New industry study detects ‘early warning sign’ for UK recruitment

But a growing proportion warn of candidate shortages going forward

Recruitment firms in the United Kingdom are broadly optimistic about performance in 2019. But front-line personnel are now warning of a serious shortage of options for employers in the near future.

That is the finding of a new industry study, carried out on behalf of eBoss Online Recruitment Solutions Ltd. The recruitment software specialists undertook the study to examine the availability of skills across the sector – and to determine whether skills gaps were beginning to affect firms’ annual performance. 639 recruitment agency managers, talent managers and consultants were surveyed in the study, which asked respondents: “Will skills gaps impact agency performance in 2019?”.

The survey found that recruiters remained broadly optimistic about their performance in 2019. Just six per cent (6%) of firms expected to struggle to find the skills that their clients requested in 2019. However, of the remaining respondents, most had reported difficulty sourcing high quality candidates.

In total, twenty-eight per cent (28%) of recruiters said that highly qualified candidates were becoming unavailable more quickly in 2019. Seventeen per cent (17%) said that overall candidate numbers had remained steady, but that there were fewer highly skilled individuals among applicants in 2019.

Just sixteen per cent (16%) or recruiters stated that they were comfortably managing to meet client expectations with the skills available to them. In what may be perceived as an early warning sign for the industry, thirty-three per cent (33%) of all those questioned reported that overall candidate numbers had fallen in 2019 – impacting the availability of candidates at all skill levels.

Robert Ward, Director of Sales at eBoss recruitment software said of the report’s findings: “It’s great to see that confidence is so high among our clients and that it is being matched by performance – even after two consecutive years of astounding results. A busy jobs market, combined with increasing competition for new talent is keeping the industry buoyant.”

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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