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The Skills Shortage Creating a Crisis in the Jobs Market

skills shortage

UK companies are always on the hunt for high calibre, talented recruits with a broad range of skills. As companies continue to expand roles to maintain profit margins, the fallout from COVID-19 has created a unique situation of highly marketable candidates that are difficult to attract. This means the best employees are already in top jobs and the situation creates a bidding war between current employers and recruiters.

The Rise of Targeted “Head-Hunting”

There has been a significant shift once again towards targeted head-hunting recently. Combining a targeted search with traditional advertising and database services can ensure that recruiters have used every possible avenue in their search for highly capable exceptional candidates. While traditional head-hunting methods were used to find senior staff, mostly at director or executive level, the process has now trickled down the employee pyramid to search for talented managers, department heads, and professional staff. Head-hunting is more often than not outsourced to a recruitment company that has the knowledge and detailed research in place to find a company a good match for their vacancy.

What are the advantages of using a third-party reputable recruiter?

Market Knowledge: Recruitment specialists interact with the job market on a daily basis, equipping themselves with expert knowledge that provides clients with a view of the whole jobs market, as companies only tend to get involved with recruitment when they are actively looking for employees.

Recruitment Expertise: Agencies have resources, contacts, and the latest technology to find relevant and qualified candidates, making the process as quick and efficient as possible.

Save Money: Using a recruitment agency and a knowledgeable consultant will save your company time and money. Highlighting your requirements quickly to an expert team allows them to start their search while your current team members continue with their regular duties.

Selection Process: A recruitment agency usually has a robust and thorough selection process that creates a curated list of appropriate candidates that increase your chances of finding the most suitable recruit.

Sensitivity: There are many reasons why you might reach out to an agency to run a covert recruitment campaign; the new role may be confidential, you might want to avoid tricky questions about salary, and you will likely want to ensure employee retention.

Recruitment experts should listen carefully to the employers and be upfront with them about their expectations, what would be a realistic outcome, and create a recruitment strategy that meets the client’s needs in a way that is appropriate and achievable.

If you are considering using a third-party recruitment consultant, it is imperative you check the party you are communicating with has an extensive network of industry contacts and a good understanding of the current recruitment landscape. They should have a good grasp of your market and your company so they can offer you sound and actionable advice. Otherwise, they might waste your time introducing you to individuals that might not have the relevant experience or fit with your company culture.

Top Three Tips

  1. An attractive salary – make sure the package you are offering reflects the calibre of person you want to fill the role.
  2. Create a detailed job specification and clearly advertise the benefits of the position. What do you want the candidate to bring to your company/team and what are you going provide them in return?
  3. Don’t waste time! Get through your interview process quickly if you want to secure the highly sought-after individuals.

Richard Clegg is Managing Director at



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