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Future of Work

2020 Salary Guide*, revealed that SMEs are concerned about the potential impact of macroeconomic events on the skills gap in their organisations. Three in five (59%) said that a recession would negatively impact the skills gap in their business, followed by Brexit (47%). However, a quarter of SMEs (26%) said Brexit would have no impact on their skills gap at all, while nearly half (47%) said the same about a General Election before 2020. Impact of macroeconomic events on average SME’s skills gap

  Negative Impact Positive Impact No Impact
Recession 59% 16% 18%
Brexit 47% 20% 26%
General Election pre-2020 15% 26% 47%
IR35 15% 18% 41%
Digitalisation / Industry 4.0 12% 44% 32%
However, the nation’s business leaders are taking measures to reduce the skills gap in their workforce. Nearly two thirds (63%) intend to train and upskill existing staff to address it, followed by hiring permanent staff (42%) and hiring temporary staff (27%). According to the 2020 Salary Guide, the majority (94%) of CFOs believe they need to develop the resilience of their teams to ensure employees continue to thrive during the current geo-political climate. The combination of constant change and the skills shortage has also led SMEs to explore benefits of a flexible recruitment model. Seven in 10 (70%) business leaders believe that change can be successfully managed using a blend of permanent, interim and temporary employees, while three quarters (74%) intend to use experienced temporary workers to upskill existing teams. Matt Weston, Managing Director of Robert Half UK, commented: “The nation is gripped by the current skills shortage – an issue compounded by increased digitalisation, tightening visa controls and Brexit, and one that threatens the ability of our nation’s SMEs to compete on the global stage. The desired skills remain specialist which means those who possess them are in demand. The resulting war for talent could cause even more headaches for SMEs. “Our analysis shows the skills gap can impact the bottom line. For SMEs, the priority for the next year should be identifying and filling gaps within their organisation, which is why we have put together our Salary Guide to support businesses in closing the gap in 2020. Training and development initiatives, with a focus on upskilling existing staff are the obvious starting point. At a time when change is the only constant, adaptability and resilience will be the key soft skills to develop. “For those looking to hire, SMEs will need to act quickly to secure top talent and adopt a flexible hiring strategy. The solution to the war for talent is a blend of permanent, temporary and interim employees.”]]>