top talent

Staking a claim in the skills rush | Recruiters Weekly News

A new survey finds businesses are having to table higher wage offers to entice top talent to the UK. We also look at how demand for key skills is being mapped geographically, and ask: will industry-wide hubs reshape the societies of the fourth industrial revolution?

Wage increases address the skills gap

With the big story of the week focusing on the public sector wage cap, a comparative story went by almost unnoticed.

According to a new employment survey carried out by the Open University, private sector employers are having to raise wages for new recruits “above the market rate”, to guarantee access to vital skills.

The report gives a suggested figure of £2bn as the combined cost increase of recruiting workers over the last twelve months.

Broken down, this gives an average salary increase of £4,150 for each vacancy in a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) – or £5,575 per position in larger firms. Overall, 56 per cent of respondents said they had increased an advertised salary in order to guarantee a hire in the last year.

With UK unemployment at its lowest since 1975, one can appreciate the challenges that businesses face in the hiring process. With costs increasing, it is a matter we take very seriously at eBoss – which is why our semantic search recruitment software is designed to help businesses discover key talent more easily, and save money in the long run.

Re-location, location, location

Hays released its latest Quarterly Report for the Australian recruitment industry this week. The over-arching theme was the fourth industrial revolution – digital in nature, and evolving so rapidly that many of today’s key skills were not even known about just a few years ago.

One of the more interesting topics of analysis was the geographical mapping of skills requirements. For example, New South Wales is crying out for more business intelligence analysts, while Queensland has an unusually high appetite for full stack developers.

It has, of course, been possible to search for jobs by location for a very long time. But we wonder if this data is really of more significance to recruiters, not candidates, this time around.

What is interesting here is the notion of “trend-spotting” in job locations. We have seen companies becoming increasingly pro-active in attracting top talent into their ranks – and away from their competitors. Are we soon to see like-minded businesses converging on a perceived industry hub, as they seek the top talent in their field?

In Britain, the obvious example of this is of course the financial sector in the City of London. But what of other examples? Sunny Bournemouth is already establishing a reputation for itself as one of the country’s leading digital and tech hub – “Silicon Beach”, as it is called locally, not Silicon Valley.

With Millennials far more willing to relocate for work – and keener still to accept contracted positions – could industrial-wide hubs become a social phenomenon of the fourth industrial revolution?

A look at jobs growth

It is always interesting to see what we can take away from jobs growth figures – whether they fit expectations or buck the trend. We often hear how automation has removed demand for many roles; on the other hand, skills shortages have hit the supply side of the recruitment balance sheet. We are working through a period where nobody seems entirely sure where the balance of power lies!

It was with interest, then, that we read the Recruiter report that more than 5,000 new roles were being created in Britain this week. Would they be adding to our vast service economy, or would these be highly specialised areas of expertise?

It was, in fact, a pleasing mix of both. Subway, the sandwich chain, announced 5,000 new posts across 500 new stores; Staffordshire firm Olympus Engineering will take on 20 new engineers, and automobile components manufacturer Lightfoot is on the look-out for product innovators, marketing creatives, and customer support personnel.

Once again, services, hospitality, soft skills, and creativity all appear incredibly resilient throughout the digital transformation of the workplace. It is often said that, eventually, there will be a machine to replace us all. It is reassuring to know – even for those of us who work with automation every day – that we have not reached that point just yet.