Finance

‘Staffing squeeze’ sees firms offer big bonuses to recruits


Midlands employers are offering sign-up bonuses of up to £500 to attract quality workers during the current “staffing squeeze” according to the boss of a recruitment firm.

David Torrington, managing director at Sky Recruitment Solutions says its clients are having to come up with attractive new ways to bring in the right candidates.

Sky, which has offices in Derby, Burton, Mansfield, Ripley, Huddersfield, and a sister white collar recruitment company called Capella Professional, in Nottingham, is half-way through filling 200 jobs for online retailer Buy It Direct, at its new 563,000 sq ft warehouse near Castle Donington.

Mr Torrington said that business is offering a £500 attendance bonus for new starters – with half paid after eight weeks and the remainder after a second eight-week period.

Another of Sky’s clients, a Burton-on-Trent-based warehouse and distribution firm which supplies the crafters industry, is looking to fill 50 picking and packing roles with general warehouse duties.

It is offering a £250 bonus for workers who have less than three absences in the run-up to Christmas.

Another of Sky’s clients, TEX Plastics, in Allenton, Derby, which manufactures plastic components for life critical applications, electronic products and medical solutions, has 20 vacancies and is offering a £25 weekly bonus based on attendance.

A car manufacturer on Sky’s books, based in Foston, South Derbyshire, has also increased its rates, with a bonus that is paid once workers go permanent.

Mr Torrington said 10 to 15 production operatives are needed at that site.

He said: “In 20 years, I have never seen anything like this in the sector, it is unparalleled.

“Never before have employers been offering such high incentives to encourage staff to join them.

“My concern is how businesses maintain this going forward. With higher rates of pay, there is a danger that these extra costs will be passed onto consumers.”

Recruitment and Employment Confederation said the high demand for workers is a combination of the post-Covid economic recovery and a lack of EU workers in the UK following Brexit.

Beckie Elliott, Sky Recruitment’s business manager, said: “Most companies are now paying whatever they can to incentivise workers and motivate them to be able to stay.

“Obviously retention is important for them, but the turnover of staff is ridiculously high at the moment.”

“Workers have more of a choice now of where they are going to work, rather than how it used to be.

“They could start a job and the next day, they could be offered a different job for £2 more an hour.

“Clients are doing what they can – it’s really competitive, our role is to partner our clients to attract and retain the right staff

“We are trying to advise clients on the best approach to getting people through the door.”

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