Clearview Midlands July 2014 - Issue 152 - Page 110

BUSINESSNEWS Skills Gap Is Hampering UK Businesses’ Recruitment Efforts The majority of UK businesses are planning a hiring spree over the next 12 months as their growth prospects improve, but nearly two-thirds (64%) are concerned that they won’t be able to find the people with the skills needed to fill these positions. A global PwC survey of over 1,300 CEOs in 68 countries reveals that a quarter of UK business leaders plan to increase their headcount by up to 5% in the next 12 months, with a further 20% planning increases of up to 8% and a further one in five planning increases of over 8%. ‘New skills do not always equal new people’ But despite the positive outlook for UK jobs, PwC’s research reveals that UK business leaders are more concerned about the availability of key skills than any of their Western European counterparts, rating it as the biggest business threat to their growth plans. Technology and engineering firms report the most chronic shortage of skilled employees. With the demand for certain skills, such as technology and data analytics, in high demand but short supply, UK businesses are widening their reach to find the talent they need. However, rising labour costs in high growth markets and signs of skilled young workers in China and India starting to favour domestic employers is leading organisations to look to Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines for new talent. Jon Andrews, HR consulting leader at PwC, said: “Despite rising business confidence equating to more jobs, organisations are struggling to find the right people to fill these positions. Business leaders are looking for people with a far wider range of skills than ever before. Gone are the days of life-time careers; chameleonlike employees who apply their skills, whenever and wherever they’re needed, are now in high demand. ‘far wider range of skills’ “Businesses need to get out of the mindset that new skills always equals new people. The most successful organisations will combine recruitment with internal mobility and the development of their own people to be more adaptable to its evolving strategy and business environment.” IRONMONGERYDIRECT NAMED BEST BRAND WITH OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE AT DIRECT COMMERCE AWARDS IronmongeryDirect, the UK’s biggest online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products to the trade, is celebrating after scooping two awards at the ECMOD Direct Commerce Awards. The prestigious awards for multi-channel retailers and direct b2b marketers recognised IronmongeryDirect in the ‘best brand’ and ‘outstanding customer service’ categories. IronmongeryDirect was awarded the ‘best brand’ accolade after the company highlighted how it had grown its turnover by over 300% in the past five years, despite the economic problems that the construction industry has been facing. The direct commerce company was also recognised for how it had successfully grown the IronmongeryDirect brand over 40 years, from a traditional hardware shop in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex to a business that now has a range of over 14,500 ironmongery products in stock. 110 JUL 2014 IronmongeryDirect beat off stiff competition for the customer service award, thanks to its policy to ‘treat every customer like our mum’. The company’s strong policy means that they hold weekly reviews of all customer metrics, feedback and complaints to identify any areas for improvement. Following feedback from customers, IronmongeryDirect has also recently enhanced its delivery service to include text and email notifications, specific delivery spots and tracking orders. Orders can be placed quickly and easily via the IronmongeryDirect website or by calling the customer contact centre, which is now open from 7am to 8pm, seven days a week. Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at IronmongeryDirect, said: “We’re really pleased to be recognised for best brand and outstanding customer service. “We are seeing a noticeable difference following the recent improvements to our delivery service. It’s essential that the delivery of ironmongery products is on time for tradespeople as any delay can mean that they lose money. The ECMOD Direct Commerce Awards were a great platform to showcase our skills and we’re proud about how far we’ve come in 40 years.” To read more, visit