25 Jun Talent management rises up agenda as CIPD reports threefold increase in skills demand
The CIPD’s 17th annual Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey, carried out in association with Hays Human Resources, has found a threefold increase in the number of employers reporting increased competition for well-qualified talent.
Carried out in April this year, the survey found that 62 per cent of the 462 UK-based HR professionals who responded from across the sectors said that they found it hard to recruit people with key skills, which compares with just 20 per cent in 2009.
Managerial and professional (52 per cent) vacancies, together with technical specialist roles (46 per cent overall) – particularly in the manufacturing and production sector (57 per cent) – are the hardest to fill, according to the survey.
At a time when UK car manufacturing and North Sea oil exploration are both undergoing renaissance, the country’s acute shortages of engineering skills could have an impact on UK growth rates and lead employers, particularly in these sectors, to seek a wider talent pool.
The survey suggests that these difficulties are being compounded by reduced turnover rates. Companies are retaining employees at a higher rate than since the start of the financial crisis in 2008; one in six organisations is now reporting that an absence of applicants has contributed to recruitment difficulties.
Ksenia Zheltoukhova, research associate at the CIPD, comments, “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.
“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.
“As well as building a strong employer brand and thinking creatively about attraction and recruitment strategies in order to attract passive jobseekers, employers will have to widen the pools from which they recruit and develop talent, as well as creating new and varied career paths driven by a culture of lifelong learning. For example, employers are increasingly appointing less-qualified candidates and building their capacity to develop skills internally. Inclusive recruitment practices are also an investment in future skills retention, crucial as the war for talent intensifies.”
The most common approaches among survey respondents to addressing the challenges were upskilling current employees for hard-to-recruit-for positions and recruiting from different sectors. Respondents also reported a marked increase in the use of social media, particularly professional networks such as LinkedIn, to attract candidates.
“These technologies and networks are not new any more, and employers who are not making effective use of them are placing themselves at a significant disadvantage in today’s competitive jobs market,” says Ksenia Zheltoukhova.
Barney Ely, director of Hays Human Resources, adds, “We are starting to see confidence slowly returning to the jobs market, with interesting and challenging opportunities available for those highly skilled professionals who are looking to make their next move.
“However, these workers are still being cautious when considering a new role, so employers are facing a competitive market when trying to attract people to fill skills gaps. They should step up to this challenge by retaining and training their existing workforce with career development and progression initiatives, and by looking at broader talent pools to ensure they have the skill set to drive business growth.”