Jobs vacuum due to high employment and skills shortage is creating a war for talent

Jobs vacuum due to high employment and skills shortage is creating a war for talent

Figures published yesterday showed that the jobless rate has fallen to 4.2 percent, the lowest since 1975 according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While good news for the economy, the challenge for employers will be recruitment. On average, over 40,000 job vacancies are left unfilled for over six months according to research by Robert Half UK. The figure doubles to 80,000 for roles left vacant for more than a month. The findings come following research into the UK job market looking at trends in the modern workplace which confirmed that high employment coupled with an ongoing skills crisis is leading companies to face a war for talent which is leaving many positions unfilled. A lack of skilled candidates (51 percent) tops the list of challenges, whilst difficulties in finding the right talent follows close behind (30 percent). Even when the right person has been found, many firms aren’t hiring fast enough and end up missing out on their preferred candidate (28 percent). UK organisations clearly recognise the detrimental effect that unfilled roles can have on their business. Reduced productivity (42 percent), increased stress (42 percent) and limited business growth (38 percent) are cited as the main consequences – all of which can cripple a firm’s performance.

Time Unfilled roles (mean average) Unfilled roles (no.)
>1 month 10 percent 81,500
>3 months 7 percent 57,050
>6 months 5 percent 40,750

“High employment often leads to a lack of candidate availability,” said Matt Weston, Managing Director at Robert Half UK. “This, combined with an ongoing skills shortage, creates a job vacuum which breeds a war for talent. To effectively recruit in this type of employment landscape, employers should be flexible and realistic with their attraction and selection strategy.”

“Establishing a clear difference between the requisite technical skills and skills that can be developed over time, can help businesses unlock a broader talent pool. In the rapidly changing world of work, identifying a candidate with the right soft skills, potential and willingness to develop should form the foundation of a long-term recruitment and retention strategy.”

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