We seem to be trying to recruit the whole time at the moment. There is such a shortage of people, it made me wonder what lay behind it. Then I remembered these words from a song…
Where have all the good men gone?
And where are all the Gods?
Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
If you remember these lyrics, then you are older than you look!
But seriously, everybody seems to be in the same boat. Everybody seems to be screaming out for staff and the shortage is affecting so many businesses. What I see at the moment is that no-one with any influence has any answers.
In our case, I blame Brexit. Now, I know that some, maybe most, of you will not agree with me, but shutting off the supply of “bread and butter” talent from Eastern Europe has been catastrophic. Over the years we have employed Poles, Russians, Czechs and Romanians. It is forcing up costs and as a result, prices have to increase. I see no end in sight. This is the environment in which we will have to operate for the next few years.
I know that a lot of people blame Covid, in that lockdown showed people, particularly those nearing the end of their careers, what it would be like to retire or at least spend more home time. You cannot blame them, but I have my doubts about how much this is to blame in the current situation. We did not employ many of these workers anyway. It is the younger ones that we cannot find any longer.
I am sure that in time, the problem will be resolved but I cannot help but feel that that is probably 10 to 15 years away. Maybe we have to encourage larger families so we have a larger workforce. More likely, the rising costs will force us all towards automation, which might result in some people getting more unwanted home time.
So, no answers just a good old moan!
We are working flat out. We have more work than we have ever had. We are heavily computerised and our systems are all, or virtually all, computer driven. Is there scope for more automation? Well, we will just have to find out.
I think the next few years are going to be interesting. There is a General Election coming up and the potential for significant changes in the tax system. The rest of the world is becoming a dangerous place and what impact could that have on our domestic businesses? After all, we only do well if our clients are doing well.
I have a very simple philosophy. Identify the options available to me and then make a choice. I am not about to spend my time worrying about anything I cannot control, and most of the things people worry about, they can do nothing to influence. Worry about it when it is in your face, and not before.
I have enough to worry about without adding stuff I can do nothing about.
Alan E Long
The Long Partnership