Candidate shortages threaten job market ‘feel good factor’


Half of employers anticipate a shortage of candidates to fill permanent jobs, according to the latest Jobs Outlook survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

According to the findings, larger employers – those with more than 250 staff - are particularly concerned about the lack of talent available, with 63% of these expecting a shortage.

One in five recruiters said they plan to take on more permanent staff during the next four to 12 months, while only one per cent of respondents plan to reduce their headcount.

Demand for staff is higher in London, where 28% of employers intend to increase their permanent workforce in the medium term.

Employers expect the shortage of candidates to be particularly acute in sectors such as engineering and tech, health and social care, and construction.

Other findings from the survey included:

  • Six in ten organisations have increased their headcount in the last year
  • Just over a third (34%) believe UK economic conditions are improving, while 29% think they are getting worse.
  • Almost eight in ten are operating with ‘none’ or ‘a little’ spare capacity, and would need to take on staff to meet an increase in demand

Kevin Green, REC chief executive, said: “There’s a feel-good factor about the UK jobs market. The official figures show record levels of employment, and our data indicates that this could rise even higher in the coming months.

“The candidate shortage is an ongoing dilemma. This is not a new problem, but the fall-out from Brexit has created fresh challenges. We’re already hearing that EU workers are leaving the UK or turning down opportunities to work here. In sectors such as healthcare, construction and hospitality, where the reliance upon EU nationals is especially high, employers are worried.  

“The Government’s U-turn on the Budget reveals a failure to appreciate the consequences of policy. Their approach to immigration must show more clarity. Safeguarding the status of EU workers in the UK in the upcoming Brexit negotiations would help to allay anxieties amongst employers.”  

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

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