How to address skill gaps in your start-up

By: Victoria Harrison

Date: 21 August 2018

How to address skill gaps in your start-upFor many start-ups, plugging a skills gap in their organisation can present serious problems. Even if you're able to find employees with the unique skill set you need, your finances might not stretch to a new hire. As your business grows, both of these issues should become a lot easier to manage.

Yet with challenges including visa restrictions and Brexit uncertainty, the UK could be set to experience even greater skill shortages in the coming months and years.

Here are three strategies to enable start-ups to close their skills gap.

1. Train existing staff

One of the easiest ways to address a skills gap is to provide training to existing staff. This avoids the cost of hiring new employees, while improving morale and retention levels by showing your people that they are valued.

Staff will need to take time away from their usual duties while they're learning - but if the right training is chosen, the pay-off should be worth any short-term difficulties.

Depending on your start-up's size and financial resources, you can choose an external trainer or ask someone internal to do it. The latter may be cost-effective if you simply need 'more trained hands on deck' - but to introduce entirely new skills, an external source will be your only option.

2. Harness technology

Automation is a development that will affect the future of many industries. While there are negative implications to automation in the long term, it can also be a useful tool for tackling skill shortages.

Tech can be used to enhance organisational processes, improving efficiency. For example, automating repetitive tasks can free up the employee who usually fulfils them, so that they can focus on acquiring new skills.

3. Consider remote and overseas working

Moving the location of your operations can be a great way to deal with skill shortages, according to RSM. While attracting potential employees from abroad may be tricky in the current climate, moving your business overseas may offer a solution.

Alternatively, flexible and remote working could be appropriate. This way you don’t need to relocate the entire start-up, while still taking advantage of skilled workers abroad who also don’t need to move.

The success of this model will depend on your industry, but with video calling and online communication tools, it can be easily arranged.

Copyright © 2018 Article was made possible by site supporter Victoria Harrison

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