Original Article

Posted at: HR Director

Author: Michael Carty

Latest data shows that the UK recruitment market is showing strong signs of recovery from the disruption posed by the pandemic, yet significant challenges remain, with skills shortages and finding the right talent proving acute for many organisations.

As restrictions imposed earlier in the pandemic are now being lifted, there has been increased recruitment activity, often due to business looking to resume on pre-pandemic activity. Three in five (61%) organisations expect to recruit more permanent employees in 2021 than in 2020. Looking at recruitment needs by seniority level, middle management and more junior levels are most in demand: only a third (36%) of organisations are recruiting for directors, compared to more than three quarters (77%) looking for managers and almost all respondents (96%) for wider staff support.

Despite showing signs of recovery, over half (55%) state that they’re facing issues with a poor quality of applicants for roles, and a concerning half (50%) of organisations surveyed say that they have experienced skills shortages. Organisations report particularly severe difficulties when recruiting for engineering roles (34%), IT specialists (30%) and manual roles (18%). Candidate hesitancy to move jobs during the pandemic has been prominent as job security outweighed the risk of moving.

Organisations have had to adapt and evolve, combining newer and digital approaches with more traditional recruitment methods as they adopt a more “hybrid” approach. The most popular changes made in response to the pandemic are new or increased use of video interviews (reported by 72% of organisations) and online induction/onboarding (60%).

Michael Carty, Benchmarking Editor at XpertHR comments: After a difficult year and a half, it’s welcoming to see the UK recruitment market bounce back. As the furlough scheme begins to wind down, the world of work continues to rebound robustly from the effects of the pandemic. Despite this, we need to address the challenges that remain to continue this growth and recovery. Skills shortages, poor quality of applications and high volume of unsuitable candidates remain prominent issues experienced when recruiting employees.

“The recruitment market has seen a particularly dramatic shift as restrictions are lifted and the UK economy begins to slowly recover. Employers are optimistic, indicating strong recruitment intentions and we hope to see this continue as we navigate the post-pandemic workplace.”

Statistics from from XpertHR*