2 ways you can win in a talent shortage

HR & Recruitment
April 6, 2022

Something we keep hearing on the grapevine, is the ever growing concern over a talent shortage. To clarify this a bit more, it’s not that there is a talent shortage in general, instead more that there is a shortage of experienced talent.

Although this seems to be quite extreme in the tech sector, there is still a growing problem amongst other industries, including FMCG and even in recruitment. 

But why is this? And what can companies do to combat this? Buckle yourself in, let us show you how.

Firstly, here’s a quick overview of what content you can expect in this post;

  • The talent shortage, what is it, and why is it happening
  • 2 ways companies are winning in a talent shortage

The Talent Shortage - What is it & why is it happening? 

There have been a few studies looking into why there is a talent shortage happening, with many different views on the competing factors driving the shortage, such as:

  • Aging population - More people are living longer and also retiring earlier post-COVID as they re-think their lives or make the most of the time they have.
  • Geo-Politics - War in Ukraine has of course created many kickbacks including the supply of workers, especially in both tech and construction industries that utilise skilled workers from these regions.
  •  Shrinking population - More people have left the UK and less are coming in, things like Brexit and COVID have both contributed towards this.

And we could go on….

However the fact is this, there is simply more demand than there is supply.

Candidates know this and during COVID they got to see a taste of what it’s like to have a real work-life balance. The last two years have seen a global trial of flexible working patterns, less hours, and ultimately more freedom….and they liked it.

So, now with less competition for jobs, especially for skilled workers, they are looking for the best deal they can get, this is what a candidate driven market looks like and for employers who aren’t willing to think outside the box, it can be a pretty hard place to grow a business. 

After all, teamwork makes the dream work.

2 ways companies are winning in a talent shortage 

According to a report by Linkedin exploring the trends driving talent acquisition, the key factor behind a successful company is the reinvention of the company culture into a more human-focused environment. They see that companies who understand that the key motivators for attracting talent in the modern day, is that they want the freedom to choose how, when and where they work, even at the cost of money, these are the companies that are crushing it in 2022 and beyond.

Changing culture is not an easy task, but thankfully there are 2 key areas that you can work pretty quick and see results: 

  1. Flexibility
  2. Well-being


In days gone by 9-5 Monday to Friday was the norm, we all moaned about the commute, we had issues with our families because we weren’t perhaps around that much, or even issues with our bosses because we had to leave early to pick the kids up, in fact it was almost a career deal-breaker sometimes to even have a family, because how could you juggle both! 

But if one thing COVID has shown us is that we can work flexibly, and in fact 9-5 isn’t even directly linked to productivity, and flexible working has made us realise that companies should actually move away from the ideology of a presenteeism culture to a performance focused outlook on employee engagement and culture, Nickle LaMoreaux, CHRO at IBM said “Organizations, must measure outcomes, not activity.”

Studies have shown that employees are twice as likely to recommend working for the company when flexibility is included in their work life..

However, this doesn't mean we should all start working from home, or that companies should close all offices and adopt a devil may care attitude, after all not everyone works the same, some people prefer coming into the office, some have no choice because of the nature of their work, so how do companies overcome this immensely difficult challenge?

One such way is allowing your employees the choice between working remotely and working in the office, depending on where they feel they are most productive, and keeping the office as a central hub for culture and inclusion rather than just a whole load of boring desks lined up - Google is a great example of how to create culture centric work spaces!

Whatever may be your way of addressing this challenge, flexibility and the move towards a more results focused environment, is sure to be one of the biggest factors in helping you attract top talent in 2022.


Did you know that employees who feel like their well-being is being looked after are 3.7X more likely to recommend your company as a place to work. 

Work-life balance has been a term we have heard for a while now, the new generation of workers have brought into the light key issues surrounding mental health, burnout and other key problems that previous workforces have seemingly just got on with. 

“Individuals have started to realize that there is more to their lives than just work,” - Rob Allen, VP of talent and engagement at GitLab.

Although flexibility is a big driver in delivering employee well-being, it is not enough to really win the round in this area. Companies are now finding new and innovative ways to increase their employees' well-being and ensure that they are always happy and fresh, after all you can’t have a happy culture without happy workers.

Some of the ways in which companies that are winning in this area include adopting strategies such as the four-day work week - allowing employees to spend an extra day on themselves, meaning they come back fully refreshed week in week out, a strategy that has seen huge amounts of success in multiple countries. Other strategies include, half-day Fridays or shut down weeks, creating mental health services and even Yoga mornings……although I personally don’t think watching my boss do downward dog in front of me at 6am is particularly going to help my mental health, but each to their own.

That’s it

That’s a wrap for this short post on 2 ways to win in a talent shortage. If you have subscribed to our emails and/or social channels, be sure to keep an eye out for more content that we will be posting on how to become a successful recruiter and what we predict recruitment is going to look like in 2022 and beyond.

If you are looking for a new challenge in 2022, Vertex is hiring for multiple roles from entry through to senior level, and with our top billers taking in excess of £100,000 a year, every year!, you’d be crazy to miss out! 

Check out our careers page for more information here 

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