George Osborne delivered his sixth budget as Chancellor earlier this month in an announcement littered with bullish growth figures for the UK economy. For me, no matter what your political persuasion, it has certainly provided ammunition for debate amongst the electorate, but also poses serious questions for management teams.
While the argument over whether the announcement had any real substance will rumble on, we have found that boardrooms across the private and public sector divide are focused on addressing the challenges that lie ahead whatever happens in May.
For businesses, the economy is in robust shape and conditions are ripe for expansion. The headline record employment figures are certainly something to celebrate. Although, as firms go to market to increase capacity and headcount, they are facing a dwindling supply of talent on offer.
The coming months will tell whether the UK labour market is deep enough to plug the skills gap. Without the necessary talent, some businesses risk falling behind competitors, let alone continue to function at full capacity and pace.
In contrast, the public sector, was ominously assured in the Chancellor’s speech that there are plenty more cuts to come. Battling the austerity drive will no doubt lead to further streamlining of operations in terms of manpower, but also present significant financial and operational challenges to overcome.
For both parts of the economy, finding talent will be an absolute priority. We are in a unique position to open up the options available and provide access to a wide range of seasoned professionals on flexible contracts to suit any functional need. While organisations should always develop and promote internally, sometimes it takes an outside to provide the insight that will make all the difference.