Survey on Recruitment Finds Return of War for Talent and Skills Gaps in UK

London — June 16

Employers are being inundated with unsuitable candidates and struggling to fill vacancies, and talented individuals are staying put, concluding that the grass is greener on their own side of the fence in these volatile economic times. These are the findings from the annual Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Resourcing and Talent Planning survey, produced in partnership with Hays.

Three-quarters (73 percent) of organizations have highlighted an increase in the number of unsuitable candidates for job vacancies, fueled by the increase in application numbers due to high levels of unemployment. However, more than half of employers (52 percent) say competition for talent is even greater, compared to 41 percent and 20 percent in 2010 and 2009 respectively.

This year, 75 percent of organizations experienced recruitment difficulties. As in previous years, the main reason for these difficulties is a lack of necessary specialist or technical skills (72 percent compared to 67 percent in 2010), with managers/professionals and technical positions (28 percent) the most difficult to fill.

One clear contributing factor to the talent shortage is that those who are employed are reluctant to leave in a volatile market. The median turnover rate has remained consistently low throughout the recession and beyond from 17.3 percent in 2008 to 12.5 percent in 201. Not surprisingly, the rate of voluntary leavers has increased slightly in the private sector (8.7 percent in 2011, compared to 7.4 percent in 2010) but decreased in the voluntary (7 percent in 2011, compared to 10.2 percent in 2010) and public sector services (3.4 percent in 2011, compared to 5.8 percent in 2010), reflecting the government’s austerity program.

Claire McCartney, resourcing and talent planning adviser, CIPD, says: “High levels of unemployment have boosted quantity, but employers are still struggling with quality. Headlines focus on high levels of unemployment, but those stark statistics mask an ongoing struggle for employers to find the skills and experience they need to drive their businesses forward. Shortages of specialist and technical skills run the risk of slamming an unwelcome brake on the long-term competitiveness of the UK economy.

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