Recruitment tensions in the UK

June 29th, 2018 | Industry News

One good word to describe the current position of recruitment in the UK is prickly – here’s some evidence!

Teaching recruitment

When Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds announced that he was going to cut down on schools using agencies to find staff, he described the agency fees as ‘unnecessary costs’. According to Mr Hinds, “… agencies charge schools costly finder’s fees if head teachers want to make supply staff permanent.”

His solution is to offer a new national deal for head teachers – a list of agencies that don’t charge fees if staff go from temp to perm after 12 weeks. These will be preferred suppliers. There is a degree of misunderstanding about how agencies work implicit in this approach. The best recruitment software for agencies actually does a lot of the work of sifting CVs and shortlisting candidates. It requires a couple of things though: online recruitment software needs to be regularly updated and recalibrated so that it remains contemporary and sensitive to the trends and requirements of the marketplace. It also requires experienced consultants who can use an applicant tracking system UK focused in its approach to do the fine tuning that presents head teachers with supply staff or permanent candidates who won’t be wasting their time. Remove those levels of effectiveness and schools may find they are saving money one way (agency fees) and losing it in another (time spent sifting candidates and conducting pointless interviews).

Retail recruitment

Retailing has been a turbulent place this year and in the UK’s May labour market it was the only sector that had a smaller demand for permanent staff. Cost cutting measures introduced by national chains showed a 0.8% drop in retail staff demand in May, while the overall vacancy index rose from 61.5 to 61.9 in May. Pay growth increased more rapidly for starting salaries in May than it has for three years. So while supermarkets like Waitrose are reporting no profit in the quarter and using their recruitment CRM software to relocate retail managers into other business areas, most other sectors are actively hunting for mid-level staff and offering attractive starting salaries.

Tourism recruitment

Dorset is just one county that is reporting tourism job vacancies at an all-time high with applicants at an all-time low. Apparently there’s been a sharp decline in net migration so there are fewer staff from Europe seeking work in hospitality – and rising food prices have also hit the recruitment industry hard. Recruitment database software shows that industries in general are experiencing around a 7% lower uptake rate from European candidates for UK jobs, and for Dorset, where around 13% of the local tourism employment pool is overseas, this is significant. One estimate says that 96% of Europeans working in the UK at present wouldn’t receive a work visa under suggested new guidelines.


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