CIPD research reveals how UK employers struggled to fill vacancies in 2005

More than eight in 10 UK employers experienced recruitment difficulties last year, according to annual research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The CIPD’s 2006 Recruitment and Retention Survey, released today, shows that employers are responding to these difficulties by actively targeting older workers.

Almost half of the 804 employers questioned said they were keen to hold on to their existing older staff, while 70% were planning to recruit people aged between 55 and 65. A further 30% were considering hiring workers already entitled to the state pension.

Employers are also taking other action including appointing people who do not have all the skills and experience they require, but who have the potential to grow via training.

However, the number of employers turning to migrant workers remains disappointing, the CIPD said, with only 15% of respondents undertaking initiatives to recruit foreign staff.

John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD, said the high numbers of employers still experiencing recruitment difficulties indicated that organisations are “having to run faster just to stay still”.

“This does not bode well for what might happen when demand for labour picks up again,” he said. “It is vital that organisations make even greater effort to recruit and develop their staff.”

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