Tag: Skill shortages

Effective communication with candidates can improve the hiring process

Skills and worker shortages are issues businesses continue to face but establishing effective communication during the recruitment process is a sure-fire way to increase recruiting efficiency.

In the US and many other parts of the world, employers are struggling to fill vacant positions. According to statistics from the National Association of Business (NABE), nearly half of American companies are short on workers.

Experts believe that communication apps can improve the hiring experience for recruiters and applicants. Unfortunately, many companies do not use communication apps in recruiting workers.

Globally, recruiting the right workers is now a herculean task for many employers. While some companies complain of receiving few applications, others say those who apply lack the requisite skills for the job.

The Importance of Effective Communication During the Hiring Process

Industry research has revealed that candidates preferred it when recruiters employ better communication during the application process. The most common communication channels for recruiters include phone calls, emails and text chats.

TALiNT International has put together a list of reasons highlighting why communication is important during the hiring process. Make your candidate feel like they belong, and chances are they won’t renege on offers or ghost you.

Benefits of effective communication during the hiring process include:

  • Saves time for the hiring teams and the candidates
  • Brings transparency into the hiring process
  • Gives positive experience to all the candidates
  • Prevents unnecessary communication between recruiters and candidates
  • Keep recruiters informed about job openings

Following on from benefits of solid communication. TALiNT International has compiled a list of the top communication apps that will help TA teams overcome communication issues that are inherent in recruiting process.

LinkedIn Recruiter

The LinkedIn Recruiter app enables companies to find the right candidates in record time. The app has communication features that let you contact candidates and schedule interviews through LinkedIn’s Inmail.

WhatsApp Business

The WhatsApp Business app provides a secure messaging channel for businesses to recruit candidates.

TextRecruit

TextRecruit is a text messaging-based app available on iOS, Android, Desktop, and web apps. TextRecruit has changed the way people communicate about job opportunities. The app allows recruiters to attract candidates, engage with existing talent and report on all recruiters to candidate text conversations.

TextUs

TextUs is another text messaging service provider that businesses can use to engage in real-time conversation with candidates.

JobAdder

The JobAdder app has agency panel management platforms that facilitate communication between recruiters and applicants. It also has a candidate matching tools that streamline the recruitment process and track the activities of the applicants.

Workable

The workable app, which operates on iOS and Android, helps companies of all sizes to hire at scale. The app enables hiring teams to collaborate in gathering feedback, assessing applicants and deciding on the best candidates. Workable has features that let you engage in bulk communication with candidates. Hiring teams can also create a structured interview process and schedule repetitive recruiting tasks and communication with candidates. This ensures that candidates have the same recruitment experience and go through the same evaluation for consistency.

 

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A positive candidate experience is likely to result in job offer acceptance

Job vacancies across the UK have reached a record high of 1.03million. When considering the war for talent and according to screening and identity services firm, Sterling, employers must streamline onboarding processes or risk losing candidates to the competition.

Research has found that 60% of job seekers abandon the application process if it takes too long or is too complex with a separate study suggesting that a positive candidate experience makes a candidate 38% more likely to accept a job offer from a company.

Steve Smith, Managing Director, Sterling EMEA commented: “There is no doubt that acute skills shortages across the UK are driving the need for efficient onboarding processes. With rising vacancy numbers and competition for talent intensifying, employers must quite simply streamline background screening processes or risk losing candidates in the process.

“With UK employment now at pre-pandemic levels employers across almost every sector are crying out for skills – and in this jobseeker-driven market, candidate experience can become your competitive advantage.”

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Financial services industry struggling to recruit

According to a whitepaper by global workforce solutions provider AMS, a solid commitment to Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) will aid financial services firms in securing sought-after talent amid skills shortages.

In its latest whitepaper, Why the ‘S’ of ESG may be the rose between two thorns for retail banking, its recommended that employers across the banking and insurance sectors strengthen and promote their social credentials if they are to harness the power of ESG to build their employer brand.

We know that Gen Zs are allocating more importance to social responsibility and want to work at companies that align with their values. It’s therefore becoming increasingly important for businesses put their money where their mouth is and ensure that ESG forms the foundation of the way they do business.

The advice comes following research from the Financial Services Skills Commission, which found that almost a third of employers across the financial, professional and business services sector are struggling to recruit due to widespread skills shortages.

Janine Chidlow Sector Managing Director of Retail Banking & Insurance at AMS commented: “At a time when acute skills shortages are impacting access to talent, both jobseekers and existing employees increasingly want to find a purpose in life and are seeking out employers that share their values. That might be a commitment to sustainability, philanthropy, or social impact. Against this backdrop, the ESG framework unsurprisingly has an impact on talent attraction and retention within financial services.

