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Recruitment Difficulties Continue

Organizations Point To UK Skills Gap

May 28 2008 - British businesses still find it difficult to fill job vacancies despite the slowdown in economic growth. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) annual Recruitment, Retention and Turnover Survey no fewer than 86% of organizations are experiencing recruitment difficulties with the majority placing the blame on a national skills deficit.

The CIPD survey found that British employers are feeling widespread effects from the UK's skills gap. The shortage of talent is so severe that any increase in the job market's pool of applicants caused by the 'credit crunch' may not help.

Over 70% of surveyed employers gave 'lack of necessary candidate skills' as their main reason for recruitment difficulties. 42% also highlighted candidates' lack of experience.

But are employers putting formal resourcing strategies into place to counter the problem? Only half of the surveyed organizations had done so. Many were also struggling to recruit top talent, often making do with people who currently did not have all the required skills but displayed potential. Three out of four employers used this method and 65% considered it to have the most positive effect on recruitment.

Three out of four surveyed employers regarded giving internal candidates extra training as the most effective way of filling posts but only a half actually had learning and development strategies focused at retention. A further third said they were losing staff because of the lack of career development opportunities in their organizations.

Deborah Fernon, Organisation and Resourcing Adviser for the CIPD said:

"From an employers' perspective, one of the positive outcomes of a jobs slowdown might have been an easing of recruitment difficulties. But these problems have persisted and there is still a struggle to find and hold on to the right people. If bosses want to come out of the downturn with a competitive advantage, they would do well to implement strategies aimed at attracting and retaining the right staff.

"Organizations should also have a look at their learning and development strategies, which can help meet business demands in two ways. Firstly, those employers who have development opportunities are more likely to stay, which reduces turnover. Secondly, a good learning and development culture will foster a strong employer brand, helping to attract key talent."

Additional survey findings highlighted weaknesses in making the most of diversity with only 55% of surveyed organizations having formal diversity strategies. (55%). But the report has a positive element as a majority of employers are beginning to see the advantages of a diverse workforce. 83% were monitoring recruitment and/or staffing information compared with 71% in 2007.


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