Looking at skills shortages in the UK

Looking at skills shortages in the UK
Times are changing. In today’s digital age, new skills are emerging and the struggle to find talent is very real. And every industry is impacted – from manufacturing to mining, transport to trade, employers cannot find the people they need with the right blend of technical skills and human strengths.

So let’s look at the bigger picture. The Office of National Statistics tells us that the UK is seeing the lowest unemployment since 1975, the number of people currently unemployed and seeking a job fell to 1.42 million in the last quarter and net migration dropped 30% after the vote for Brexit.

All of this poses a number of challenges when looking to recruit.

The reality of the talent shortage

Our recent Talent Shortage Survey provides us with a more in-depth look at the growing skills shortages across the UK.

We’ve found that large companies – those with more than 250 employees – are experiencing the most difficulty filling job vacancies. And because these companies employ 40% of the UK’s total workforce you can see what an impact this talent shortage is having on the wider labour market.

The top in-demand skills in the UK begin with Skilled Trades: Electricians, Welders and Mechanics at #1, moving to Drivers at #2 and Healthcare Professionals at #3. Contact Centre and Office Support roles also feature in the Top 10.

Because of the near-record low levels of unemployment, the top driver of talent shortages in the UK is a lack of applicants at 30%. Followed by a lack of experience and a lack of hard skills.

As companies go digital and traditional roles transform, candidates with the technical hard skills and human strengths such as communication, customer service and organisation are now more important than ever before.

Connecting with in-demand candidates

There are number of key strategies to help companies overcome talent shortages in the future.

If you look to use skills that sit outside your organisation but only when you need them, Manpower is ideally placed to assist you. We connect with millions of candidates across the UK, through our extensive digital capabilities and intelligence-led approach. So whether you need to recruit one office administrator down the road, or forty mechanics at the other end of the country – we have the people, processes and technology to provide you with better access to in-demand talent.

Attracting applicants in an exhausted market

Helping companies find talent where and when they need is something Manpower has plenty of experience in. One example is Eishtec, a leading provider of business services outsourcing. When they won a significant contract, they needed to increase their planned recruitment very quickly. With an office based in a low population area, where the majority of people commute 50 miles a day to work in Belfast, recruiting wouldn’t be easy. And that’s where we came in – filling all 220 roles within six months with 100% fulfilment and 0% dropout. Our interview-to-placement ratio was 93%, and we reduced time-to-hire by around 75%. Take a look at their story here.

To learn more about skills shortages and how to overcome them, view our Talent Shortage report in more detail.