The recruitment crisis across the country shows no sign of abating, according to a survey from a top business body.

The worst-affected sector was construction, with 83 per cent of those surveyed reporting difficulties, with the logistics and hospitality areas not far behind on 79 per cent and 78 per cent respectively.

Attempted recruitment in the second quarter of the year, pretty much mirrored the first quarter with 61 per cent of firms looking to find staff as against 60 per cent, with more than three-quarters of firms continuing to report recruitment difficulties.

5,700 businesses surveyed

The figures released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) were drawn from the data group’s Quarterly Recruitment Outlook (QRO) which was drawn from a survey of over 5,700 businesses.

The body has put forward a three-point plan to address what has become a crisis since we came through the pandemic.

The key points are:

  • By investing more in training their workforce, adopting more flexible working practices and expanding the use of apprenticeships, firms will be encouraged to find new ways of unlocking talent.
  • Reducing costs – the BCC says the Government must help employers invest in training by reducing the upfront costs and providing training-related tax breaks.
  • The Shortage Occupation List (SOL), which the body says is not fit for purpose, must be reformed to allow sectors facing urgent demand for skills to get what they need.

Other areas, outside of the report, that could help with recruitment could include:

  • A social media recruitment strategy
  • Offering referral bonuses
  • Developing a recruiting culture
  • Gathering feedback from candidates and interviewers.

The report adds that in the face of rising business costs, less than a third of employers have increased their investment in the last three months. Smaller firms are even less likely to report an increase, at just 19 per cent.

Firms need more Government support

Commenting on the findings, Head of People Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, Jane Gratton, said: “We have written to the government outlining a three-point plan on how they can work with businesses to solve this.

“The SOL is not currently fit for purpose and should be more flexible, so it supports firms experiencing a national recruitment crisis. Recruitment difficulties have been at record highs for a year.”

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Posted in Blog.