Employers struggle to recruit, as the skills shortage deepens…
Businesses are facing some major recruitment challenges, as revealed by ‘The Open University Business Barometer 2019‘.
At present, the UK is experiencing its highest total employment rate since 1971. The unemployment rate is also at its lowest level since 1974. This means that while there are still job-seekers out there, most of these candidates are conducting their job hunts from the relative comfort of an existing role.
This also means that it can take a lot longer for organisations to secure the right people with the right skills for their vacancies:
- 63% of businesses report an existing skills shortage (up by yet another percentage point versus last year).
- Companies are taking 1 month and 27 days more than expected to fill their vacancies.
- Elsewhere, SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk has created a ‘Skills Map‘ to demonstrate regional differences in skills and job demand. This reveals that the Financial Sector has the greatest vacancy demand in our local South-West region.
All of the above data is highly timely, with The Confederation of British Industry having called on the government to do more to tackle the national skills gap in this week’s spending review.
How are employers overcoming the skills shortage?
Returning to ‘The Open University Business Barometer 2019,’ businesses are taking a number of different approaches to their recruitment crises.
- Almost 1/2 (48%) of companies have made use of temps to fill skills gaps.
- 44% have increased their spending on recruitment services.
- 38% have offered higher salaries in a bid to lure more applicants.
- While 31% have felt forced to recruit lesser skilled candidates.
- 61% of employers believe they will need to focus on internal talent development skills to increase their productivity and efficacy.
Advice for candidates and employers…
Skills shortage advice for candidates:
- This remains an opportune time to apply for new jobs. Dependent on your industry, you may find yourself competing against smaller candidate pools. This naturally increases your chance of securing an interview.
- However, don’t rest on your laurels! It is misguided to think that a skills gap creates a pure ‘candidate market’ in which you don’t have to make any effort in your applications. Businesses are still looking for the right skills, personalities and attitudes for their openings and it’s your job to prove that you possess them!
- You’ll find a regularly updated list of local openings here.
Skills shortage advice for employers:
- Ensure you’re investing your time and budget in the best recruitment approach for your business. We’re proud REC members, which means that we’re working to the highest industry standards. In the REC’s words, it is about “making sure that employers get the best talent and right people to help their businesses grow”.
- Don’t be afraid to join the 48% of companies working with temps while searching for your permanent team members. This offers a myriad of benefits, including the chance to tap into local talent, spotting candidates that may provide longer-term solutions, and even the opportunity to refine your search needs as the result of your insights.
- It can help to review your candidate search criteria. Are there skills that you’re overlooking or candidates who could easily adapt to your needs?
We would be delighted to discuss your temporary, permanent and/or contract staffing requirements. Please call the office on 01225 313130 or email us today.