Charity sector hardest hit as war for talent continues

The number of voluntary sector
organisations facing recruitment problems has risen by half in only three months,
according to a survey by recruitment firm Reed.

The Reed Skills Index,
which tracked the recruitment trends of nearly 1,500 organisations for the
first three months of this year, reveals that 67 per cent of voluntary groups
reported difficulty finding suitably skilled staff. This represents a growth of
nearly 50 per cent on the previous quarter.

World development
charity Cafod has had trouble filling editorial and facilities management
positions. It was offering salaries between £23,000 and £25,000.

Roger Morton,
personnel officer at Cafod, said, "Candidates have dropped out because our
salary levels are lower than they can get outside."

He said charities
should tackle the problem by better targeting advertising in order to attract
people interested in the work, for whom salary is not an issue.

While voluntary groups
are hardest hit by the recruitment crisis, over half of businesses have also
been unable to find suitably skilled and qualified people.

One in five of
employers who have had recruitment problems said secretarial and administrative
vacancies are a problem. Accountancy and sales recruitment posts are also hard
to fill.

Many of the businesses
surveyed said skills shortages led to more pressure on existing staff. They
said they face reduced profits due to pressure to raise salaries and the lack
of human capital to resource plans for growth.

While an upward
pressure on salaries is cited by many as an impact of the current skills
crisis, this is most prevalent in the public and voluntary sectors.

James Reed, chief
executive of Reed said, "The year-on-year rising trend indicates a
steadily increasing problem for business which should not be ignored."

By Gideon Burrows

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