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Shortage of skilled workers costs billions

Who would be attracted to an unknown company in the countryside when there are great jobs at Dax companies in the big city? That is what more and more qualified professionals are asking themselves, complain SMEs, according to the FAZ. More than 30 billion euros in turnover are allegedly lost to small and medium-sized businesses.

Many well-qualified specialists and university graduates still want to work for a DAX company in Munich, Cologne or Berlin. But to medium-sized companies in Waldkraiburg or Bad Tölz? Personnel is becoming increasingly scarce there. Concerns about whether there will be enough suitable junior staff in the near future have become the second most important issue for German SMEs, right after high energy prices. This is shown by a recently published study by the consulting firm Ernst & Young.

Shortage of skilled workers – the consequences

According to the survey, medium-sized companies lose several billion euros in turnover every year because of a lack of skilled workers. More than half of the 3000 companies recently surveyed complain of losses due to a shortage of skilled workers. More than seven out of ten SMEs describe it as difficult to find suitable new employees. And six out of ten companies currently have vacancies that they cannot fill for lack of applicants. Extrapolated, the losses add up to 31 billion euros annually, the study says.

In view of the positive economic outlook, the problem could worsen this year, the experts suspect. Companies are in danger of missing out on growth opportunities because they would have to turn down orders. The problem affects medium-sized companies more than large corporations. Especially smaller companies in rural regions, whose products are little known to the general public, tend to have a harder time finding qualified employees. This is because the competition for well-trained staff is getting tougher again.

Small companies in particular are feeling the lack of skilled workers very much. After a weak year in 2013, German SMEs are generally switching back to growth, the report continues. According to the report, 55 per cent of the companies expect turnover to increase in 2014, only 7 per cent expect a decline in turnover. On average, SMEs believe that turnover will increase by 1.2 percent – a year ago, they expected turnover to increase by only 0.8 percent. This is the reason why companies are planning to invest significantly more again and increase their workforces, the consultancy writes. More than a quarter of the companies plan to hire additional employees – only 9 percent want to cut jobs. This means that the employment dynamic is as strong as it was last in mid-2011.

Incidentally, according to the SMEs, the greatest shortage of skilled workers is in the technical area – even more so at the production level than at the management level. But there are also frequent searches in marketing, sales and customer service. Many SMEs also stated that they needed staff for information technology and data processing, as well as in the area of finance. (Source: FAZ)

Does the shortage also affect Wanner’s customers?

Wanner cannot detect this trend of shortage among its regular customers. After all, if you train your specialists and managers regularly and offer them opportunities for advancement and development, you will find good people and also be able to retain them in the long term.

Of course, the managing director of Wanner GmbH – Mr. Reinhold Wanner – admits that the way of looking for employees has changed dramatically in recent years. It is no longer enough to simply report a job to the employment agency or advertise it in a local paper. Modern media and other “tools” are used today. Of course, direct approaches are also part of it. Wanner’s headhunters, for example, have over 20 years of experience in the employee search sector. Today, not only companies come to Wanner looking for a managing director or head of department, but – as recently – also clever entrepreneurs looking for a journeyman (m/f), for example, according to Wanner.

The cause of the shortage of skilled workers according to Wanner

The problem, according to Mr Wanner, is rather that many medium-sized business leaders find it difficult to accept professional help. It hurts many an owner if he has to spend a few thousand euros on a good engineer before he has made a mark. But does he repair his car himself, or his shoes? And does he produce his own sausage, or does he let the professionals do it? Since the success of companies demonstrably depends on their employees, Wanner’s thinking is incomprehensible. He even says that the company leaders are proactively damaging the companies. The race for the best employees is decided by competence. And this competence is not always possessed by a commercial manager or a head of department who also has to deal with the issue of human resources. Wanner’s “Human Resources” team also has many years of experience and the necessary networks.

As research shows, successful companies are able to get help! These companies make a simple calculation. Today, time is the most important factor. The loss of a single important contract alone exceeds the consulting costs of finding a new employee many times over! So why do some managers think so short-sightedly?

Moreover – according to Wanner – the client only pays something to his company when he has success to show for it. At Wanner, the recruitment service is only charged when an employment contract is concluded!

From practice for practice

Wanner is also happy to deny the opening statement of the FAZ. It is the task of a good HR consultant to inspire people who are also suitable for SMEs. Since Wanner works holistically and professionally from practice for practice, he looks for the “right” people who are committed to the companies in the long term and also want to stay in the respective region. To this end, he also uses biostructural analysis and other tools. Furthermore, Wanner – who did not found his company in the big city, but deliberately in Mühldorf am Inn – can argue better than supraregional urban consultants who want to make the “country” palatable to an applicant, even though their branches are in the cities of Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin, for example. According to Wanner, there is a lack of credibility and credible arguments here!