A recent survey by Bond Williams Professional Recruitment in Bournemouth has revealed that a shortage of suitable candidates is the biggest recruitment challenge for businesses across Dorset and Hampshire.
This is the response from over a quarter of respondents (29%) when asked what their top three recruitment challenges were for 2019. Be it lack of relevant experience or specialist skills, or not being a right ‘fit’ for the company culture, businesses are worried that the candidate-driven market trend will continue next year.
Candidate shortage, total package and recruitment process
The second biggest recruitment challenge related to the cost of offering competitive salaries or benefits packages, with 15% of companies saying they are not able to compete with larger businesses in the area. This is particularly the case for not-for-profit organisations and the care sector. A further 10% of respondents are concerned that the inability to keep up with wage expectations or wellness and benefit offerings will negatively impact staff retention.
Coming in at a close third is the recruitment process (14%). The majority of businesses clarified that the time to hire is the main problem. Some companies stated that candidates pulling out of interviews or after receiving counter offers from existing employers is understandably frustrating. Others struggle to shortlist applicants or conduct interviews that provide enough evidence on whether the interviewee has the skills and experience to do the job.
In other responses, only 5% of businesses are worried about Brexit and how that could affect growth prospects and recruitment of non-UK nationals. And although not a significant number, 7% of respondents felt strongly enough about changing candidate expectations to leave detailed answers.
One respondent said: “As younger generations enter the workforce, it’s clear that expectations around wages, hours, work life balance, development and promotional opportunities are changing.”
Other responses detailed how work ethics appear to be changing too, saying that “minimum input for maximum reward” is becoming more common and that less people want a career, instead opting for “just somewhere to spend 9-5…to pay for their night out at the weekend”.
Claire Bond, Director at Bond Williams, provided this specialist commentary on the findings
“There are certainly more jobs than there are qualified and experienced candidates to do these jobs at the moment, and it’s good that businesses recognise this. To overcome this challenge, companies need to think of innovative ways to reach a passive market. For specialist skills, they should also consider looking further afield geographically and look at offering relocation packages.
“When it comes to the whole package, employers might be surprised to know that salary isn’t always the deciding factor for candidates.We hold a series of free HR events and produce a quarterly HR Insights magazine that provides advice from specialists on how to attract staff and improve retention. For businesses with limited budget, they could offer flexible working arrangements, which might actually improve productivity.
“As for the recruitment process itself, that has always been time-consuming for businesses. That’s why working with an experienced recruitment agency with a track-record can be more cost-effective and in fact, help overcome all these recruitment challenges.
“Businesses must also remember that most reputable agencies do not charge unless a successful placement is made. They take on the majority of the sourcing, identifying, CV sifting and shortlisting workload and risk. So, if you can find a recruitment agency who specialises in your sector, then it’s definitely worth exploring.”
Rob has a background in Sales and IT recruitment with over 25 years of experience in these sectors. He heads up the IT and Accountancy Divisions of Bond Williams and is also responsible for Bond Williams internal Operations and Finance. Alongside Claire, he is responsible for the overall growth and …