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Candidates are becoming more discerning over roles they aspire to

Nel Woolcott - Anne Corder Recruitment

Having a skills plan has never been as important to businesses, with research showing that three in four employers with skills shortages report a negative impact on other staff.

Nearly three quarters of businesses (72 per cent) experiencing a skills shortage say the issue is affecting the well-being of colleagues.

And according to a study by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) in partnership with The Open University, 28 per cent of businesses say that have had to turn down or halt bidding for work due to staff shortage.

But with candidates becoming more discerning over the roles they aspire to or are willing to take – Peterborough-based Anne Corder Recruitment has some advice to employers on overcoming current industry challenges of hiring during a candidate shortage.

Managing director Nel Woolcott explained: “Now is really the time for employers, training providers and policy makers to work together to ensure they are delivering and implementing a skills plan.

“On coming out of Covid, employees have proved they can, and in some cases prefer, to work from home, which puts businesses insisting on full-time in-person attendance on the back foot.

“There are a record number of vacancies advertised in the UK, which is resulting in skills shortages. Post pandemic, people are becoming more discerning about their choices – looking for more money AND a better work life balance.”

Nel added: “Boosting morale within a demoralised team can be a tall order, but by showing your team that you are working hard to bridge any gap or gaps and are committed to hiring the best skill-matched candidate to the role can help to rejuvenate and re-energise positivity within the workplace.”

ACR has some tips on how to attract the best candidates to your vacancy:

  • Be absolutely clear about what it is you are offering – transparency is a key factor, starting with clarity in job adverts around what the role is, and what the person would be doing.
  • If the post requires mandated 100 per cent office attendance, then make that evident but share the reason why – can it be linked to a value around collaboration?  Share benefits and most importantly, be clear on salary.
  • Think about the best way of getting engagement for your job post and invite your team to share and comment on any adverts on their own professional social media platforms. There’s nothing better than an in-post advocate to endorse that you have a great place to work.
  • The market is moving at a fast pace, so by condensing the process, you won’t let that perfect candidate slip through the net. If you see someone that fits the bill, then make your move or risk losing them to another role.
  • You may only get one really strong applicant, but don’t be afraid to make an offer on a shortlist of one. If after a week you have only one applicant that you can see working, don’t wait – it is likely that person will get snapped up and you’ll miss out on a potential starter.
  • Work with a recruitment partner; bring them into your manpower plan, skills risks and get them to start building pipeline and talent pooling. That way, when the inevitable happens you should have an expert on hand to deliver your shortlist, save you time in the search and selection process, and ensure that you don’t leave the team shorthanded for longer than necessary.

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