I WOULD like to invite local firms to take part in a new survey, in partnership with Hewett Recruitment, to support businesses with improving their staff recruitment and retention goals.

Many businesses are experiencing challenges when attempting to access the labour and skilled staff they require to maintain business growth. Addressing the local skills shortage remains a priority this year for the Chamber, and has been a key focus during recent round-tables held with local firms and MPs.

Based on our interactions with over 4,000 businesses regionally and a network of over 22,000 Members nationally, the survey comes at a time when provisions for flexible working and annual leave are now as important to candidates as salaries.

The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that unemployment has dropped to 3.8 per cent, the lowest level on record since 1974. Whilst many people in the UK will be celebrating such an achievement, the number of vacancies across the country has now reached 837,000 – which is 11,000 more than the year previously.

Fifty per cent of businesses attempted to recruit staff during quarter 1 of 2019, and of those, more than half (60 per cent) reported that they experienced difficulties during the recruitment process.

In collaboration with Hewett Recruitment, the Salary & Benefits survey will feed into an annual report which will benchmark the salaries and benefits offered by companies across the two counties. It will also include the minimum, maximum and average salaries of a variety of roles, ensuring that your business remains competitive.

We would like to encourage as many businesses as possible to complete the survey to ensure that the report is a true reflection of the salary and benefits scale in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

To take part in the survey, visit hwchamber.co.uk/support/policy/research.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact the Policy department at policy@hwchamber.co.uk.