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The looming talent crisis in the UK

Screening • Jan 4, 2022 2:14:00 PM • Written by: Georgia Reynolds

Talent crisis

After recent instability in the labour market - record low unemployment before the pandemic, record layoffs during, and record re-hiring in the aftermath – employers are experiencing more severe talent shortages than ever. A recent study by SHRM revealed that 68% of HR professionals are having trouble recruiting candidates for full-time positions in their organisations. HR professionals have a central role in the recruitment process, they have a unique insight into changing labour market conditions. In recent times, the challenge to hire the right person for the job is growing increasingly tough. More HR professionals report difficulty recruiting for full-time regular positions in the last 12 months.

There are several reasons for the talent crisis in the UK. The market is currently undergoing sector-specific staff shortages. According to the Institute for Employment Studies, it is estimated there are 600,000 fewer people in work than before the pandemic, likely due to fewer immigrants in the job market, old people retiring, and younger people in advanced education. In addition to all these factors, there is an evident gap between the jobs advertised and the skills within the current labour force to do them.

Detailed research by the Learning & Work Institute, found that the UK talent crisis will cost the country £120 billion by 2030. The study reveals there will be a deficit of 2.5 million highly skilled workers and an oversupply of 8.1 million people with intermediate or lower skills.

The talent crisis has a direct impact on the workers as well as the organisations. People lost their jobs because of the pandemic, but the types of jobs that are being advertised today are different from the ones that have been lost, leaving an evident gap between the skills required and those that exist in the job market.

The current recruitment crisis which is being felt in different sectors is the result of a perfect storm of factors created in part by the pandemic and other economic conditions – less available talent, a dramatic increase in salaries, and more people working remotely.

"Detailed research by the Learning & Work Institute, found that the UK talent crisis will cost the country £120 billion by 2030. The study reveals there will be a deficit of 2.5 million highly skilled workers and an oversupply of 8.1 million people with intermediate or lower skills."

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Candidate-driven market

The talent crisis has made the market very candidate-driven. Applicants expect the companies to tailor the employee experience - wellbeing, salaries, working practices (WFH, hybrid model, etc). It’s not just about who pays the most money, but the overall package for a candidate. A candidate-driven market means there is more competition for employers. While the competition to attract top talent increases, so does the willingness of the workers to leave the current job for a better salary, bigger benefits packages, more opportunities for advancement, or all three. For candidates, it is no longer waiting for weeks to find the ideal job. With the talent crisis, candidates have the option to find better, more competitive offers at organisations that are willing to pay market value along with other benefits.

Recruitment has become unpredictable and when recruiters need to hire, they usually need to do it fast to ensure they don’t miss out on the best talent. In a candidate-favouring market, employers tend to have less bargaining power. Employers struggle to find the right talent for specific jobs. It is the need of the hour to change the hiring strategies to accommodate the new market.

The future skill shortage

With the current talent shortage, securing staff with strong technical skills is a rising issue for organisations. The technical skill shortage is putting organisations, especially those operating in sectors like information technology, at risk of missing out on opportunities for future growth and investment. According to research conducted by Indeed, there is 20.6% occupational mismatch between job seekers and employers, and if not catered this gap will increase. There is a growing need to create a balance so that the job seeker and employer interests align.

What can organisations do?

The organisations that need to succeed and bridge this talent gap need to make changes to their recruitment process. Candidates today look for speed when it comes to hiring. A slow pre-hiring and onboarding process can result in the loss of valuable resources.

Here are a few measures organisations can take to hire in a candidate-driven market:

• Change recruitment strategies
The strategies that worked in the past may not work now. Organisations need to overhaul job postings, hire for transferable skills, work with a data-driven recruiting agency, or create an employee referral program. All these things could increase the chances of filling the vacancies long-term.

• Optimise the hiring process
Every touch point a job candidate has with your company should be as efficient and speedy as possible. A slow hiring process can make you lose talent. The talent gap gives the candidates multiple options to choose from. Companies today need to make sure their candidate vetting process is thorough but quick. Outsourcing your candidate screening and vetting to a supplier like Giant Screening can solve your problem. Our easy-to-use online solution supports HR and recruitment teams by removing the common frustrations associated with screening to achieve their ideal process.

• Seamless onboarding
The onboarding process is a strategic plan for any organisation to improve candidate retention. If your company aims at developing an equal opportunity environment for fresh hires, it’s about time you make the right decision. A good onboarding strategy is more than paperwork, it is about embracing the new employees into the existing teams and delivering them all the necessary things from their first day of joining. When it comes to employee screening and onboarding your workers, you need a fast and flexible solution, so you don’t lose talent, therefore companies outsource to Giant Screening. We deliver positive candidate experiences with tailored communications. Our cutting-edge technology enables a fully mobile-friendly candidate process. With Giant, you can be paper-free, all paperwork is completed through Docu-Sign. We deliver service that will make you want to work with us.

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Georgia Reynolds

Marketing Coordinator – Content