News Article

UK - Half Of Organisations With Recruitment Difficulties Offer Greater Flexibility To Address Challenges

Posted 28th September 2022 • Written by •

More than half, or 54%, of organisations in the UK who have had recruitment difficulties are offering greater work flexibility to address recruitment difficulties, according to a survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Omni RMS.

The survey by CIPD and Omni showed that organisations are increasingly offering better pay and/or benefits to address recruitment difficulties (36%, up from 29% last year).

However, the survey warned that using pay to attract talent simply ‘isn’t enough to tackle on-going skills shortages.’ It added the approach of inflating pay is ‘not sustainable’ for most employers in the face of rising cost.

“To tackle the skills shortage, organisations need to highlight other components of good working practices when recruiting, such as offering flexible working and promoting career development opportunities,” the survey stated.

According to the survey 68% of employers that offer hybrid/ remote working say it has allowed their organisation to attract and retain more talent.

Meanwhile, 30% of employers who had recruited in the past 12 months say that advertising roles as ‘open to flexible working’ is amongst their most effective recruitment methods. At the same time, nearly half, or 49%, of organisations say their use of hybrid/remote working has greatly or somewhat increased, and almost a quarter expect this to increase further in the next 12 months.

Competition for talent has increased over the last year and recruiting for senior and skilled roles has been the most challenging (58%). Most, or 60%, report that talent is more difficult to retain now than last year, but organisations are taking steps to improve the situation by increasing their recruitment and talent management budgets.

The survey also showed that nearly two-fifths of organisations (38%) are increasing efforts to meet their skills requirements by developing more talent in-house. Upskilling existing employees is the most common response to recruitment difficulties (60%). Almost half of organisations (46%) currently offer apprenticeships, approximately a third have graduate and/or post-A-level entry routes and just over a quarter have intern schemes.

CIPD and Omni’s report also found that 61% have a formal diversity policy and the majority are taking steps to attract diverse candidates. Over a third, or 35%, are actively trying to recruit talent of all ages, while less than a quarter advertise in different sources to attract under-represented groups (24%). Meanwhile 32% of organisations are active in their efforts to recruit more diverse candidates to the board.

The majority, or 80%, say their use of technology in the recruitment process has increased as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Claire McCartney, senior resourcing and inclusion adviser for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said, “The pandemic showed the positive impact flexible working can have for both employees and organisations and our research continues to show that candidates increasingly look for flexible working during their job hunt. Greater availability of flexible working is usually a low-cost option for employers looking to improve their benefits package, and businesses can also reap the rewards through improved job satisfaction, loyalty and business flexibility. Employers shouldn’t simply focus on pay but look to advertise roles as flexible and offer options for hybrid and remote working, where possible, to strengthen their attraction and retention offering.”

Louise Shaw, Managing Director, Omni RMS said, “All businesses must plan strategically for attracting, upskilling and retaining their workforce, especially in the face of a skills shortage and cost-of-living crisis. There is a constant battle for top talent, and it’s important that businesses assess what they can realistically offer candidates and what they can improve upon to retain existing employees.”

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