Bridging the Gap – How to beat the skills gap and get the right staff

As featured in the April edition of Northern Insight magazine

Hello again, Joanne Howe of Howe Consultancy, here this month to talk to you about the issues you can face when it comes to recruitment.

People are the backbone of any business; those you employ understandably are just as important as any CEO may be. However, how do you go about getting the right recruit and fill the ever widening skills gap which several reports point out?
For example, a ‘totaljobs’ survey released March 9th shows that 55% of UK businesses are suffering a skills shortage- the same survey says almost half (49%) of businesses quizzed anticipate some recruitment difficulties in the next few years while 65% of job hunters say it is harder to find a job than ever before.

With that in mind then, businesses have to be certain that they get the right person, first time round, but how do they go about this? After all, while 33% success may be success in baseball, anything less than 100% in business is going to lead to disaster.

First off, it’s important to remember that although there is a skills gap to be plugged, staff are people; emotion and character can play a big part in what makes a person a good worker so bear that in mind.

Selecting anything will come with a bias and there’s no shame in that. Some people may value one set of skills more than another. By doing this though, you may miss the best possible candidate.
By getting a wide range of people from various sectors and skill sets involved in the recruitment process, you will not only eliminate your own biases, but they may see something in a candidate that you may have missed.

Following on from the previous point, while having a vacancy in the workforce may seem unfair to existing staff, it would be a bigger mistake into rushing into a decision and hiring the wrong person.

Therefore, once a mutual decision (without bias) has been made, take time to double check and reconsider the choice made.

Though far from an exhaustive list of advice hopefully, by following these tips you’ll be in more of a position to avoid one of the most nationally recognised problems for HR.

If you need more help or information with your HR or recruitment, I am fully equipped to deal with this having interviewed over 10,000 people in my HR career, so give call us at Howe Consultancy on 07921 256 981 or visit our website at

Until next time,