Majority of UK businesses say hiring has become harder

New research suggests three out of four (74%) UK businesses feel hiring has become harder in the past five years. The survey by Indeed of 1,000 workers and 1,000 hiring professionals in the UK shows that the hiring process is inefficient and frustrating, with 63% of hiring professionals wanting to be more productive but 61% feeling like they’re wasting time.

Ambitious hiring targets don’t align with today’s sourcing challenges 

With over 908,000 job vacancies in the UK, according to ONS data, and 53% of businesses saying they have ambitious hiring targets this year, the pressure is on. But, discovering quality candidates who are open to a new role can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack; in fact, 66% of hiring professionals discount some hiring sites for fear they won’t be able to find a pool of candidates who could be a good fit. And three in five lament that some platforms do have quality candidates but it’s hard to find those who are open to new roles. It’s no surprise that 65% say that the lack of quality candidates is one of the biggest frustrations in their job.

This inefficiency means hiring professionals are spending precious time contacting unsuitable candidates. 62% of job seekers have been contacted for roles that aren’t right for them, while 66% say companies can do a better job of reviewing their skills and experience before reaching out. This exacerbates the poor response rate hiring professionals often receive, as on average, candidates only respond 40% of the time. Access to the right talent pool streamlines the hiring process for everyone.

In the past year alone, 32% of contacted candidates were unsuitable due to avoidable reasons such as location, qualifications or lack of interest in new opportunities. Meanwhile,  83% of job seekers say they’ve not had a response when they’ve applied for a job while almost 3 in 4 (72%) hiring managers admit to feeling guilty that they’ve not responded to applicants. This is having an impact on job seekers’ belief in finding the right role, with 41% saying not hearing back from employers significantly impacts confidence in their job search.

As pain points increase so does the demand for AI 

Despite the clear challenges faced by hiring professionals, only 32% of hiring managers say they have incorporated AI into their hiring process. Yet, 55% agree that an AI tool that helps with administrative tasks such as candidate outreach and messaging would significantly improve their productivity.

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

To help make hiring more efficient, Indeed has unveiled Smart Sourcing, an AI-powered product that enables employers to source an active talent pool of nearly 300 million workers globally, based on profiles and CVs shared on Indeed. Their AI-powered matching engine instantly recommends the best candidates for a job based on an individual’s skills, experiences and qualifications. Employers can then quickly review matched candidates, directly connect with them, and ultimately hire faster.

Three key advantages to Smart Sourcing make it a uniquely powerful tool:

  • Access to a large, active talent pool: Smart Sourcing recommends and prioritises qualified candidates based on an employer’s unique job requirements, focusing on people who are actively looking for a new job, especially those active on Indeed over the past 30 days. In a survey of UK employers already using Smart Sourcing, 89% say it is their preferred product for finding active candidates. 80% report that Indeed has a larger pool of active candidates than other job sites.
  • Ability to easily discover and review relevant, quality candidates: Indeed provides a list of candidates matched to employers’ needs. This includes AI-powered candidate summaries with context on why someone is a good fit for a role, speeding up the evaluation process. Candidate summaries also explain why some candidates should not be overlooked. For example, having four years of experience when the job asks for five could be a negligible difference. Then, employers can easily invite qualified candidates to apply for their roles directly from the product. And when invited, these matched candidates are 31 times more likely to apply than if they found the job on their own.
  • AI-powered connections: Employers can quickly connect with qualified candidates by generating custom AI-powered messages based on their job criteria. Smart Sourcing is saving employers time—most (74%) say it provides the most effective way to communicate with candidates, while 74% of employers report it is the fastest way to make a quality hire.

There are exciting developments for job seekers too. Through an updated toggle within Indeed Profile, job seekers will soon be able to choose to make themselves visible to employers and available for outreach. This allows them to be considered and contacted for relevant jobs, bringing more opportunities directly to them.

“The hiring process is broken and must be revolutionalised so the process of matching the right candidates with the right jobs is a simple one. For job seekers, navigating the job market can be disheartening, especially when competition is high and engagement is low. Meanwhile, hiring managers face difficulties sourcing quality candidates, exacerbated by inefficient recruitment practices and the lack of effective tools for accurately matching skills and job requirements. This misalignment not only prolongs vacancy periods but also impacts productivity and morale” says Raj Mukherjee, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Employer at global matching and hiring platform Indeed. “Leveraging Indeed’s AI-powered technology will help to transform job matching and hiring, supporting job seekers and hiring managers to help the world work better. Jobseekers are 31 times more likely to apply when employers reach out through our Matched Candidates solution vs finding the job on their own through search.”

Graham Parkin, Recruitment Manager, Healthcare Homes said: “During our trial of Indeed Smart Sourcing the recruitment team have found the ease of use to be excellent. Over the course of the two months we offered 50% of the candidates contacted a position with our company and feel the new developments being made to the product will only enhance the results further. We look forward to using this in the future.”

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024