Get Set to Grow: How to Ensure you Have the Skills You Need

  • May 26, 2021

It was Churchill who said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

That saying has never been more true than now for businesses in the Basingstoke area and beyond. 

We spend our days talking to managers in businesses of virtually every size about their growth strategies. For many, the past year has been more about surviving than growing, but as things start to fully re-open, forward-thinking businesses are turning their thoughts to getting their teams in the right shape for a phase of potential growth.  

Getting Set to Grow                    

The Bank of England has predicted that the economy will grow by 7.25% this year, taking it back to 2019 levels.

As the recruitment partner for many of the local manufacturing, precision engineering and distribution companies, we’ve seen first hand what a rollercoaster the last year has been.

Some companies have decided to pause recruitment until the Furlough scheme ends in September so they can ‘see who’s on the market’ at that point. 

However, this could be a risky strategy. 

If you don’t start looking for new people until the autumn, your organisation could potentially miss out on capitalising on this summer’s anticipated period of growth. 

As Priority’s Business Manager Tracy Welch explains, “There is a bit of a myth going around that there are loads of good people on the market after the last year. But whilst unemployment rates are sadly still quite high, if you want to find the best people, you need to act now as demand for people with key skills outstrips supply in many sectors

‘Manufacturing Outlook Brightens’

There is much talk of a bounce back in manufacturing and related industries in particular, following a year where the double whammy of Brexit and COVID has tested many companies to the limit. 

A recent report from the CBI was headlined ‘Manufacturing Outlook Brightens, as it shows that UK manufacturers have recorded the sharpest rise in optimism since 1973.

The poll of 288 leading industrial companies in the UK showed that business sentiment increased in the three months to April 2021 at the fastest pace for almost four decades.

The report also says that manufacturers plan to hire staff at the fastest rate since 1974 in the next three months.

This means that putting off starting to find the right people to support growth could be a very costly mistake.

The Right People in the Right Jobs

One of the most challenging issues that HR and team managers tell us that they’re facing right now is deciding which roles to recruit for. So many are choosing to change the balance between hiring for permanent roles and taking on temporary staff to give them the flexibility to ramp up or scale back resources as the next few months demand.

It’s a delicate balance.

That’s where building a long-term relationship with an independent local recruitment partner can really pay dividends. 

We spend our lives talking to candidates and other businesses, so we have early insight into which roles are becoming most sought-after, and where there are likely to be issues with finding good-quality candidates to take on specific types of jobs.

Quality Hires

The key for many employers right now is finding the best people, with very specific skills.

In its report Recruitment and Recovery published in February 2021, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) stresses that businesses that are gearing up for growth are primarily concerned with finding the best people, avoiding the cost and wasted time of bad hires and seeking people who can ‘hit the ground running’. 

The report says:“Businesses believe that the quality of their staff and recruitment is the second most important driver of their success. This comes just behind the quality of their end product - and is more important than management expertise, proprietary research or physical investment.” 

Here at Priority Appointments, our professionalism and partnership approach means that we take finding you the right people to help your business grow as seriously as you do.

For a no-obligation chat about the recruitment market in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire, please contact our friendly, helpful team at, Tel: 01256 334575.


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