Recruiters face talent gap

Employers are being inundated with unsuitable candidates, struggling to fill vacancies, and talented individuals are staying put, according to the annual Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Resourcing and Talent Planning survey.

Employers are being inundated with unsuitable candidates, struggling to fill vacancies, and talented individuals are staying put, according to the annual Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Resourcing and Talent Planning survey.

Three quarters (73%) of organisations have highlighted an increase in the number of unsuitable candidates for job vacancies, fuelled by the sheer weight of application numbers due to high levels of unemployment. However, more than half of employers (52%) believe that competition for talent is even greater, compared to 41% and 20% in 2010 and 2009 respectively.

This year, three-quarters (75%) of organisations experienced recruitment difficulties. As in previous years, the main reason for these recruitment difficulties is a lack of necessary specialist or technical skills (72% compared to 67% in 2010), with managers / professionals and technical positions (28%) the most difficult to fill.

The CiPD says one clear contributing factor to the talent shortage issue is that those who are in work are reluctant to leave in a volatile market. Although the rate of voluntary leavers has increased slightly in the private sector, it has decreased in the voluntary and public sector services.

Claire McCartney, resourcing and talent planning adviser, CIPD, says: "High levels of unemployment have boosted quantity, but employers are still struggling with quality. Headlines focus on high levels of unemployment, but those stark statistics mask an ongoing struggle for employers to find the skills and experience they need to drive their businesses forward. Shortages of specialist and technical skills run the risk of slamming an unwelcome brake on the long-term competitiveness of the UK economy.

"Skills shortages are undoubtedly being exacerbated by ‘grass is greener on this side of the fence’ syndrome. Free movement of talented individuals is being impeded by a reluctance to voluntarily change jobs in volatile economic times – and the problem is worse now than it was at the height of the recession. With more cuts in the public sector expected and only marginal private sector growth, we expect a continued ‘safety first’ approach from employees, with many wanting to stay put for the next couple of years at least, making it difficult for employers to really drive competitive edge through the recruitment of talented individuals."

Additional findings from the survey include:
- Changes in resourcing and talent practices in 2011 compared with 2010 reflect a stronger focus on costs and reductions in budgets. More organisations anticipate they will be focusing on developing talent in-house, retaining rather than recruiting talent and reducing their reliance on recruitment agencies and external consultants for resourcing and development
- Nearly half of public sector organisations will be implementing a recruitment freeze in 2011, compared with one-fifth of organisations overall. Two-thirds (66%) of public sector organisations and 29% of private organisations will be reducing the number of new recruits they hire.





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