How to solve staffing issues is not the first question you want to be asking when you reopen after Christmas. Unfortunately, it often is. Christmas gives many people time to think and re-evaluate, with the result that January is often a key time for employees to give notice and start looking for other jobs.
If you’ve been thrown into a staffing crisis because a key team member has decided to move on, you’re not alone. In this blog, we talk to virtual expert Louisa about the problem and consider different ways to solve staffing issues.
Why is January a key month in staff turnover?
Louisa: I like to use my Christmas break to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the next year. Lots of working people do, and it’s an important time in goal setting. Unfortunately for employers, it can also lead to employees deciding to take a different direction, leaving your business with a skills gap.
How can we solve staffing issues in January?
Louisa: It’s always a shame to say goodbye to someone with skills and experience that have benefited your business – fortunately, there are a number of solutions available. Above all, stay positive – remember that someone leaving always creates opportunities. For example, filling the skills gap could mean a promotion for the right team member. You could also change a process or introduce an efficiency.
When I encounter businesses with a skills gap, I usually suggest the following solutions:
Training and promotion
Depending on your business and your team, training up another member of staff could fill the gap. This can be a cost-effective solution, as well as creating an opportunity for an established member of staff to develop their skills. Opportunities like this can make your staff members feel valued and could help minimise future staff turnover.
On the other hand, if your existing team are already at capacity, you will have to bring in outside help.
With an obvious gap in your team, you could also recruit a new member of staff. This is a good solution if you’re confident that the role you’re recruiting for is very similar to that held by your outgoing team member. It’s also good if your business is secure and you’re confident you will have the budget to cover the role.
The downside of recruitment is that there are costs associated with advertising the role, as well as time lost from core business while you follow the recruitment process. It’s also important to remember that your new recruit won’t necessarily be able to bring value to the business straightaway. They might need to learn the ropes before you’ll see a return on your recruitment investment.
Outsourcing is when you pay an outside person or organisation to provide a particular skill or service. It’s a great solution if you have a short-term skills gap…or if you don’t know how long you’ll have the skills gap for. Unlike using a temp, outsourcing is completely flexible and you only pay for completed work. For example, if you outsource the outgoing team member’s responsibilities and then find that some of them are no longer relevant, you can simply turn off that part of the service.
If you outsource to an agency like Get Ahead, your local regional director will hand pick a team of experts to cover all the support you need. This means that you could spread one person’s hours across three people, and get an exceptional standard of work from each one. And if your virtual support shows you a more efficient way of doing something, you are welcome to adopt it – this could change the whole outlook of your business.
Whenever I’m asked to slot into a new business at short notice, I’ve learned to quickly pick up on the culture as well as delivering the best work I can. This means – like all Get Ahead’s virtual experts -I can hit the ground running when I start working for a new client.
Best of all, there’s no long contract, so if you unexpectedly fill your skills gap with a permanent staff member, you can simply switch off the outsourced work while keeping within your staffing budget.
Outsource support to Get Ahead
If you think Get Ahead could be the solution to your skills gap, we’d love to help! Get in touch today or explore our site to find out more. You can also find us on LinkedIn where we share loads of news and tips for business owners.