One of the region’s best-known entrepreneurs speaks with TechSPARK ahead of a major event looking at how best to engage, hire and retain emerging talent. Thanks to Mike Beesley for this guest blog. 

“Business leaders that don’t work out how to hire and retain the talent of tomorrow will see a diminishing return”

When I left education in the late 70s the path ahead of me was clear. 

Having completed a business studies degree, I knew I wanted to be successful in industry – all I had to do was choose one.

As a lad from Wolverhampton, I came from a pretty standard background. With a good quality comprehensive education, a diverse mix of friends and a few quid in my pocket, I had the confidence and opportunity I needed to carve out a life for myself.

Recruitment was the game I decided to get into – a work hard, play hard mentality where you lived and died by the sword daily. But the potential was huge, and I went on to fulfil my ambitions, creating many successful businesses and market-leading solutions.

My last proper ‘job’ was as CEO at Sanderson, the firm I built with my business partner, which was a half a billion pound turnover concern when I handed on the reigns. It continues to go from strength to strength. 

“In a post-pandemic world, what do young people really want to achieve? And who is best placed to know how to provide it for them?”

I’ve invested in multiple businesses, both people and tech based, and my investment company recently launched The HR World, the UK’s freshest human resources networking and membership platform. The aim is to help connect leaders to solve the biggest problems the workforce faces.

Now, you may well be asking, why am I telling you all this? 

The reason is that I’m worried about what today’s workforce looks like to young people right now – and what their confusion and potential lack of direction could mean for the industry, the economy, and indeed, all our futures.

In a post-pandemic world, what do young people really want to achieve? And who is best placed to know how to provide it for them?

Are the leaders of industry in touch with how the minds of young people work to best ensure talent and progression pathways are available? 

Is it true that emerging minds now want to drop out of traditional graduation programmes to find a more passionate purpose in the more agile SME markets?

How can they provide future security in traditional industries where so much of the training ground for serious skills and thinking is passed on and cultivated?

As with so many things that have emerged from the past couple of years, I find myself asking these questions but not necessarily either knowing the answers of knowing where to find them.

That is why we at The HR World have teamed up with the University of Bristol and TechSPARK to host a unique event. A morning of debate, discussion and networking to see if we can start to really get to the heart of serious solutions.

Because there is one thing I am certain of still – and that is if business leaders don’t invest in the talent of tomorrow we will see a diminishing return across more than just the bottom line. 

It is held at the Engine Shed, next to Temple Meads train station, on June 9th between 9am-1.30pm. Tickets are £37.50 and includes two panels, coffee breaks and lunch.

Full details, including the panelists, can be found here.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.