“Candidates may not be seeking an ethical employer in the traditional sense any more – now they’re looking at the social perception of an employer brand and what they are committed to in terms of achieving carbon neutral status or supporting social mobility and diversity. The war for talent is now raging once again, and those businesses that are not demonstrating flexibility, care, innovative thinking, and evidence that people matter will lose very quickly. For talent strategists, a commitment to ESG is not just a vote winner for hiring great people: it’s a brilliant tool in your sales armoury too.”

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40% of businesses report decrease in revenue

 A report published by Addition, the outsourced finance solution for SMEs and start-ups, has revealed the cities that were most impacted by economic issues such as Brexit and the pandemic over the last 12 months.

With 40% of businesses reporting a decrease in revenue over the last year, Leicester-based businesses have been most impacted. Manchester came in at second with 35%, and London was sixth with more than a quarter (26%) of businesses reporting a loss in revenue.

Cities have also struggled to recruit employees, demonstrating that skill shortages and economic fluctuations are impacting massively the job market across the UK.

In Bristol 39% of businesses are struggling to recruit the right talent. One in four (25%) of firms in London are finding it hard to recruit, and Newcastle is the least impacted, with a mere 13% of businesses with concerns about recruiting.

The table below outlines how the cities ranked in terms of economic impact and struggling to recruit the right talent.

 

Revenues Impacted Most Most Recruitment Struggles
1 Leicester Bristol
2 Manchester Glasgow
3 Edinburgh Leicester
4 Bristol Southampton
5 Leeds London
6 London Birmingham
7 Belfast Edinburgh
8 Cardiff Manchester
9 Newcastle Cardiff
10 Glasgow Leeds
11 Southampton Belfast
12 Liverpool Liverpool
13 Birmingham Newcastle

 

Addition Founder and CEO, Graham Davies, commented: “We believe it is critical to understand how businesses are being impacted in the short-term. Our national reports give detailed insights into how business owners are coping with every aspect of running their business and help us to understand future trends or potential concerns.”

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Demand for IT professionals up 76% year-on-year in July 2021

Data preceding the pandemic highlights the true extent of skills shortages in the UK with applications to jobs down 47% between July 2019 and July 2020. According to real-time data from the global network of job boards, Broadbean Technology, the decline in applications, largely attributed to the pandemic, suggests that the UK was already experiencing talent shortfalls before lockdown.

Sectors worst hit

In the engineering, accounting and financial services industries, the demand for talent increased by over 100% in the year to July 2021. However, when compared to two years ago, Broadbean’s data suggests that talent shortages are worsening.

Broadbean’s data shows that engineering vacancy numbers doubled (up 103%) between July 2020 and July 2021. However, when compared to the latest data with July 2019, vacancies were down by 20%, with the number of applications decreasing by 54%.

The financial services sector also saw vacancies double (104%) between July 2020 and July 2021. But for July 2019 to July 2020, vacancies dropped 12%, and application numbers declined 57%.

In the accounting industry, vacancies were up by 104% between July 2020 and July 2021, but were down 31% when compared to 2019 figures, while application numbers from 2019 – 2021 also fell 56%.

Demand for IT professionals still rising

The fast shift to online working environments in the last year resulted in an annual increase of 76% in vacancies in the IT industry. The digital transformation of workforces continues to drive demand for this talent in this sector.

As Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology explained: “While there are ongoing reports of a post-Covid talent shortage, as the so called ‘Great Resignation’ impacts headcount and increases competition for talent, our data shows that the skills shortage was already well underway before the virus struck. Covid may have pushed the severe skills shortages the UK is facing into the public consciousness, but trouble was already bubbling under the surface in the early months of last year.

“This can, in part, be linked to the impact of Brexit on talent pools and the need for an appropriate visa route for independent professionals to encourage people from outside the UK to work in the country.”

Pre-Covid skills shortage

Olly Newton, Executive Director, The Edge Foundation said: “Figures from the Government’s own Employer Skills Survey showed 226,000 vacancies created by skills shortages in 2017, up from just 91,000 in 2011. These are jobs that remained unfilled because the right skills couldn’t be found – an economic and social tragedy.

“It has cost employers dearly – £4.4 billion has been paid out in the past year on recruitment fees, higher salaries and temporary staff. It has also cost young people dearly – young people who should have been given the skills they needed to get into and thrive in those jobs.

“Research from before COVID showed that these shortages were widening not shrinking. Research by the Open University publicised by the Edge Foundation shows that nine out of ten organisations (88%) report a shortage of employees with digital skills. Meanwhile, looking to the future, work by the Government’s own Industrial Strategy Council suggested that by 2030, 7 million workers could be under-skilled for the requirements of their changing jobs.”

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Relief for employers & recruiters already struggling with skills shortages

The Home Office has announced an extension of the temporary adjustments which allow right to work (RTW) checks to be completed with copies of documents via video conference due to pandemic restrictions.

