Small businesses reveal skills recruitment concerns

Small firms across London are struggling to find skilled workers that suit their needs, which is having a huge impact on their growth potential.

Figures from the latest Aldermore SME Future Attitudes report show that 55% of small businesses in the capital have faced recruitment challenges.

The issue is not just limited to the capital either, as 43% of firms across the UK report having similar issues.

Larger SMEs reportedly face more issues than their smaller counterparts, which could be why London is more widely hit – the capital has a higher concentration of mid-sized firms than anywhere else in the country.

Not having staff with the capabilities to enable business growth has meant sales have suffered in some key sectors, with firms having to overcome financial pressure.

In the construction sector for instance, 61% of firms report that they cannot recruit people with the right skills, which has caused a slowdown in work.

A quarter of business owners believe that the outcome of Brexit could impact on recruiting workers from the EU too, meaning they expect to face further pressure.

Some 11% of firms in London said they intend to recruit staff in the next 12 months in order to enhance their revenues.

A lack of expertise could therefore limit these plans and place these firms under financial pressure if sales or growth stagnates.

For those facing debts or reduced income, they may wish to consider the array of alternative finance options that are available.

Alternatively, an independent business review could showcase other potential options so that a firm can deal with any reversal of fortunes.

Looking to the long-term may also be beneficial for a business, as investing in staff training and development can bring rewards further down the line, despite the need for initial investment to get things started.

Upskilling from within can cost significantly less than recruiting fresh faces, although it can take more time to achieve – businesses will therefore need to strike the right balance between training and recruitment.

By Phil Smith

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