How Scaleups Can Attract And Retain Top Talent

How Scaleups Can Attract And Retain Top Talent

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“I can’t find the talent and skills I need!” - this is one of the most common comments we hear from business owners on the Scaleup North East programme.

I find that on almost every encounter with a new Scaleup North East client, they will cite a lack of talent and skills shortages as a critical issue in their business.

As a former employer of 5,500 workers myself, this has resonated with me - clearly strategy to manage talent and address skills shortages that worked in the past are no longer working.

Despite the skills and talent shortage, I find it mystifying to hear companies that are in profit admit that learning and development is a “nice to have” and don’t invest in upskilling and developing their people, yet cite being surprised when acquisition and retention of talent is challenging.

We live and work in a rapidly ever-evolving world where the work environment continues to change. There is little doubt that certain jobs will exist in the near future that we don’t even know about yet, how does one prepare for this?

Don’t underestimate your employees

It is incumbent on employers to make every effort to understand their workforce. Don’t overlook the value of developing your employees, it will not only benefit the company but will position you as an employer who invests in your staff.

Employees are more open to cross skilling and moving to new job families than ever before. Talent is talent - new skills can be taught.

Clearly the most obvious solution to your talent and skills challenges, is identify your talented and skilled people and develop them, upskill them and retain them – ‘Hire for attitude, train for skill’.

Take advantage of your budget

I urge business leaders to review their learning and development budget. Hands up how many out there even have a learning and development budget that is anything more than token.

If managed properly, your investment will make you money. Yes, it is costing you the money you see on your overhead line in your budget, but it’s the unseen return on investment.

How much has it added onto your income line, customer experience scores and retention, productivity and discretionary effort outputs? How much has it saved on recruitment and assisted with long term succession planning?

Reach out for support

It has never been easier with the wide array of tools and experts available to identify and learn about people in or applying to be in your organisation.

There is more support out there than ever – apprenticeships at all levels, skills training and education through colleges, learning and development professionals and universities.

At a recent Scaleup North East hosted event attended by leading North East universities and colleges and organisations such as the Scaleup Institute, the discussion focussed around talent, skills and leadership.

It was agreed that higher education partners can create programs designed to meet the needs of scaleups and startups, developing a suite of online tools and potentially expanding the offering through having the likes of Scaleup North East and Entrepreneur’s Forum delivering the programs.

RTC North is delivering Scaleup North East in conjunction with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The programme is aimed at supporting North East-based businesses that can demonstrate both the hunger and the potential to achieve high levels of growth.