Half (51 per cent) of employers anticipate a shortage of candidates to fill permanent jobs, according to a new report.
The Jobs Outlook report by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) reinforces previous surveys
that highlight the problem of skills shortages. Other surveys and reports include those from from Investors
in People and CV-Library confirm this and make the recommendation that employers need to do more to retain
existing staff The REC report highlights that Employers with more than 250 staff are particularly concerned
about the lack of talent available, with 63% expecting a shortage.
One in five hirers (22 per cent) plan to take on more permanent staff in the medium term (four to twelve
months), with only 1 per cent planning to decrease their headcount. Demand for staff is higher in London,
where 28 per cent of employers intend to increase their permanent workforce in the medium term. Employers
expect the shortage of candidates to be particularly acute in engineering and tech, health and social care,
The REC’s latest Jobs Outlook survey of 600 employers also reveals:
Six in 10 (59%) have increased their headcount in the last year. A third (34%) believe that UK economic
conditions are improving, whilst 29 per cent think they are getting worse. Almost eight in 10 (78%) are
operating with ‘none’ or ‘a little’ spare capacity, and would need to take on staff to meet an increase
REC chief executive Kevin Green says “There’s a feel-good factor about the UK jobs market. The official
figures show record levels of employment, and our data indicates that this could rise even higher in the
“The candidate shortage is an ongoing dilemma. This is not a new problem, but the fall-out from Brexit
has created fresh challenges. We’re already hearing that EU workers are leaving the UK or turning down
opportunities to work here. In sectors such as healthcare, construction and hospitality, where the
reliance upon EU nationals is especially high, employers are worried.
The government’s U-turn on the Budget reveals a failure to appreciate the consequences of policy.
Their approach to immigration must show more clarity. Safeguarding the status of EU workers in the
UK in the upcoming Brexit negotiations would help to allay anxieties amongst employers.”
The ADVO IIP and CV-Library report summaries are available through the links below:
How to keep your Staff – Investors in People
Employers need to changes.
REC’s survey and report details
Jobs Outlook is produced by the REC in partnership with ComRes. ComRes interviewed 600 employers
and owners involved in hiring by telephone between November 30th 2016 and February 8th 2017. Data
were weighted to be representative of UK adults in employment by region, broad industry sector and
public / private sector split. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its
rules. Data tables are available at www.comresglobal.com.
The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.6 per cent
in January, the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971.
The REC full press release can be read here.