The announcement to extend is a welcome relief for employers already struggling with skill shortages. In-person RTW checks were set to begin again in September with fines of up to £20,000 for those not complying. Companies have been gearing up for the change, however, the temporary RTW checks solution will now continue to 5 April 2022 and employers are still allowed to carry out the adjusted checks using a scanned copy or a photo of the worker’s original documents via email or mobile phone.

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has welcomed the delay to in-person right to work checks.

Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo commented: “While we look forward to seeing the results of its longer-term review, we hope that the success of the digital processes over the last 18 months leads to a more appropriate and modern method of managing Right to Work checks.

“Research from the Better Hiring Institute – which Chair of the APSCo Compliance+ Committee, Keith Rosser, is a director of – shows that at least 40,000 workers were successfully hired during the pandemic via temporary adjusted checks. This highlights that the digital Right to Work checks have been working. And with the UK facing a skills shortage at a time when the Office for National Statistics has reported a record number of job vacancies, ensuring employment regulation is fit for purpose in the modern world of work and doesn’t put UK employers on the back foot, is crucial.”

Keith Rosser, Director Group Risk and Director of Reed Screening at REED, has championed the move to extend the digital RTW checks. He said: “Digital right to work checks have been critical for helping the Levelling Up agenda, driving Build Back Better, and helping with the current UK staffing crisis.”

 

Permanent solution

Screening expert Sterling  has called on the Home Office to use RTW extension to drive meaningful change. Steve Smith, Managing Director EMEA, Sterling, commented: “This digital move delivered a number of other positive results, streamlining checks for some and expanding the reach of recruitment activity as a worker’s location became less important – a critical element in a skills short market.”

The Home Office also confirmed that they’re reviewing the availability of specialist technology to support a system of digital RTW checks for the future to introduce a sustainable digital solution which will include many who are unable to use the existing online checking service. This would enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security.

Jason Medcalf, Sales Director at People Group, which specialises in pre-employment background-screening, added:

“Most recruiters feel that a return to manual checking of RTW, now or in the future, would needlessly apply the handbrake to the excellent work recruiters are doing to fuel the economic recovery of UK Inc. The sector is simultaneously facing the widest and most pronounced candidate shortages in years, plus a fundamental change in where, when and how recruiters perform their work.

“Research and business cases have shown that using the available technology as a precursor to human review delivers benefits ranging from filtering out fake and stolen documents that would pass a human-only review to halving the total length of time taken to validate an applicant and place them sooner – creating additional margin for recruiters, delighting end hirers, and mitigating the skills shortage.

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Businesses looking to engage tech contractors may need to rethink their pay rates and conditions, according to new research by Hays Technology.

A survey carried out by the specialist IT recruitment agency in May polled more than 600 contractors and hirers and was used to put together its UK Contractor Day Rate Guide 2021.

The research revealed that demand for technology expertise is increasing, but that skills shortages are hindering many firms’ efforts to hire talent. It reported a 21% increase in demand for IT contractors and a 17% increase in placements from H1 to H2.

Of the organisations polled, 42% said they did not have the required talent to achieve their current business objectives and more than 8 in 10 reported they had found it difficult to recruit contractors over the last year.

This supply and demand mismatch has led to day rate increases for many contractors, with some  project and change managers achieving increases of more than 10%. Overall, data gathered by Hays offices across the UK showed that technology day rates had increased by 0.8% over the last 12 months. Software developers had seen an average day rate rise of 2.4%.

James Hallahan, Director of Hays Technology in UK & Ireland, said: “Skills shortages abound in the technology sector and there are plentiful opportunities for tech contractors to be deployed within organisations that can’t find enough permanent employees with the right skills. Contractors with the most sought-after technical and soft skills, and those with a proven track record for successfully managing projects and leading change are going to expect assignments that deliver on flexibility and terms.”

Beyond pay

However, the Hays research also found that contractors wanted more than just pay increases: the majority now also wanted to be able to work remotely.

Many were already working from home for some of the time and more than half said their work-life balance had improved since March 2020, with almost three-quarters reporting that being able to work remotely was important to them.

Almost half (46%) now want greater flexibility with regard to hours and two in 10 said they wanted to change the expectation for them to work outside of their contracted hours to enhance their work-life balance.

The thorny issue of the IR35 reforms that were introduced in April remains a sticking point between contractors and hirers, found Hays.

“Most contractors want to stay outside of PAYE, presenting a potential shortage for organisations seeking to secure their skills. So, while the increase in activity means there is great demand for tech contractors, organisations are having a difficult time engaging with them. They may need to take an assignment-by-assignment view in order to attract the right skills and work with a recruitment specialist to help them secure the best talent,” said Hallahan.

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