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Job ‘gazumping’: A real headache for employers

“Businesses may think they have their staffing needs met, only to find that key new member of staff has been lured away to a competitor offering a bigger salary before they have even started.”

EMPLOYERS are increasingly being gazumped by new staff who have accepted an offer but not yet started work as the war for talent heats up.

Such is the shortage of business-critical staff in key sectors, new employees that are working out notice periods are accepting offers with higher pay leaving many businesses in the lurch. 

Together with increasing energy costs and continuing supply chain challenges, businesses are facing a perfect storm of increased costs that will ultimately have to be passed on to customers, says Gary Wong, a director at accountants Hillier Hopkins. 

Gary Wong

“Gazumping is something many homebuyers will know only too well and now it is hitting employers too, adding to an already challenging business environment,” says Mr Wong.

“Businesses may think they have their staffing needs met, only to find that key new member of staff has been lured away to a competitor offering a bigger salary before they have even started. There is no sign of this stopping any time soon and a real headache for businesses.” 

It is, says Hillier Hopkins, seen across many industries including logistics, social care, retail and hospitality, food manufacturing, agriculture, and financial and professional services.

Hillier Hopkins urges businesses to streamline recruitment processes to bring new staff onboard as quickly as is possible to avoid losing out and to look to include a greater level of engagement with the candidates during any notice periods.  

“Employers who have to wait three months or longer for a new member of staff to join are really suffering,” says Mr Wong. “In some industries, even a one week wait can see a business lose a new candidate.” 

For many businesses, particularly those that have struggled throughout the Covid pandemic, will have no choice but to pass on those costs to their own customers. 

“It is important that businesses forecast and scenario plan the next 12 months to see where those cost increases will occur. Forecasting cashflow will be essential. Businesses that can see challenging financial times ahead should engage with their funders and lenders to see them through.”

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