With UK vacancies rising to a record 1.3 million according to ONS Labour Market Overview for June 2022, the severe shortage of candidates continues to be a problem for talent hunters. Some reasons are quite apparent. The exodus of some EU workers following Brexit and the impact of the Covid pandemic are cases in point.
Looking beyond the EU is of course one option. This has proved successful in attracting migrant workers to the UK. NHS healthcare workers are a good example of where this has helped.
But this problem isn’t confined to the UK. In Australia, there were 480,000 job vacancies in May 2022, an increase of more than 58,000 in February 2022, according to new seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
There are around 8 million UK residents aged 16 to 64 that are not economically active. Some of these may represent untapped pools of talent from which recruiters might target to attract candidates.
Finding workers from under-tapped and perhaps even untapped talent pools would seem to be the best way forward. Whether it’s for temporary or contract positions, or permanent hires, here we discuss some talents pool intelligence to help close the talent gap.
The obvious way to replace EU workers lost to Brexit would be to recruit from nations outside the EU. Typically, the countries from which to source such workers may be developing lower-wage economies. To such workers, the prospect of living and working in the UK, and earning well compared to their country of origin may be extremely attractive. As long as language and bureaucratic barriers aren’t insurmountable, workers from outside the EU are a good option.
PROS: Overseas workers are likely to have a different work ethic. Often the attitudes of workers from other countries can make a refreshing change.
CONS: The problem in filling the gap with such workers are that there is a lot of red tape, in terms of migratory matters. It’s also a question of ethics – is it right to recruit from developing economies where those workers may be a part of helping the developing county to make economic progress?
Parenthood and taking career breaks are two of the most common reasons people may put their working lives on hold.
Although many go back to their jobs when their statutory leave allowance ends, others resign and leave employment and are free agents with the liberty to decide when to go back to work and who to work for.
Sabbaticals, advancing career prospects through training and education such as an MBA. Pursuing personal business ideas and outside interests as also given as reasons why some people end their employment.
However, others may take a career break for personal reasons. These can be complex; in a stressful world poor mental health is an increasing issue. Bereavement, burnout and physical health problems are all possible causes.
PROS: Career returners may feel they have to make up for lost time and may be highly conscientious in their approach to a new job. They may be hungry to put their skills and knowledge to work after a long period of not working.
CONS: They are almost certain to want a work-life balance that is right for them, especially if they are parents. This is in line with the general trends for improved conditions that workers see as essential post-Covid.
For some in the over 50s demographic, work is a choice, not a necessity. With successful careers behind them, many have the freedom to pick and choose. Although the charities and community projects often offer compelling ways for over 50s to spend their time, many want to use their professional or occupational skills, rather than just filling in performing roles that do not utilise their skills and experience.
PROS: Older workers bring a range of benefits, and not just those operating at a senior level. These might be especially useful when over 50s seeded within multi-age and cross-functional teams. Mentoring, coaching and knowledge transfer of specialised hard skills and more generalised managerial and soft skills are all potential big winners for companies taking on over 50s.
CONS: Depending how long candidates have been out of employment, their IT skills may have fallen behind. It may be worth relaxing IT skills requirements where possible.
Of course, working with your agency clients you may have already helped them develop their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategies and may be leveraging your talent pool intelligence to identify and shortlist talent for temporary, freelance and contract employment. If you aren’t it might well be worth thinking about…
Whatever process you use to identify and place talent, make ETZ your RecTech partner of choice. ETZ’s leading timesheet, invoicing and payment solution, and complementary Caspian business intelligence platform are both purpose-built for the recruitment industry. To find out more call us on 0800 311 2266 or book a demo.
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