The theme of this year’s Spring Budget was very much encouraging people back into the workplace – particularly those workers who decided not to return to work after the pandemic.
Regardless of whether Jeremy Hunt’s budget hit the mark in this regard, managing a PE company or a PE-backed scaleup in Guernsey, Jersey or the Channel Isles, I’m sure that finding and keeping good talent is near the front of your mind.
While the Channel Islands’ private equity scene is thriving, and offers a high quality of life and a favourable tax regime, there is a limited pool of skilled professionals available locally. Sourcing talent from the mainland means competing with larger financial centres such as London and Frankfurt for talent.
So what could you be doing to encourage more local talent back in?
While it’s true that Jeremy Hunt’s assertions made some people simply slip into some kind of comfortable semi-retirement after the pandemic, it’s equally true that there has been a big rise in long-term sickness, particularly amongst those well below retirement age.
The ONS states:Among the youngest age group (those aged 16 to 34 years), the largest overall increase in type of long-term sickness was for mental illness, phobias and nervous disorders, which rose by around 20,000 (a 24% increase). The second largest increase was for progressive illnesses such as cancer, which rose by around 14,000; a 69% increase. Those aged 16 to 34 years were also the only age group to see an increase in depression, bad nerves or anxiety.
So all this talk of tax breaks and pension caps, is unlikely to have a significant impact on the day-to-day talent acquisition plans of your average Fintech scaleup, but focusing on health and wellbeing as a company could be totally transformative!
Investing in ways to better support employees with both their mental and physical health and implementing strategies to help employees return to the workplace could give you a distinct competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace. Look at your employee benefits scheme – the knock-on effect of this increase in long-term sickness is higher waiting lists for mental health, occupational health and NHS treatments.
Can you improve the private medical support you offer your employees?
Exploring how you can increase flexible working arrangements and remote working options will not only help you attract talent from outside the islands but open up opportunities for local talent lost to the pandemic. For example, there will be those in the middle-age range who have never returned to work, not because they themselves are suffering from bad mental or physical health, but because they are caring for others’ suffering. Greater flexibility allows these people to return to the industry. Our most recent blog talks about why flexible working can unlock some big benefits for PE and PE-backed companies. You can read it on our website.
If you are a private equity company or private equity-backed scale-up, startup or carve-out looking to recruit in 2023 but want someone with a diverse way of thinking about recruitment – contact us and find out how The Small Consultancy can help you build an agile and effective internal recruitment function that scales as you do.