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.

UK salary news roundup

Sharing three of the latest salary news items from around the web. These pieces cover the national payrise forecast, the well-paid jobs that don’t require a degree, and the possible job-switch effect…

Salary news #1: a national pay rise

Source: HR News

Half of all employers surveyed intend to offer their team a pay rise of more than 2% within the next twelve months. It’s promising to read that these findings span businesses of multiple sizes and industries.

  • What’s more, the majority of the companies offering a pay rise will do so at 5% or more (32% of businesses).
  • 12% of companies plan to increase their salary levels by 2-5%.
  • While 18% will implement a 1-2% pay rise.
  • Sadly, 2% of businesses will be forced to decrease salaries due to their ‘increasing upfront business costs’.

The article references the skills shortage as an influence. This is also discussed in The September ‘Report on Jobs’.

Salary news #2: switching jobs may lead to a higher salary

Source: Recruiting Times

A new think tank study suggests that changing jobs can enhance your salary level. This article explores short-term pay rates and suggests that, within the next few months, salaries will rise at around 2.7% growth. Here it’s stated that the pre-financial crash average was in fact 4.5%.

Conversely, those that change jobs are currently more likely to experience an 11% salary increase, which is higher than any average observed within the past seven years.

Again, this brings to mind the above-linked Report on Jobs and ongoing skills shortage. Additionally, and as the piece cites, fewer people are presently switching jobs than they were prior to the financial crisis (therefore enabling such salary advantages).

It seems prudent to remind that we’d never recommend switching jobs until you have a secure offer in place. See Day 1 of our 7 Days of Job Hunting Tips for more on this topic.

Salary news #3: the best-paying degree-free jobs

Source: HR News

Fear that not having a degree could stunt your salary prospects? Indeed has shared a round-up of jobs that don’t require a degree to earn more than the national salary average.

Note: the UK salary average is now £27,600 per annum.

Topping the list (and almost doubling the average salary) is the role of the Ethical Hacker. However, some more familiar commercial office openings also make the list, including the Executive Assistant, Sales Manager and Software Engineer.

We hope that this list will inspire you to feel more positive about your job search and future career prospects. Don’t forget to use this advice post to take your hunt to an expert level. You can also find out more about local salary levels by keeping a close eye on our jobs page.

For managers and business owners, you may be interested to read more about the influence that pay-rates currently have on our UK work culture…and how this could affect your search for your next employee!

Fewer applications per job vacancy!

The nation is receiving fewer applications per job vacancy than ever before, according to the latest research. So, what does this mean for you as a job-seeker or business?

The national averages…

Only 0.38 applications were made per role in the UK this June. Naturally, this means that a number of openings haven’t received any applications whatsoever.

It appears that there is a regional disparity, with employers in Sunderland receiving 3.22 applications across this period. Cambridge saw the lowest level (0.06).

Unfortunately, we cannot see any figures for the Bath area.

Fewer applications: as a job-seeker

Think this sounds like good news? On the whole, you’re right! Employers should have more of an opportunity to consider your CV for the role that you’re applying for.

However (and unfortunately!), you’re not guaranteed the job. Businesses remain understandably selective about the skills and experience that they require.

So you also need to stay selective. Plus, you must ensure that your application is well tailored to each vacancy. Fortunately, we have 7 days of tips to help you with each of these elements!

Also recommended: how to beat procrastination in your job search. Helping you can take advantage of this record low level of competition while it remains.

Fewer applications: as a manager or employer

Half of UK businesses are expressing candidate attraction concerns, yet there are multiple actions that you can take. Scroll to the bottom of this UK skills shortage guide for some essential suggestions.

For some expert recruitment support, and to discuss any staff attraction concerns, please call the office on 01225 313130.

Also recommended: our latest guide to realistic staff rewards. Each candidate attraction tool is all the more valuable at this time.

[Source: Personnel Today]

The candidate shortage continues!

The UK’s candidate shortage continues, says the latest ‘Report on Jobs’. Yet, at the same time, employers are concerned that more staff will leave. What does the latest jobs news mean for you? Advice included!

We often report on the IHS Markit & REC Report on Jobs – a monthly national snapshot of what’s happening in staff placements.

Candidate shortage concerns…

The latest report shows that not only is the candidate shortage continuing, it’s actually worsened over the past month. In fact, Recruiter reports that candidate availability is now at its ‘weakest rate for a year’.

Interestingly, new job placement numbers continue to rise; both across permanent and temporary openings. This fact applies across the whole nation, with the South leading some of the growth on the temp side.

As Tom Hadley (REC Director of Policy) explains, ‘while more people are entering employment, it is not compensating for the shortfall of candidates for many roles’.

Employers fear workers are on the move!

At the same time (and as discussed by OnRec), 61% of businesses are also experiencing greater staff turnover, with more than half expecting this to worsen over the next few years.

Approximately 1 in 7 employees are now ‘likely to seek a new job’.

Returning to Tom Hadley’s comments, it appears many businesses are increasing new starter pay in an attempt to lure candidates from their current roles.  Temporary pay rates are said to have seen the greatest rise.

