Threefold increase in employers finding it difficult to fill roles

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Employers are finding it more difficult to source top talent due to a steady decline in labour turnover since the recession began in 2008.

This is according to the latest Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and HR recruiter Hays.

The survey found the proportion of employers reporting an increase in competition for well-qualified talent had risen threefold, from 20% to 62%, since the survey was last carried out in 2009.

The research highlighted a steady reduction in labour turnover since 2008, resulting in a shortage of talent that has led six respondents in 10 to report difficulties in filling vacancies during the past year. According to the findings, managerial and professional vacancies have been hardest to fill, with half (52%) of organisations reporting difficulties recruiting for these roles.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova, research associate at the CIPD, said: “Although our Labour Market Outlook survey found that the low-skilled jobs market is a battleground for jobseekers, with more than 40 applicants per vacancy, our annual resourcing survey shows that employers still struggle to find well-qualified talent. 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 survey highlighted a number of approaches commonly used by recruiters to overcome the difficulties caused by the slowdown on labour turnover. These included up-skilling existing employees for hard-to-recruit roles and recruiting candidates from different sectors. Respondents cited corporate websites and recruitment agencies as the most effective methods of attracting new talent.

The survey also found an increase in recruiters’ use of social media – particularly professional networks such as LinkedIn – to attract candidates. However, while more than half of respondents said that they make use of social media in resourcing, only two-fifths have a dedicated strategy. A similar proportion have someone on their team who has been trained in how to use social media effectively.

Zheltoukhova added: “These technologies and networks are not new anymore, and employers who are not making effective use of them are placing themselves at a significant disadvantage in today’s competitive jobs market.”

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Using social media for recruitment: 2013 XpertHR survey.

Good Practice Guide: Measuring labour turnover.

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