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How to Avoid Talent Shortages and Retain Staff

retain staffAlthough talent shortages seem to be an issue throughout many industries, it is a particular challenge the creative, digital and media sectors. The areas of , especially have many opportunities for the talented candidates, which makes retaining your best employees all the more important.

You only need to undertake a bit of headhunting to realise that most people are willing to hear about new opportunities, very few will say they are completely happy where they are; the grass is always greener…

If you want to hold onto your key talent, you need to be prepared to put in the work.

Key Strategies For Retaining Staff

With figures from CIPD showing that as many as one third of employees are looking to change their jobs in the 2016, it is time to start making retention a priority for your business. When someone leaves an agency, not only do you have the struggle of trying to fill the role but there is also the associated costs of hiring a new recruit, including advertising and training. If you want to hold onto talented staff, there are several strategies which may help.

Offer New Opportunities

­One of the main reasons people leave their jobs is a lack of opportunities. In many cases, this is even more important than salary. If you take the time to understand exactly what staff want and how they want to develop within your agency, you will reap the benefits later on. Introduce training for them to help them get into the role they want and even allow them a day of shadowing someone already in that role. For example, if you have an E-Commerce Sales Executive who is interested in progressing into an E-Commerce Project Manager or Mobile E-Commerce Manager role, you may want to allow them a bit of insight into these roles and to let them get more of a feel for the role.their roles, especially if the one they are in is particularly difficult to fill, but this inevitably just leads to losing staff altogether.

You want to have employees who are interested in progressing and have ambition, it is a good thing. Make sure you nurture it!

Flexible Contracts

Have you considered filling some of your roles with freelancers instead of permanent staff?

With more people than ever choosing to work as freelancers, this can be a great way to deal with skills shortages. It also gives you a chance to find out more about what they are like and for them to get a better insight into your agency. This may eventually lead to them joining on a permanent basis in the future.

Introduce Incentives

It may seem like a simple answer but you will be surprised at how much your staff will appreciate some additional incentives, on top of their salary. You may wish to provide breakfast for them, free coffee, lunch on a Friday or regular team nights out. All of these will be great motivators for your staff and will make them feel wanted and appreciated in the workplace. Other incentives could include working from home one day a week or offering flexibility with working hours, which are particularly attractive benefits for those working in the digital industry where being in the workplace is not always necessary for carrying out their role.

Long Term Strategy

It is important not to just focus on short term plans, but instead, develop your succession planning in advance. This will allow you to keep staff moving throughout the agency and will improve your retention rates. More businesses are focusing on succession planning and look towards their future resources, so it is important to do the same if you don’t want to end up with skill gaps.

What do you do to avoid skills shortages in the workplace? Do you offer any incentives or are you planning to introduce any? Tell us about what works for you in the comments below.