The search for talent intensifies

Despite the global economic downturn, the skills shortage in the UK is showing no signs of abating, according to a major survey by Hays. Unprecedented 93 per cent reported difficulties finding the staff.

The search for talent intensifies

The Autumn issue of Think Global People magazine is out now

Difficulty hiring staff hits a peak with 93% of employers facing skills shortages

Conducted by Hays - a British multinational providing recruitment and human resources services across 33 nations - the survey of more than 13,000 employers and HR professionals found an unprecedented 93 per cent reporting difficulties finding the staff they needed this year.The figure showed a seven percentage point increase on 2021 and a 16 point rise on 2020.Part of the Hays 'Salary & Recruiting Trends Guide 2023', the survey found that employers were continuing to increase pay in order to attract and retain staff.

Hiring plans stay steady despite economic uncertainty

"Despite wider economic uncertainty, four out of five employers intend on hiring staff over the next 12 months – matching the same number reported on in the guide released by Hays last year, which was an eight-year high in hiring intentions," said Hays in a statement."There has been a slight rise in professionals planning to move jobs in the year ahead, rising to 58 per cent from 52 per cent last year. However, this remains low when compared to the proportion of employers expecting to hire staff."

Employers need to work to find the skills they need

Almost three-quarters of respondents said they were now prepared to hire staff without the necessary skills in order to train them up. More than a fifth of employers reported increasing their budgets to provide upskilling for new and existing employees.A negative impact on productivity because of skills shortages was reported by 48 per cent of firms, with 45 per cent saying the problem was affecting staff morale and 40 per cent reporting that shortages were harming their ability to deliver projects.

Rates of pay continue to climb

Simon Winfield, managing director of Hays UK and Ireland, said: "There's no denying that it’s a challenging time for employers as they compete to keep up with the rising cost of living for staff, economic uncertainty and an unrelenting battle for talent in the market."Employers are having to increase pay to attract talent, but also to retain their existing workforce. Although the right salary is crucial, especially at this moment in time, I’d urge employers not to neglect other factors which will attract staff to work with you and, crucially, stay."This includes offering hybrid and flexible working if you can, making sure career progression pathways are clear and supporting the wellbeing of your workforce."According to the survey, 83 per of employers have increased employees’ salaries or rates of pay over the past year - up from 57 per cent in 2021. Additionally, there has been a substantial rise in the number of companies offering performance-related bonuses: 58 per cent this year compared to 42 per cent last.Hays added: "Counter-offers are also on the rise as two-thirds of employers always or sometimes make counter-offers to staff, as opposed to 51 per cent last year. Despite this, only 29 per cent of professionals say they would be likely to take a counter-offer of better pay."