The UK is facing a perfect storm of labour shortages coupled with an increase in vacancies. Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic have combined their forces to create the ideal conditions for short-term labour shortages. While many industries might be struggling, there is one sector that is thriving: recruitment.
You might think a labour shortage would be bad news for recruiters. After all, they need workers to be placed in roles, or they don’t earn their commission. However, many recruitment companies are weathering the storm just fine.
The labour shortage is leading to a hike in starting salaries and competitive benefits packages. So while recruiters may have a smaller pool of workers to pick from, they get to put forward the best of the best at a time when companies are desperate for skilled workers.
High salaries mean higher commission and much greater satisfaction for workers. As a result, they are more likely to stay in roles that pay them well and truly value them. Conversely, if workers feel like they could be replaced at a moment’s notice, they are unlikely to perform their best.
You might also think that job satisfaction is a bad thing for recruiters. If everyone is happy where they are, they’re less likely to move on, which means far less repeat business. But the opposite is actually true.
Higher salaries on offer mean that workers are more likely to be poached by rivals. This leaves employers with skills gaps to fill in their workforce. And this is at a time when companies need to start bouncing back and making up for lost time.
The UK is facing a challenging time as it deals with the fallout from the pandemic and the realities of Brexit. Growth is needed more than ever, but we will never achieve this if we don’t have the skilled workers to drive us forward.
What caused the labour shortage?
A number of factors have come together to cause this labour shortage, and some regions have been hit harder than others. Around 700,000 people moved away from London throughout the pandemic, and there’s no indication that this could reverse any time soon.
Perhaps because many of these workers were Europeans returning home to be with loved ones during the difficult lockdowns, and with new Brexit border controls coming into force in the meantime, moving back to the UK might not be as easy as it once was.
Training is required to close the skills gap
The end of the furlough scheme could free up some employees as they are released from their employment limbo. But they won’t necessarily have the skills needed to fill these gaps. So instead, a long-term plan for training is required to identify skills gaps and start upskilling UK workers.
Otherwise, professions facing the biggest shortages should be added to the government’s shortage occupation list to make it possible for overseas workers to come to the UK.
How can recruiters help?
Anyone thinking about moving to a new role should speak to a specialist recruiter before starting their search. If they are open to relocating, there could be excellent opportunities they would never find on their own.
A recruiter can also help if you’re considering a change of career. For example, another industry could be calling out for your skills and experience, and you just don’t know it yet. Even if training is required, a recruiter can help put you on the right track.
According to Nolan Recruitment, retraining in engineering would be a wise move for anyone considering a change in career path. However, green jobs are also growing at an incredible pace, and the UK simply doesn’t have the skilled workers to fill these roles fast enough.