Despite the coronavirus pandemic seeing unemployment rates skyrocket throughout 2020, the war on talent shows no signs of abating for businesses in a multitude of sectors and industries.
Omni’s Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2020, delivered in partnership with the CIPD, revealed that nearly three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent) saw increased competition for talent and changes in the skills needed for jobs over the last 12 months. While specialists and technical posts remain the most difficult to fill, organisations reported challenges recruiting and retaining employees at all levels compared to previous years.
With questions still swirling around Brexit and the 2021 introduction of IR35 in the private sector, plus ongoing uncertainty about the impact of the coronavirus, organisations must have the right skills to ensure they can keep business-critical operations running. So, what exactly are employers doing to secure specialist talent? Here’s what our survey uncovered:
- Broadening the search area
Focusing on one location is no longer an option when it comes to finding the right skills. Forty-one per cent of the organisations we surveyed said they had recruited from a wider geographical area over the last 12 months compared to the previous year.
- ‘In’ the market (not just ‘on’ the market)
Employers holding out for the right candidates to become available will find themselves waiting a long time. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that 44 per cent of employers claim they have started to target passive candidates in an effort to reduce recruitment difficulties.
- Increased reliance on technology
While dependence on tech was inevitable in 2020 due to social distancing, organisations reported they were upping their use of technology to attract candidates. Unsurprisingly, the most effective methods have been corporate websites and professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn. Additionally, the proportion of businesses using technology to conduct interviews has continued to grow, with the use of online tests and assessments up 23 per cent from 2017. Those respondents using technology reported a speedier recruitment process and improved candidate experience.
- Transferable skills
The report found that many employers are turning to candidates from other sectors who may not possess the precise experience they are looking for but have potential. As such, more in-house training and skills development initiatives have been implemented in 2020 so organisations can focus on growing and building the skills they need themselves. 19 per cent of organisation are now offering career returner programmes and 16 per cent providing mid-career change programmes.
What’s next for 2021?
With skill gaps widening in certain sectors, it’s clear that employers must also place greater emphasis on developing talent in-house. Encouragingly, the survey suggests that many organisations are already implementing internal opportunities, including upskilling existing employees to fill hard-to-recruit-for positions and sponsoring relevant professional qualifications.
It’s a win-win situation. Developing talent in-house enables organisations to tailor programmes to meet their specific skill requirements, decrease their reliance on the external labour market, enhance commitment and engagement, and reduce recruitment and retention costs.
Download the report
Now in its twenty-first year, the Resourcing and Talent Planning survey examines resourcing practices, and the challenges organisations are facing to provide people professionals and their organisations with benchmarking data on critical areas such as recruitment costs, employee turnover and retention. Get your copy today!