Attracting talent: The movement of people

by Anita Caldwell

We all know attracting technical and key skilled talent into our industry sectors is imperative for the sustainability and growth of UK manufacturing and for the UK to continue being a player at the leading edge of technology.

The wider questions surrounding Brexit and the free movement of people have ‘refreshed’ this point and the ongoing underlying question about our internal UK skills shortage.

The UK needs to be able to attract and employ talented skilled individuals from abroad, and also retain talented people trained in the UK as we have not got a big or ‘deep’ enough succession plan of ‘home grown’ talent.    

Companies really do need to compete and only by attracting the best skills in the market can they achieve innovative growth at the ‘leading edge’ of their industry sectors. Even in this time of ‘limbo’ in the UK, a company needs to sell its attractiveness, its benefits and the future prospects of its own company and industry, or conversely we will lose ‘home grown’ talent abroad.     

In the Chemicals industry as an example, there are severe shortages of skills, especially at mid-senior management level in the engineering and technical disciplines. Although the Chemicals industry has been historically over manned, this does not translate nowadays to a glut of talent, due to the lack of oversight for succession planning  in the UK manufacturing industry and our ‘people training / development resources’ in recent past decades being run down. For example: Qualified Scientists and technically experienced Engineers in the sector are in short supply, which becomes even more apparent if a job demands people leadership skills.  

We commented last year that good engineering candidates currently in the Chemicals sector were being ‘poached’ across into other related industrial sectors and into blue chips’.  Although we don’t want to get into a battle of spiralling salaries, companies need to look creatively at how they can attract/retain the best candidates. This may mean offering an overall package encompassing incentives such as flexible benefits, a relocation contribution, performance related bonuses and future personal development plans etc.

Other companies effectively widen their candidate ‘spec’ requirements by being willing to think ‘outside the box’ to achieve their required intake of engineers from different sectors and to train them into their own industry. The UK is trying to catch up and make many advances to attract more apprentices and STEM graduates now into industry, and companies are using innovative ideas to attract and retain their staff. But even so this is not enough, we still need to be open-minded and attract ‘outside’ talent whatever else happens in the Brexit negotiations.   

Through our proven search methods RMG can help you source, attract and ultimately recruit the best candidate available in the market (not actively on the market) to your company. We recruit across the UK and in Europe, and are keenly interested in contributing to the specialist industry sectors in which we focus; mainly Chemicals and Healthcare. We do this by continuing to place exceptional candidates who add strategic impact in our clients’ companies and their sectors, whatever happens to be the backdrop and challenges of the wider political landscape and all our concerns.        

We would be interested to help you secure your company succession plan, whatever future routes you are considering, by helping you attract outstanding people. Call Anita Caldwell on 01928 711800 or 07760 445183, if you would like to discuss an important recruitment appointment and how we could help you secure the right person into your team.  


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