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Almost all UK employers have struggled to fill vacancies

New survey by Remote to over 500 UK employers reveals the cities and industries most hit by the Great Resignation and the most in-demand skills on the market

Almost a fifth of UK workers are expecting to leave their current jobs for new ones within the next 12 months, largely in the pursuit of better pay and improved job satisfaction.

These changes to the job market are making it more and more difficult for employers to attract and retain top talent with the skills needed to support businesses.

Remote has surveyed 501 UK employers to find out which industries and locations are being hit hardest with recruitment struggles, the most difficult skills gaps to fill, and the strategies employers are using to overcome recruitment barriers.

92% of Sheffield employers have been impacted by the great resignation

Sheffield, in Yorkshire, ranks in first place as the UK city with the highest percentage of companies affected by the great resignation (92%). Sheffield is followed closely by Plymouth and London, with 89% and 87% respectively. 

Although these three cities top the list with the highest proportion of employers facing difficulties due to the great resignation, the impacts seem to be country-wide. 

Rank City % that said the great resignation impacted their company
1 Sheffield 92%
2 Plymouth 89%
3 London 87%
4 Birmingham 87%
5 Brighton 87%

92% of UK employers have struggled to fill job roles in the past year

With demand for specialist skills so high and the job market becoming increasingly competitive for employers, it is clear that workers hold all the power and are in a strong position to be selective of the roles they fill. 

The research found that 92% of UK employers have struggled to fill job roles in the past year with respondents also admitting to using an average of nine recruiters to try and fill skills gaps within their companies. 

The business areas that UK employers are struggling the most to fill are software engineering, HR, and data analytics.

Rank Business areas/ skills % of employers that have struggled to fill roles within these areas in the past year
1 Software engineering 27%
2 HR 26%
3 Data analytics 24%
4 Customer experience 23%
5 Business operations 23%

Almost half of UK employers (46%) are now open to negotiating salaries thanks to recruitment struggles

To remain competitive in today’s job market and attract new talent to fill skills gaps, almost half of the UK employers Remote surveyed (46%) said that they’re now more open to negotiating salaries than before the great resignation began.

Other top areas they’re willing to negotiate on include flexible working policy (49%) and annual leave (43%). 

Area of negotiation % that said they have been more open to negotiating since the great resignation 
Flexible working policy 49%
Salary 46%
Remote working policy 46%

Spokesperson from Remote adds: “Filling skills gaps with experienced employees and retaining existing talent can be challenging at any time, but it’s even more difficult when the job market is increasingly competitive.

“When employers are seeking much-needed talent, they should consider being fully transparent with their job ads. The perks that are offered including salary, annual leave and flexible working can help set one job opportunity apart from the next. Additionally, any businesses pushing for a full-time return to the office may wish to reconsider this strict stance. Many employees will be unwilling to give up this perk, given the flexibility it has brought over the past few years ”

Survey by Remote*

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    How to hire for remote roles and succeed

    15 July 2024


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