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December 6, 2018
Posted in Resources
December 6, 2018 GraemeH

The winners in support services will be the companies that can retain the right staff. Here’s how to do it.


If you provide support services, you’ll have noticed three important trends:

    1. It’s getting harder to attract and retain the right people;
    2. Keeping existing staff is a lot easier and more cost-effective than finding new staff;
    3. Everyone has a smart phone!

Fortunately, that last point will help you address the first problem, but we’ll come back to that.


People are a scarce resource

In the United States, the national unemployment rate in October was 3.5 percent, down from 3.9 percent a year earlier. This puts it at levels not seen since the 1960s.

Canada is experiencing similar situation, with unemployment at 5.8 percent, which has been described as a four-decade low.

The 4.1 percent rate in the UK is also at 1970s levels, but here the labour market also faces challenges as a result of Brexit, with fewer EU nationals expected to come to work in Britain when it is no longer part of the European Union.

A recent report from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealed:

“… growth in labour supply is failing to keep pace with labour demand, exacerbated by a ‘supply shock’ of far fewer EU nationals coming into the UK.”[i]

The same report quoted Alex Fleming, Country Head and President of Staffing and Solutions at The Adecco Group UK and Ireland, as saying:

With Brexit looming we’re seeing a talent shortage and a more competitive marketplace …

“Retention also remains key; it is imperative that employers develop and promote their staff so they don’t fall short and feel the impact of the dwindling growth of the UK’s talent pool.

“The recent falling net migration ONS figures for EU nationals arriving in the UK with no job offer is just another clear indication that it is time for employers to recognise their shortcomings in attracting new staff, and in retaining their current talent.[ii]

In a separate study, the CIPD also found:

Significantly, 90% of employers say the current migration proposals will not, or only to some degree, meet their needs for low or medium-skilled labour.”[iii]

This is hardly surprising when one considers that a recent report from the government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAG) recommended:

General principle behind migration policy changes should be to make it easier for higher-skilled workers to migrate to the UK than lower-skilled workers.[iv]


To retain them, engage them

This matters, because if you supply support staff, it’s clear that the winners in your industry will be those who can rise to the challenge of attracting and retaining the greatest numbers of the right people.

Increasingly, your staff can pick and choose their employer, and that’s exactly what they’re doing; to be the winner, you need to be their employer of choice.

If you want to retain staff, you have to engage them, and that’s where Timegate is so powerful.

Using a smart phone, which, as we’ve said, is already in every employee’s pocket, you can provide your staff with a much richer and more rewarding work experience, keeping them informed on all aspects of their role, and letting them communicate effectively with their supervisors and the business.

With Timegate’s Diary function, for example, staff can get a full overview of their upcoming work schedule, and volunteer for available work, all at the touch of a button. This means you can deliver more of your contracted hours with your existing employee base. They can also immediately see their calculated pay for completed jobs, and raise a query if they spot a problem, all of which avoids the need for retrospective corrections.

The Document facility provides the user with instant access to company templates, policy documents, and even pay-slips, while the Messaging function gives smooth and seamless communication, all of which is logged.

This cutting-edge technology from Innovise means that even remote workers are no longer isolated, and can feel part of a well-informed and cohesive team.

This is already part of the ‘new normal’ in support services. It’s the minimum that staff expect, and they will go the companies that value them enough to provide it.

If that’s not you, then failure to tackle this issue now could be fatal to your business.

Talk to Innovise today, and make the decision to be the employer of choice in your industry.


[i] Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). 13th August, 2018. Abrupt fall in flow of EU nationals into the UK coincides with a drop in the quantity and suitability of job applicants being reported by employers. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30th November 2018].

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). 12th November, 2018. Labour Market Outlook surveys. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30th November 2018].

[iv] Migration Advisory Committee. September, 2018. EEA migration in the UK: Final report. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 29th November 2018].