Competition for candidates heats up

According to the REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey, 42% of employers experiencing difficulty recruiting candidates have increased the salary on offer in order to compete.

The survey engaged with 600 employers, of whom 80% re-advertised roles where the initial advertisement failed to attract candidates, while around a quarter (24%) resorted to lowering the role requirements.  

Employers continue to cite skills shortages as a major concern, with around half expecting candidate shortages for permanent roles over the next 3 months.

There continues to be demand for staff, with over a third of employers stating that increased workload would necessitate hiring new staff. A further 46% have ‘a little’ capacity and might have to take on staff if workload grows.

Employers in construction, engineering/technical and health and social care are most concerned about a shortage of candidates for permanent roles, while employers in engineering/technical, hospitality and of drivers expect a shortage of suitable agency workers.

And while the ONS gauges the employment rate at 74.6% in December 2016-January 2017, the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971, 22% of employers plan to increase permanent headcount in both the short and medium term. That figure is 19% for employers who plan to increase temporary agency headcount in the medium term.

REC chief executive Kevin Green says: “The good news is that while we have record employment, employers have no intention of halting hiring. If you’re ready and willing to move jobs, you could benefit from an increase in pay as many employers are increasing starting salaries to attract candidates with the qualities that they’re looking for.  

“However, throwing money at the problem isn’t a long-term solution for employers, as they compete with each other for the available talent. We need to train people up by embedding employability skills in schools, providing effective careers guidance and promoting apprenticeships. Employers should take responsibility for investing in training – it will help them retain staff and grow their own talent.

“The short supply of skilled candidates is likely to get worse. Many sectors of the economy are dependent on EU workers. The government has got to design an immigration system which enables businesses to fill the roles they have available and keeps public services up and running. If it becomes harder for EU nationals to work here and employers can’t fill their jobs, they will have little choice but to outsource the work overseas or automate it.”  

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

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Competition for candidates heats up