In Northern Ireland we find ourselves in the relatively unusual position of struggling to recruiting the right talent into our businesses, such is the demand for suitable, experienced and well qualified workers. At the last count there were around 775,000 pay-rolled employees across the country, with record levels of employment, so when you start to look around to recruit new staff the cupboard can look quite bare.
Pressure On Employers To Increase Wages
The shortage of people to recruit from, allied to rising inflation, is putting huge pressure on employers to increase wages. And the vast majority of businesses are in fact worried about how the labour shortages are affecting the running of their organisation.
In an article in the Irish News Zara Duffy, who is head of Northern Ireland at Chartered Accountants Ireland, writes about the need to keep attracting foreign investment as well as employees from outside Northern Ireland and the UK. She writes that:
“Northern Ireland’s ability to attract foreign direct investment, particularly in the technology sector, has resulted in a huge demand for qualified candidates. Last year alone, 23 per cent of jobs advertised in Northern Ireland were digital technology roles.
“If the region is to continue to be the number one international investment location for US cyber security firms, we must establish how we plan to continuously grow and nurture our people to give them the skills required to fill these roles.
Businesses Might Need To Look Outside Northern Ireland To Recruit Talent
“In the short-term, businesses might need to look outside of Northern Ireland to bridge the gap. Newcomers from outside of the UK and Ireland will need a visa to work in the region and employers will in some cases need a sponsor licence to employ workers.
“The length of time this process takes will be central to the success of getting workers in to fill roles. Removing some of the red tape to make it easier for businesses to meet their staffing needs will need to be explored to open the doors to global talent.
“In the background, the trend towards automation continues. Additional capital expenditure in this area is expected, as employers look to find ways to minimise their dependency on employees, with the belief that this investment will provide long-term dividends.
“The growth in opportunities for skilled employees has resulted in difficulties in staff retention. Businesses with deep pockets may be able to meet the calls for higher wages, but not all can. Alongside this, some smaller businesses are losing staff to those offering more flexible working arrangements. Candidates are holding a lot more cards, leaving employers in a tricky position.
“In the end it will all come down to the economic theory of supply and demand. At the moment, we have the jobs, we just need the people.”
Meanwhile if you run a business that needs assistance with running its PAYE, or help with any tax issues, please give our offices here at WHR Accountants a call on 028 3752 2909.