Expert's advice on the jobs battle front: 'Employees need to believe in what you believe'

head of businessman

Gareth Brocklehurst - Credit: Submitted

The English Riviera is being gripped by a new crisis – jobs. 

There are literally hundreds of jobs going begging across the Bay, but filling them has become a huge headache. 

Now some businesses, only just managing to turn the corner after the pandemic, are struggling to operate fully or even open at all. 

Businesses have been hit across the board, although the problem is even more acute in the construction industry and especially the tourism and hospitality sector. 

The holiday industry suffered more than most during the various lockdowns. But it has been boomtime for businesses in recent months with visitors opting for Staycation holidays rather than venturing abroad. 

That makes the jobs situation even more critical as businesses battle with staffing levels to offer a top and quality service to make first and lasting good impressions to make sure the holidaymakers return next year. 

The Torbay Weekly has launched a new campaign with key partners to help tackle the issue. The Bay Needs You initiative encourages people to seek and fill the job available. 

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We will be regularly listing any jobs that are available and highlighting those people who have found work 

If you would like to join the campaign, have jobs to publicise or a success story to tell please send us the details to torbayweekly@archant.co.uk  

Meanwhile, here Gareth Brocklehurst, director of the Big Ant recruitment solutions group, offers some advice on the jobs front 


“Whether the pandemic has had a positive or negative impact, businesses continue to be challenged. We’re not out of the woods just yet, the current issue being faced is a candidate shortage. This isn’t exclusive to the Hospitality sector nor to the South West, and probably something many didn’t expect. I’m asked my views regularly on why the market is like it is, but I genuinely don’t think there is one obvious reason.  

“It’s a combination of furlough, Brexit, positive consumer and business confidence, but it does feel like all businesses have been waiting at the starting line. The drivers of those businesses have been revving their engines in eager anticipation and the lights have finally turned green for all businesses at exactly the same time to roar away. We’re not experiencing the normal seasonal grooves but I do think it will settle, although that may not make you feel any better right now. 

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Big Ant advice - Credit: Submitted

 “We know the struggles to attract and retain staff is currently holding some businesses back; limiting their capacity to manufacture, pack, serve, sell or deliver. 

 “The solution isn’t simple, but recruitment can’t rely on applications through free job boards alone. It will take more than leaving no stone unturned, finding good candidates can feel like you’re looking for fur on a rattlesnake. It’s definitely tough out there, but we also need to see it as an opportunity. 

“This is the time we should be reviewing and investing into business models, looking at your employer brand as a whole and how your company is perceived; is the internal culture appealing? Do you have a structured training programme as part of a positive onboarding process? Do you offer appropriate or flexible hours of work? Are employees able to strike the work/ life balance that they seek? Do you reward positive performance but also support people patiently to help them improve? Do you operate in an ethical manner? Do you present yourself positively across digital platforms and is this image authentic to your genuine values?…the list goes on.  

“This may not be a quick fix, and should constantly be reviewed, but if you’ve not looked at your business in this way, you must do so. There may be some fairly quick wins too if we act now, but ensure it’s sustainable and not just a short termism approach. 

“Any future employee will need to genuinely believe in you and your business for you to become an employer of choice.