The job skills special

As ever, we’re keeping a close eye on the job skills news. It’s vital that everyone involved in the recruitment process (candidates, clients and consultants included!) remains aware of the nation’s changing skills needs. Information that becomes all the more vital as the UK skills shortage becomes all the more prolonged…

What exactly is the skills shortage?

Quite simply, it’s the shortfall of suitable applicants for the number of job vacancies that the nation has to fill. It’s an issue that we’ve been exploring for more than 18 months.

The latest job skills news reveals that…

  1. Most businesses (79%) plan to increase their higher-skilled roles within the coming years. However, the majority of employers (66%) worry that they will struggle to find suitably matched employees.
  2. A Barclays LifeSkills survey shows that almost 60% of UK adults ‘lack core transferable’ job skills, including leadership and creativity. Differences are reported among demographic groups.
  3. 2/5 of people are being recruited for roles before discovering they do not have the right ‘soft skills’ required. More than 1/2 of workers have left a role on realising their personality or work style does not suit the position.
  4. SMEs face the worst of the skills shortage, with underperforming recruits costing an annual average of £39,500.
  5. Even when sources disagree on job vacancy figures, they agree upon these ongoing recruitment issues!

What are the solutions?

According to the reports, changes must be made at a formal education level. All future workers should be equipped with adequate skills for the modern workplace.

Alongside this, employers need to provide continued training opportunities. Therefore enabling existing workers to upskill on the job; aiding staff retention and business growth.

Businesses must also review their recruitment approach to ensure…

  • They are managing to attract enough applicants.
  • Employers also know how to best identify suitable skill-sets.
  • The job offering is additionally appealing enough to compete with those of other (perhaps better known) organisations.
  • Decision-making processes are swift enough to retain interested applicants.
  • While ample onboarding is provided to welcome new staff members.
  • Plus the list really does go on..!

What should you do now?

  • Employers & employees: keep reading articles such as these! We regularly share posts discussing the most sought-after job skills – useful insights whether you’re the one looking to fill these or the businesses competing to attract them! Re-read our skills shortage advice post.
  • Especially for job-seekers: do all that you can to ensure that you’re searching for the right jobs for you and you’re doing everything possible to highlight your skills. Follow these tips as closely as you can.
  • Especially for businesses: start working through that bulleted list above! Your Recruitment Consultant is the perfect person to call on to support you with this. For tailored recruitment advice, please call the office on 01225 313130.

The career skills you’ll need by 2020

These are the career skills you’ll need by 2020, according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘The Future of Jobs’ report…

We first learned of this report via Stylist. You can find all the data alongside the full report on the WEF website.

Traditional skills regain relevance

There’s been so much talk about the future of work in relation to the ‘rise of the robots‘ and the need to become increasingly more technologically aware. Many experts are recommending job-seekers swot up on coding and other IT skills in a bid to stay relevant in future.

However, many will feel relieved to hear that social skills are also set to become increasingly relevant over the next two years. Those more ‘human skills’, if you will.

Important career skills of the future include:

  • The ability to solve complex problems (36%)
  • Social abilities (19%)
  • Process skills (18%)
  • Systems expertise (17%)
  • Cognitive abilities (15%)
  • Resource management (13%)
  • Technical skills (12%)
  • Content skills (10%)
  • Physical capabilitites (4%)

So yes, the technical skills are listed yet social abilities sit strong!

It’s not just what you do, it’s how you show you do it!

It feels timely to remind of the need to become proficient (better still, an expert!) at showcasing your skills. We have a number of articles to directly support you with this…

  1. How to think like a brand and package yourself as a job-seeker.
  2. How to compete against more gregarious candidates when you’re an introvert.
  3. Simple ways to stand out as a colleague, at interview, in your communications and on the web.
  4. Learn to job search like a pro with our 7 Days of insider recruitment tips.
  5. And lastly –yet perhaps most vitally!– how to incorporate your skills into your CV in a way that it makes the whole process easier for you. This piece is one that we always recommend regardless of where you are in your job search. Even if you’re an employer reading this post, this is one tip you can follow to support your future career progression!

What the Skills Shortage Means for You

How the UK skills shortage affects job-seekers and employers, plus the strategies to overcome this

If you’ve been following our recent posts you will have spotted a trend. For some time the UK has experienced a void between the number of available jobs and the number of suitable candidates to fill them.

Locally we’ve observed increased job opportunities in administration; PA and office management; finance and financial services, and legal roles.

So, how exactly does this affect you?


Think shortage, think opportunity! One in three employers will be looking for someone just like you this year.

If you’ve been considering a career move for a while, now’s the time to get things started. Competition may be lower in your field and recruitment processes more urgent.

This isn’t to say your standards should slip or that you should start drafting your resignation. Reduced competition remains competition nonetheless, and employers quite rightfully want to find the right person for each role.

  • Take this time to review the local market and how your skills best fit.
  • Next, get writing a CV that demonstrates exactly this.
  • Be sure to find a local recruiter with experience in your field. Recruiters have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to exactly what employers are looking for, as well as how to best shape your career.

GET STARTED: your CV remains a primary selling tool. You’ll find helpful CV writing advice on our Downloads page. Additionally, you can apply for the latest openings via our Jobs page or email.


There’s many a frustration that comes with a skills shortage, with delays in growth and progression sitting high on the list! However, there are strategies you can take to overcome this…

  • Review the opportunity in question. Consider the skills that are true ‘musts’ and those that are ‘preferable’. When our must lists reduce the talent pool deepens. Even when the list cannot be reduced we benefit from clarifying our goals.
  • Consider your team setup. Perhaps your project requires additional support staff rather than niche workers? Or perhaps temporary workers can help you get started while you hunt for the perfect permanent employee? Often there are multiple routes to achieving the same goal; some of which may be swifter.
  • Review the full package. Be sure to inform your recruitment consultant of all employee perks. Whether it’s flexible working, bonuses, training and/or internal promotions, each incentive could set you apart from your competitors.
  • Insider insights. Recruitment consultants possess valuable insights on the very people you are hunting for. Furthermore, they often have applicants waiting to apply for positions such as yours. Add this to the competitive advantages gleaned from local salary insights and recruiting tips, and you have many reasons to source an experienced local recruiter.

GET STARTED: call an Appoint consultant for an informal chat on 01225 313130. Alternatively, email your request and/or job specification directly to the team.

[Source: City A.M.]