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  • Writer's pictureThe Legal Digest

The Staff Shortage Crisis

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

As we move into the post-pandemic world, businesses in every sector are facing staff shortages.

Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

Students and graduates missed out on 2 years of opportunities whilst dealing with the uncertainties presented by the pandemic.

HGV drivers were unable to complete their driving tests during lockdown and many workers have moved to more rural areas away from big cities where they can benefit from open spaces.

EU workers returned home as the immigration restrictions post-Brexit create an uncertain future for them. This is affecting retail, hospitality, financial services, hospitals and many more.

One of the key factors that is not being considered is safety. People are now more concerned than ever about their safety when entering enclosed spaces and mixing with people outside their bubble. We have spent two years taking a cautious approach and being told to minimize contact with others, so going back to the way it was before is going to take some time particularly because we have not yet seen the end of the covid-19 pandemic.

So what can businesses do to recruit and retain staff?

  • Train more junior staff where it is difficult to recruit more experienced staff members. This takes time however, hard work pays off in the end as that individual becomes an expert in the business and is more likely to stay if they feel there is career progression. People have not lost motivation in the career ladder but want to work in a role that feels more meaningful.

  • Give as much freedom as you can — implement flexible working policies for everyone. Having to come up with a reason as to why flexibility is needed is restricting for staff. They should feel able to manage their workload in a way that fits around their other commitments provided this does not impact business. It makes staff feel valued.

  • Broadening recruitment to a more diverse range of candidates with different skillsets - if job specifications are too restrictive it can be off-putting and being open minded to candidates with different skillsets can bring out more ideas and cultivate a culture of openness.

  • When it comes to staff benefits, making sure that you can offer the right perks will be central to attracting talent. It’s not just about providing cookies on a Friday or having pizza lunches where staff are required to mingle on their lunchbreak with colleagues that they spend the entire day with. Businesses have to be more imaginative when it comes to perks and focusing on wellness and safety will be key.


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