Queues for jobs – but can we keep staff?

people queuing

As vacancies surge past one million, new research suggests two in five employers hire ad-hoc and are failing to plan for future staff needs.

These were the findings of the CIPD’s latest Recruitment and Talent Planning Survey, which claimed that the recruitment and retention efforts of many employers were found wanting.

Over 1,000 employers were surveyed for the report, which examined their resourcing and talent planning practices. It found that more than two-fifths take an ad-hoc approach to recruitment and are not planning ahead for future skill and staff requirements.

And in organisations that say talent is increasingly difficult to retain, only two fifths had under-taken any kind of retention initiatives.

The report argues that now, more than ever, with a labour market in flux due to Covid and Brexit, organisations need to take a more strategic approach to resourcing – particularly since they may need to train and re-skill more domestic workers or increase routes into work for young people, both of which can take time and investment.

Louise Shaw:Businesses need to retain and upskill their workforce

As it stands, fewer than half of employers have a workforce planning strategy based on a robust understanding of their current and future workforce needs. A similar number collect data to identify skills gaps with fewer than a third collecting data to identify future skill requirements, according to the report which was compiled in collaboration with the recruitment outsource company Omni.

Claire McCartney, senior resourcing and inclusion adviser at the CIPD, said: “The pandemic has meant that many organisations haven’t had the bandwidth to look ahead when it comes to resourcing. Our research also confirms that many organisations aren’t regularly 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 recruitment difficulties hiring crisis on our hands and changing dynamics of the labour market.

“Employers could also be making much better use of data across the board regarding their resourcing practices, so they know what works for them and what doesn’t. This will not just put them in a better position to attract and retaining talent, it will open up access to more di-verse talent too.”

Louise Shaw, Director Resourcing Transformation, Omni RMS, said: “Given the stark reality that we currently lack the right people with the right skills needed for the economy to thrive, companies need to adjust their talent strategies to meet the shifting demands rather than simply reverting to those that served them well in the past.

“Businesses need to retain and upskill their workforce and think creatively about the future of work and how to diversify talent. The winners will be reshaping their talent strategies now to ensure they continue to attract, develop, and retain the best.

“They should apply the same rigour to resource planning as is given to designing overall business strategy.”

Encouragingly, the report finds that more organisations are turning to training and development to address their recruitment difficulties, with a third saying they’ve developed more talent in-house compared to the previous year.

There’s also been an increase in the proportion of organisations offering career-returner and mid-career-change programmes.


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