Aren't You Worried About the Brexit Talent Shortage?

Following the Brexit decision, recruitment is now one of the most critical issues facing UK businesses.

A recent survey by accountancy firm, BDO shows that the UK is appealing less to workers and is slipping down the rankings of the top destinations for European and Non-European workers.

As negotiations of Brexit continue, it is anticipated stricter controls of migrant workers from the EU are on the horizon. Combined, this makes the old phrase the “war for talent” more prominent, with 72% [i]of employers anticipating an increase in competition for well-qualified staff over the next three years. This will be felt hard with two-thirds of employers reporting that at least some of their current vacancies are hard to fill[ii].

Commentators have stated that Brexit is the push the UK needs to invest, train and upskill staff to fill those hard to fill positions. This isn’t an easy solution. To be deeply effective this needs to be implemented at a national level, arguably it can be said this is currently happening with various Government initiatives, but it will not go far enough. It falls under the responsibility of UK businesses; 68%[iii] of organisations expect an increased emphasis on developing existing staff. The upskilling of workers will take time to come to fruition; you cannot rely on this to plug the skills gap. Instead, the delivery of this must be in conjunction with a well thought out and executed recruitment strategy.

With 61%[iv] of employers anticipating difficulties recruiting senior/strategic and skilled staff over the next three years, it will be an ongoing process to ensure you continue to hire the best talent and may mean a complete re-think of your recruitment model.

Emphasis on employer branding is increasing, 9 in 10[v] of employers have already made improvements to their branding efforts in the past year to attract talent. With the rise of websites such as Glass Door and social media, it’s imperative that your company portrays itself to potential candidates in a positive light. You can’t afford to lose candidates to your competitors. This means delivering robust employer branding strategies, but to be effective, this needs to go hand in hand with delivering outstanding recruitment experiences for candidates and implementing sound retention strategies.

However, businesses cannot afford to sit back and wait for the candidates to flood their websites with job applications and CVs. The shortage of skills means strategies need to be put in place to find talent, not solely focus on attracting talent. Tactics need to be in place to find the passive candidate and pull them to you. Find them, appeal to them and put strategies in place to retain them. The candidate pool is shrinking, and it would be catastrophic not to focus on the passive candidate market.

Once candidates have been found and attracted, organisations need to get out of the mind-set that they control the recruitment process, and candidates would be “lucky” to work for them. Good, quality candidates are in demand; you need to turn the tables. It’s astonishing how many organisations drag their feet through the recruitment process or to put it simpler, provide a poor recruitment experience. It’s often due to a misguided arrogance that everyone is striving to work for them. As the talent shortage is set to increase, to win the war on talent, our strategies, mind-set and attitudes must be candidate focused.

[i] CIPD Resourcing & Talent Planning Survey 2017

[ii] CIPD Labour Market Outlook Autumn 2017

[iii] CIPD Resourcing & Talent Planning Survey 2017

[iv] CIPD Resourcing & Talent Planning Survey 2017

[v] CIPD Resourcing & Talent Planning Survey 2017

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