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In September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that job vacancies had soared to more than one million for the first time since official records began in 2001, highlighting the true extent of the UK’s hiring crisis.

In a year where the labour market remained in flux due to Covid and Brexit, the CIPD’s Recruitment and Talent Planning Survey 2021, produced in partnership with Omni, reveals that many employers are still not focusing their efforts on recruitment and retention.

Now, more than ever, it is imperative for organisations to take a strategic approach to resourcing. However, 43% of the 1,000 employers surveyed are failing to plan ahead for future skills and employee requirements and are instead choosing to rely on an ad hoc approach to recruitment. Furthermore, only 46% have a workforce planning strategy based on a robust understanding of their current and future workforce needs.

Data plays a pivotal role in workforce planning and should be harnessed to inform talent strategies. Despite this, fewer than half collect data to identify skills gaps in their business, and less than a third collect data to help highlight future skill requirements. A lack of awareness around key areas of resourcing also stood out in the results, with only 20% of organisations taking the time to calculate the cost of labour turnover and just 13% measuring the return on investment of their recruitment activities.

Claire McCartney, senior resourcing and inclusion adviser at the CIPD, commented: “The pandemic has meant many organisations haven’t had the bandwidth to look ahead when it comes to resourcing – and our research shows that many organisations are not in the habit of collecting data on their current and future workforce needs. However, that’s exactly what they need to be doing if they’re to survive and thrive, given the current hiring crisis on our hands and changing dynamics of the labour market.”

With businesses struggling to secure the skills they need, it’s time for them to adjust their talent strategies to meet shifting market demands rather than simply reverting to those that served them well in the past. For employers, greater focus should be placed on retaining and upskilling their current workforce, with more creative thinking required with regards to the future of work and how talent can be diversified.

The winners are likely to be the ones reshaping their talent strategies to ensure they continue to attract, develop and retain the best. For many, establishing strategic partnerships with providers to harness the expertise, agility and pace required to navigate the challenging labour market will be critical to this success.

Stay tuned to the Omni Knowledge Centre, where we’ll be sharing further insights from the report and discussing the steps that today’s employers need to take to win the war on talent.


Can’t wait that long?

Click here to download your copy of the full Recruitment and Talent Planning Survey 2021 report and its accompanying case studies


Key Challenges in the Road Ahead…  

In our guide, ‘The Talent Acquisition Odyssey: Key Challenges in the Road Ahead’, we delve into some of the main pain points and areas of focus for TA teams right now. We also explore why there is now an increased reliance on external recruitment partners and the significant value they can add to organisations looking to grow and thrive in 2021 and beyond.

Download Guide