Whether the digital skills gap playing a role or the hospitality sector, struggling to recruit, according to Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies (in the FT) “It’s been a buyers’ market for a long time in the labour market and employers haven’t had to work too hard to attract and retain people in lots of low paid areas. For the first time in a decade, it is more of a sellers’ market.”
From a recruiters' perspective, how does the TeamJobs team look at the dilemma faced by employers who are struggling to recruit?
Lucy Eaton, senior key account manager, says, “The expectations are now probably higher on both the candidate and employers sides. For instance, when it to comes to digital skills it could mean a variety of skillsets that an employer is looking for, not just one specific remit. Whereas candidates, are looking for stability and assessing what is right for them in terms of pay, flexibility and progression. People are now also realising that life includes doing meaningful work.”
“From a personal perspective, I would say that the pandemic taking away the face-to-face interaction during the recruitment process has taken away the moments of getting to know others a bit better by just chatting. For many companies, social media has led their recruiting dynamic, this has taken out the personable aspects and forming a relationship with others. This can make it difficult to find a rapport when there are few ‘ice breakers’ to get to know someone.”
Another reason for the difficulty in recruiting can also come down to the degrees that are seeing higher dropout rates. According to Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), degrees such as computer science, business and administrative studies and engineering and technology have the highest dropout rates. Hannah Sills, head of permanent and specialist recruitment, says, “Combined this with the low numbers of students taking up particular degrees such as computer science, at a time when UK businesses are struggling to hire digital employees and the widely publicised digital skills gap provides a reason why companies are struggling to recruit the best people. We are not necessarily teaching the next generation that are coming through. This is where a problem lies.”
Rob Bruce, senior recruitment consultant, continues this thread on the missing teachable fit. “For several engineering firms who have struggled during the pandemic, much of their staff has a higher proportion of older workers. Those people who have left their jobs had the time to reassess their lives, careers and what they wanted from a job and chose to move. What this has created is a significant gap for companies to fill as experienced people have left.”
The challenge for companies to recruit is a complicated issue. It is much more than the volume of applications, the calibre of people and a detailed decision process. It is a very real issue that brings in the interlinking demands from both employers to candidates. For employers it is more than just pay as an answer to overcoming skills shortages. For candidates, it is finding a role that represents a life that includes enjoyable work.