8 in 10 small and medium-sized business struggle to find new recruits with adequate skills, according to a new poll.
The study of 1,000 business professionals at SME companies was commissioned for coworking company, The Brew by rent24.
Of those professionals in the survey who struggle to find skilled staff, 36% say that a lack of learning or progression opportunities is a major cause – while 30% put the skills shortage down to an inadequate social scene or work-life balance in the business culture.
Interestingly, younger professionals (18-34) are significantly more likely to say that their business has a skills shortage problem (89%). They are also more likely to say that this results from poor learning or progression opportunities (51%) or a poor social scene or work-life balance (40%). London-based professionals at SMEs are also more likely to blame skills shortages on a lack of learning and progression opportunities (40%).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 32% say that their organisation’s skills shortages are down to ‘modest’ starting salaries – while just 20% say it’s because of location and only 15% as a result of their employer’s poor industry reputation.
The new survey results from The Brew by rent24 (thebrew.co.uk) follow two polls last year which found that 2 in 3 UK workers are unhappy with their work-life balance and 9 in 10 want more training courses and opportunities to develop new skills¹.
Andrew Clough, CEO, The Brew by rent24, said: “Skills shortages are particularly catastrophic for SMEs as it impacts productivity and effects their ability to compete with bigger players. Our new poll reveals that this problem is widespread for SMEs and that attracting rare new talent is often as much about social incentives, flexible working and learning opportunities as about pay, location or reputation. The results also suggest that younger workforces are more motivated by these factors than managers or directors from the Generation X or ‘Baby Boomer’ generations.”
“Meeting these challenges is particularly difficult for SMEs due to their comparatively small size and resources. The Brew by rent24 has continued to see strong demand from SMEs and their feedback is often that coworking better facilitates flexible working hours, cross-company collaborations and development seminars, workshops and social events.”