM_Labour Shortage BWinners: It's not just about increasing pay, it's about the whole benefits package!

Enhanced maternity and paternity pay, pension plans above and beyond the statutory minimum, increased holidays, private healthcare, and a whole host of flexible benefits and rewards. There are so many ways to improve your offering above and beyond improving the basic salary. Companies who are creative and flexible with their benefits package will have the pick of the bunch.

Losers: '28 days paid holiday, Auto Enrolment Pension and half an hour unpaid break'.

Companies still advertising the above under their ‘Benefits’ section on their job adverts and wondering why they don’t get any applications… It’s not a benefit if it is the statutory minimum you have to provide by law! If you're an employer genuinely unable to improve your benefits package, you need to really think about why it's great to work for you. Those are the benefits you should be listing.

Thorn Baker EFM_Labour Shortage CWinners: Companies who trust their employees to work from anywhere

The pandemic changed a lot of things but few would argue against the change in daily working environments and habits was the single biggest change to the working environment that this country has seen since the industrial revolution. People want less commuting and more leisure time (at least a couple of days a week) and that attitude is here to stay. Plus allowing your people to work from home where possible will boost your environmentally friendly creds too.

Companies who have embraced this fundamental change to our working practices will win this war for people – but it looks like from our recent LinkedIn poll, there are still some hiring managers hanging on to the old ways…

                Thorn Baker EFM_Labour Shortage D


Losers: 'People who want to work from home are just lazy and don’t want to be monitored'.

Newsflash – people who are lazy are lazy EVERYWHERE. In your office, outside your office, on a beach etc. If someone you employ is not doing what they should be doing it's because they're in the wrong job, are disengaged, or are just otherwise unhappy. Where they work has nothing to do with it and basing your WFH policy (or lack of) on this is a sign of much bigger issues. Of course, some jobs simply can’t be done remotely but if yours can, then chances are the people who you want to employ will want some flexibility over where they work.


So, what’s the key to being a winner? Flexibility, open-mindedness and putting your employees (and future hires) wants and needs first.

Are you a winner or a loser? Let us know in the comments!

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