Recruitment ‘intentions’ improving despite struggle to find right candidates

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Recruitment numbers rise as difficulties linked to hiring fallsRecruitment “intentions” in Q2 improved from the previous quarter as the amount of businesses hiring has risen from Q1 whilst the difficulties surrounding recruitment have dropped. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) still brands the difficulties in recruitment figures to be“high by historic standards”.

This was discovered by the BCC and Totaljobs in the latest Quarterly Recruitment Outlook

In Q2 of 2019, 60 per cent of businesses attempted to recruit staff, up by seven per cent from 53 per cent in Q1. Similarly, 64 per cent of businesses said that they faced recruitment difficulties which were down from 73 per cent.

Despite this, there were still sectors which faced significant difficulties in recruiting that were at ‘critical level’.

In the hotel and catering sector, 79 per cent attempted to recruit and, of these businesses, 74 per cent faced recruitment difficulties. A similar trend can be seen in the transport and distribution sector where 72 per cent of businesses attempted to recruit and over half (67 per cent) reported difficulties in hiring.

The most problematic jobs to recruit for were skilled manual or technical roles (50 per cent), professional and managerial roles (49 per cent) and semi or unskilled roles (26 per cent).

Despite this, 30 per cent of businesses expected their workforce to increase over the next three months whilst 63 per cent predicted that it would stay the same. Only 7 per cent of businesses were expecting a decrease in workforce.

Jason Fowler, HR director at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, an information and communication technology, said:

It’s worrying to see that such a large proportion of organisations are struggling to find people with the relevant skills for their openings. If we don’t funnel more efforts into investing in the UK workforce, there is a risk we won’t be able to keep up with the pace of change that is taking place.

To sustain the competitiveness of the UK economy, businesses, government and educational institutions need to come together to implement a long-term plan that will help train and educate the current workforce and the next generation of workers so they are utilising new technologies and are ready for the jobs of tomorrow. Whether this is retraining programmes, apprenticeships, or public-private partnerships, there are many exciting and innovative pathways to ensure that the UK is digitally savvy.

Vivienne Barclay, vice president, quality operations excellence at Korn Ferry, a management consulting firm, said:

Companies need to look at benefits beyond financial incentives in order to attract the best talent. From flexible working schemes for a better work-life balance, to robust career development programmes and creative working environments, employers need to communicate the benefits associated with their brand. This is particularly important as the gig economy widens the talent pool, but companies need to be responding and accepting this change.

With this change in focus, organisations are able to attract and retain the best talent and so combat the current skills shortage that is affecting many industries.

Totaljobs and the BCC surveyed more than 6,500 business people online from across the UK between May and June 2019.

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