Fight for talent set to heat up as UK exits EU

The fight to recruit talent is set to increase following Britain's decision to leave the European Union, according to a survey of human resources (HR) professionals.

An European flag waves in the wind (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Nearly three quarters of HR professionals, 72 per cent, expect the competition for well-qualified talent to increase, and nearly two-thirds, 61 per cent, predict further difficulty recruiting senior and skilled employees over the next three years.

The latest CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey of more than 1,000 HR professionals found that recruitment difficulties are already being reported by three quarters of HR professionals, 75 per cent.

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Nearly two-thirds, 65 per cent, agree that the skills needed for jobs in their organisation are changing.

Professionals with leadership, 58 per cent, digital, 54 per cent, and commercial awareness skills, 51 per cent, are most likely to increase in demand over the next 12 months.

Despite a recognition of the need for smarter, more targeted recruitment, just 16 per cent said their organisation currently measures the return on investment of their recruitment activity.

Over half, 56 per cent, say their organisations don’t calculate the cost of people leaving the business, despite labour turnover being at its highest since 2007.

Claire McCartney, associate research adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR, said: “Today’s research highlights a mounting war for talent and the subsequent need for organisations to sharpen their focus on strategic recruitment and effective retention, to attract and maintain the skills they need in an increasingly competitive labour market.

“Brexit, and its impact on the labour market, should act as a stimulus for organisations to focus their attention on building a stronger, more productive workforce, by staying alert to potential changes in their skill needs and being agile in their response.

“However, they can’t effectively do this unless they are measuring, evaluating and then strengthening their recruitment and talent strategies, based on a real understanding of their existing talent profile.

“Even the simplest forms of measurement can be effective, such as tracking the turnover rate of new hires, seeking feedback from candidates on their experience and monitoring the performance of new recruits.

“This will give organisations the insight to attract, select and retain people with the best skills and potential for their business.”

The research also found that increasing competition for talent is highlighting the need for organisations to position themselves as an employer of choice.

Almost nine-in-ten, 89 per cent, of organisations said they have been making efforts to improve their employer brand in the last year.

However, despite this focus on attracting employees, 41 per cent believe the length of their recruitment process has led to the loss of potential recruits in the last 12 months.

Nigel Heap, managing director of Hays UK & Ireland, said: “As we move towards an EU exit, organisations should consider reviewing their recruitment strategies to help them secure access to the right talent.

“Although we are still faced with some ongoing uncertainty, most sectors remain competitive so now isn’t a time for complacency.”

Technology and automation has been a major talking point in recruitment. However, the survey found 61 per cent strongly disagree or disagree that technology and automation has replaced some of the jobs in their organisation.

The survey also found that over half of organisations conduct all recruitment activity in-house, but there is an increasing trend to combine in-house and outsourced approaches.

Workers face earnings squeeze as employers plan 1% pay rise

Workers are facing a squeeze on their earnings as employers anticipate awarding median pay rises of just 1 per cent in the year ahead, according to findings from the CIPD/The Adecco Group Labour Market Outlook survey.

The survey of more than 1,000 employers suggests that the UK economy is about to be hit by a fall in basic pay awards and real wages.

According to the survey data, employers’ median basic pay expectations in the 12 months to March 2018 have fallen to 1 per cent compared to 1.5 per cent three months ago, which is lower than at any time during the past three and a half years.

While pay expectations are weakening, the survey found that demand for labour remains robust for the second quarter of 2017.