Skills shortage concerns continue in huge hiring spike


Simon Winfield, Managing Director – Hays UK & Ireland

October 27, 2021

80% of employers plan to hire staff in the next 12 months, the highest hiring intentions in eight years according to the latest research. *

Employers in Scotland and Wales have the strongest hiring intentions, with 88% planning to hire within the next 12 months, followed by 87% in East England and 85% in London.

More than two-thirds (67%) of employers who hire are looking for permanent staff, while a third (33%) recruit for temporary positions. 28% of employers hire for positions that will be totally remote.

The data, collected as part of the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends Guide 2022, reports annual recruitment intentions in the UK and is based this year on a survey of more than 22,700 employers and professionals. The Guide’s highest hiring intentions in eight years compare to just 65% of employers who planned to recruit after the referendum in 2016.

The search comes as vacancies hit 1.1 million between July and September, as reported by the ONS, the highest level since registrations began in 2001.

Recruitment intentions are skyrocketing and skills challenges are on the rise
More than three-quarters (86%) of employers report having experienced skill shortages in the past year, up from 77% in 2020. Almost half of employers (46%) report that skill shortages have had an impact negative on productivity, while 45% said they had a negative impact on employee morale, up from 37% the previous year.

To help alleviate shortages, 44% hired temporary or contract workers while 22% increased their marketing activity to attract talent. 21% say they have recruited apprentices and 20% have retrained existing employees in a new position. Almost a quarter (23%) of employers say they are more likely to offer staff counter-offers than before Covid-19 to retain talent.

Professionals are still not so confident about changing jobs
Just over half (52%) of professionals plan to change jobs in the next 12 months – the lowest number reported by Hays in eight years. However, 76% of professionals say they changed jobs or considered changing jobs last year. A third (33%) of professionals also say that there is no possibility of career progression in their current role.

Simon Winfield, Managing Director of Hays UK & Ireland, said: “Employers looking for skilled talent have intensified further, due to the rapid rebound in the economy, existing skills shortages and in some areas such as construction – workers returning to the EU as a result of restrictions related to Covid-19 and Brexit. Almost all employers face the same challenges in finding the skills they need, and we are seeing real demand in technology, construction, engineering and marketing where employers cannot hire. fast enough.

“In a quest for talent, companies offer salaries far above what is typical for certain roles, which is not sustainable in the long run.

“Instead of competing solely on wages, employers need to compete on what they can offer long-term talent. Remuneration is always key, but aspects such as the flexible work offer, training opportunities, a focus on well-being and a culture that facilitates a good work-life balance can make the difference. for a new beginner who stays six months versus six years.

* Hay