HR teams are being accused of using outdated and ineffective methods to hire employees, while wasting money on recruitment costs.

A study by the acquisition platform TalentTrack, says firms are in a “hiring frenzy” since the end of the pandemic, the Great Resignation, and Brexit.

It estimates that 11 per cent of people who were in work twelve months ago will have changed jobs, with a higher salary. It says there have been approximately 4,1 million job hires between September 2021 and 2021, at an estimated recruitment cost of around £18.5bn on recruitment, with the problem expected to get worse.

ONS Figures

Meanwhile, latest ONS figures show the number of payrolled employees has increased for the sixth consecutive month, but are still below pre-covid levels.

In response to these figures, James Reed, chairman of REED, said:

“This ongoing rise in job vacancies is a positive sign of the economy’s continued revival. Rapid job creation means there are plenty of opportunities to go around, and not just for those recently off furlough, but also for others who have faced long or short-term unemployment as well as those already in work who are seeking a new challenge.”

The ONS also admits things are picking up, saying:

“The number of job vacancies in March to May 2021 was 758,000, only 27,000 below the level before the coronavirus pandemic in January to March 2020. Most industries have recovered to show vacancies above pre-pandemic levels.”

The workforce can afford to be “picky” about roles

Recently, recruiter Randstad UK suggested almost one in four workers are planning a job change and that 69 per cent of workers are now confident about finding another role.

Mark Taylor, chief executive of TalentTrack said: “Due to the intense competition for skilled workers, candidates in some sectors are being offered pay increases of up to 20 per cent to switch jobs.  To add insult to injury, that is driving up the cost of hiring recruitment consultancies, who typically charge 15 to 25 per cent of salary.”

Mark Taylor, CEO TalentTrack         Photographer: Jason Alden

James Reed agrees, but sees this as a positive and a way to improve staff wellbeing:

” The end of furlough may have given employers a boost. However, in order to attract and retain the top talent in a crowded labour market, many businesses will need to improve working conditions – including offering flexible working arrangements which have been popularised since the start of the pandemic – as well as offering more competitive salaries.”

This site has reported previously that employers are improving job quality and raising wages to either help with recruitment or try to keep current staff from leaving.

Advice from recruitment firms:

James Reed said the government’s relaxing of visa restrictions is a positive, especially for those areas that need workers. But he warns: “However, a long-term strategy to reskill and upskill our domestic workforce for the jobs of the future is also necessary.”

Mark Taylor called on HR teams to look at the systems they’re using, calling the current methods “outdated”.

He said: “It’s like trying to win a game of tennis playing with a frying pan.  That has implications for employers and the country – the economy is suffering because of UK plc’s outdated approach to recruitment.”

His advice for HR teams is to post jobs on a variety of jobs at the same time, while they ensure the hiring methods used are efficient.

He said: ” Analyse the source of every recent hire, combining payroll data with other internal records to identify the best and worst employees in terms of ability and retention, in order to better target media spend – and thereby save their organisation money.  AI is now perfectly capable of doing this.  Our most conservative estimate is that an HR team can halve the cost of finding new hires as a result. ”