Skills gap – Essentially, the demand for digitally skilled staff exceeds availability, leaving employers with a skills gap. This makes it harder to recruit as qualified job-hunters have their pick of the market, and may find better paid roles with larger companies a more attractive career prospect.
Play to your strengths to attract skilled workers – smaller companies often offer more responsibility and the opportunity to be more involved with business processes, which can be attractive to ambitious employees.
Not being high earners – The skills report by Go ON UK found there is a direct link between levels of basic digital skills and income. Of the survey respondents earning up to £9,499 only 69 per cent had basic digital skills; as the pay bracket increases, so too does the level of basic digital skills. Of the respondents earning £75,000+ for instance, 96 per cent claimed to possess at least basic digital skills.
Business confidence – Technology provider GoDaddy recently reported that 60 per cent of the UK’s very small businesses do not have a website. Those that do have a website are markedly more confident, with 60 per cent claiming that their business could grow by up to 50 per cent over the next three to five years, compared to those without a website. Of those who do not have a website, 54 per cent are concerned that their business will fail to grow at all within the same time frame.
Cyber threats – According to a survey of procurement managers by KPMG, SMEs risk being disqualified from bidding for work because of the lack of importance they are placing on looking after their valuable client data. The general consensus (70 per cent) of procurement managers is that SMEs should be doing more to prevent cyber-attacks and protect valuable client data. Being cyber-threat savvy is not just important to winning contracts, of course; it is also key to ensuring the safety of your own potentially sensitive data. To this end, digital skills are absolutely required.