Hadley suggests that candidates who decide to make a job move are more likely to experience a growth in pay than if they ‘stay put’, noting the disparity between increases in new starter rates and in-role pay rises.

What does this mean for you?

The advice shared in our piece on the UK Skills Shortage very much still applies – both for employers and job-seekers.

  • Managers and business owners reading this news are encouraged to review their staff retention rates. This article explains why – and includes some key resources. Of course, steps to improve staff attraction also remain essential. Perhaps it’s time to review the top benefits that appeal to today’s workers.
  • Job hunting candidates may be at an advantage for now. However, this advantage can soon be lost if you’re not making yourself known in the right way. Refine your approach with these tips.

All parties are encouraged to seek the advice of an REC-accredited recruitment agency with plenty of experience in their field. Expert insights can really help guide you through your recruitment challenges.

Looking for more recruitment and career advice? Let us know what matters most to you.

Popular Posts of 2017!

Sharing 11 of our most popular posts of the year…

With less than two weeks until the festivities fully commence, we thought it the perfect time to reflect on the items you’ve all been reading this year.

In no particular order, we have:

1) Flexible working news. 

There’s something so intriguing about the concept of flexi working. Often we’re all wondering whether it’s actually working, who it’s working for, and whether it could work for us (business owner and workers included)! This post shares flexible working stats, alongside some local options.

2) Interview research: your must-know guide.

Experienced interviewers can fast tell the difference between a cursory glance at the corporate site and some detailed interview prep. Our interview research guide steers you towards the latter – helping you beat your competition along the way!

3) Millennials choose SME employers.

We hazard a guess it’s the local relevance that grabs the attention with this one. After all, the Bath business community is (rightly!) proud of its strong SME culture. Plus, it’s always interesting to see the differences in career ambitions among demographic groups.

4) What to take to a recruitment agency

One of our more practical posts for job-seekers. We help you feel more confident ahead of your visit, whether you’re doing the agency rounds, looking to register, or you’re booked in for a registration appointment.

5) What is it like to work in recruitment?

We always enjoy peeking behind-the-scenes of other industries, so it wasn’t a surprise to see this post among our most-read items. We also relished the chance to pop this one together – and to look back over our past 18 years in the city!

6) Career change advice

Who doesn’t like a fresh start from time to time? So many job-seekers are looking for ways to diversify their careers. We discuss whether it’s feasible to do so…plus steps you might want to take.

7) Tell me about yourself.

It’s back to interview advice and one burning question that can all too easily catch you out. Thankfully, there’s such a simple three-step formula when it comes to cracking this one!

8) What the Skills Shortage means for you.

This is the single post that we’ve referred back to the most this year, as the topic has remained so present in the national news. We explain what the skills shortage is and break down its meaning (and opportunities!) for job-seekers and employers.

9) Creative side projects

You don’t have to feel creative to be creative and there’s actually a good career/business case for developing your potential. This post also takes a local twist, with seven nearby pursuits for you to get involved with.

10) Social snooping

As GDPR creeps closer, everyone’s starting to ask questions about its future recruitment impact. Does this spell the legal end of candidate research by social media?

11) Welcoming new starters

Finally, we have our post on ‘onboarding’ new recruits – including the whys and hows of getting this right. It’s something we always advocate and would be delighted to assist you with.

We hope you enjoy catching up on these news items and look forward to sharing many more. Coming soon: job searching tips for anyone looking to use the festive break to their advantage. Plus a special New Year’s series that we’re eager to share!

Employers calling on temps due to Skills Shortage

Why almost 9 in 10 employers will be calling on temps in the next 3 months…

The REC’s July JobsOutlook is at the ready. This one serves as an enlightening reminder of the challenges faced by UK employers.

According to the latest stats:

  • Organisations across all sectors are seeking to recruit permanent staff, and almost a fifth wish to do so within the next three months.
  • Yet 45% of employers predict the Skills Shortage will continue. Meaning, they expect to struggle to fill these permanent vacancies within the next year.
  • At the same time, 34% of businesses are at max capacity and must recruit in order to fulfil additional demands. Without recruiting, these companies are, therefore, unable to pursue further business growth.

And this is where the temps come in…

  • 87% of businesses – that’s almost 9 in 10 – aim to utilise temporary workers within the next three months; either through maintaining or increasing their temporary headcount.
  • This offers fresh opportunity to job-seekers. Especially as nearly a quarter of companies offer temporary workers permanent roles each year.

On delving further into the report we see…

  • Increasing numbers of employers value the expertise and quality offered by a recruitment service.
  • Engineering & Technical services continue to dominate the Skills Shortage. This is closely followed by the Education & Construction sectors.
  • ‘Micro-small businesses’, AKA those with 49 or fewer employees (and by which most Bath and UK employers can be classified), have shown a 2% increase in permanent recruitment plans against the last quarter.
  • The national workforce has increased by 175,000 people since the previous quarter and 324,000 versus last year.

To find out more about the Skills Shortage, and how to overcome the challenges posed as a job-seeker or employer, please see our special report.

For more advice on Temporary staff recruitment, please call the office on 01225 313130.

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.]