It’s no secret that finding the right person for the right role can be a challenge, but according to the Open Universities latest research, 90% of UK employers cannot find the right skill sets for the jobs they have to offer – particularly for managerial roles. 21% of the 400 companies interviewed explained that they struggle to hire senior managers, and 19% struggle to find appropriate candidates for mid-level management vacancies.
What is even more shocking in the digital age we live in, is that over half of the employers interviewed couldn’t find candidates in the last twelve months with the relevant IT skills.
These challenges mean that the overall recruitment process is taking much longer than in previous years, with an average turnaround time of one month and 24 days. This is a huge period for an organisation to be without a key member of staff such as a manager, and has significant financial implications.
Not only is there the fee to recruit the correct candidate, but also temporary wages for those covering the role in the short term. In addition to this, salaries become inflated to attract those candidates who are suitable and companies experience a potential loss in revenue due to staff shortages. It is estimated that UK employers have spent £1.7 billion on recruitment in the last year, and this trend is set to continue for at least another 12 months.
One of the key factors affecting the quality of candidates is Brexit. The uncertainty of what the UK economy is going to face has made candidates reluctant to look for new roles, meaning the unemployment rate in the UK is the lowest it has been since 2005. Where many organisations would normally rely on EU nationals to fill vacancies, they too have seen a decline in applications due to the uncertainty of immigration laws. Many organisations have tried to overcome this by offering inflated salaries, which is estimated to have cost employers £527 million, with an average of an extra £4000 – £5500 being offered per role.
As part of the research project, the Open University asked what employers are planning to do to combat these costs. Many are looking to change the way they train staff in order to be able to promote from within and develop the necessary skills for existing employees. This will provide better opportunities for existing employees, mean that only lower level roles need to be filled. In the long-term this will mean that there will be more suitable candidates available and hopefully a reduction in the overall cost of the recruitment process.