War for talent in U.K. increases three-fold: Report

Managerial, professional vacancies hardest to fill

The proportion of employers in the United Kingdom reporting an increase in competition for well-qualified talent has risen three-fold from 20 per cent in 2009 to 62 per cent in 2013, according to the CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2013.

Six in 10 organizations have experienced difficulties filling vacancies in the past year. Managerial and professional vacancies are the hardest ones to fill (52 per cent of organizations reported difficulties), followed by technical specialists (46 per cent), particularly those in the manufacturing and production sector (57 per cent).

The survey shows that the rate of labour turnover has declined steadily since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, and one in six organizations reported that an absence of applicants has contributed to recruitment difficulties.

“Although our labour market outlook survey found that the low-skilled jobs market is a battle ground for jobseekers, with more than 40 applicants per vacancy, our annual resourcing survey shows that employers still struggle to find talent that is well qualified,” said Ksenia Zheltoukhova, research associate at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Low rates of labour turnover suggest that some workers at the top end of the labour market are staying put in their jobs in these economically uncertain times, meaning employers have to work harder than ever to find the right talent to fill vacancies.”

Along with building a strong employer brand and thinking creatively about attraction and recruitment strategies, employers will have to widen the pools from which they recruit and develop talent, said Zheltoukhova.

The survey finds that most common approaches for addressing recruitment difficulties were to up-skill existing employees for hard to recruit for positions and to recruit candidates from a different sector.

Corporate websites and recruitment agencies are considered to be the most effective techniques to attract new talent. The survey also showed a marked increase in the use of social media, particularly professional networks such as LinkedIn, to attract candidates. However, while more than one-half of organizations report that they make use of social media in resourcing, just two-fifths have a dedicated strategy and only a similar proportion has someone on their team that has been trained in how to use social media effectively.

“These technologies and networks are not new anymore, and employers who are not making effective use of them are placing themselves at a significant disadvantage in today’s competitive jobs market,” said Zheltoukhova.

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