04 Aug 2022
by Nina Alag Suri, Shikha Pakhide

Reach + Conversion - The Dual Recruitment Challenges of UK Companies Can Technology Help?

How can technology help the U.K-based companies face their hiring challenges in the post-Brexit phase?  The first challenge is Reaching or finding the right candidates from a limited job pool. Their second challenge is Conversion or the process of making potential candidates apply to a job position in their company. And finally becoming the employer of choice.

According to economist Jack Kennedy in his 2021 UK Labour Market review, Brexit has made it tougher for EU workers to travel and fill open job positions in the U.K. 

Official statistics in the U.K. show that job vacancies jumped to a high of 1.2 million in September 2021. At the same time, the U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows an increase in the number of payroll employees to 29.2 million.

In 2022, there is an ongoing “war” to hire the right talent. What is driving this wave of recruitment-related challenges in the U.K. labour market? Can technology help recruiters meet labour shortage challenges? Let’s discuss.

Here are some of the leading recruitment-related challenges across various industry domains in the U.K.

Great Resignation

According to a recent ONS survey, nearly one million employees changed their jobs in the third quarter of 2021, which is a record. The Indeed report states, “high vacancies along with rising pay in other industry sectors have provided greater opportunity and incentive to move.”

The ongoing great resignation wave in the technology sector is prompting more tech workers to leave their jobs because of various factors, including:

  • Employers not offering the facility of remote (or hybrid) working
  • Lesser wages and lack of recognition
  • Lack of career progression
  • Over-Work burnout

How can employers use technology to overcome the challenge of the Great Resignation? Here are some ways:

  • Use technology to enable hybrid and flexible remote working options for technology workers.
  • Automate all manual (or repetitive) tasks performed by employees so that they can focus their time on high-value tasks.
  • Use technology to identify process bottlenecks, thus improving both process efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Recruiting technical workers

The U.K. technology industry is valued at £184 billion. 94% of technology companies agree that there is an ongoing shortage of technical talent. Only around 60% of these companies offer technical training programs for graduate employees. With the Brexit referendum, there is a growing sense of uncertainty regarding U.K immigration policies for foreign workers.

U.K-based companies need to rethink their recruitment strategy and make it smoother and faster. In this regard, technology can:

  • Make it easier for potential candidates to apply for technical roles
  • Fast track job applications for suitable candidates and make it efficient both for themselves and the candidates
  • Automate the resume screening process and match the right candidate profile with the job requirements.

Diversity and inclusiveness

Even as U.K-based employers are facing a severe worker shortage; employees are still facing high levels of class and race discrimination from employers. A CV-Library study found that two-thirds of British employees have felt that class is an important factor when securing a new job.

As the battle for the top talent continues, employers must look to “differentiate” themselves from the pack. One such approach is to build diversity and inclusiveness in their workforce. Over 20% of technology companies now agree on including more women in their workforce.

To build more objectivity into their hiring process, employers need to:

  • Leverage AI technology for bias-free hiring
  • Use Talent analytics to identify and manage suitable applicants
  • Deploy skill and personality assessment tools and platforms for an unbiased mode of evaluating suitable candidates

Labour shortage

According to this July 2021 article, UK employers are currently facing the worst labour shortage since 1997. Over 40% of the larger companies in the U.K are currently struggling to attract new talent.

To add to the challenges, the British government introduced new immigration policies in January 2021. This has made it time-consuming and expensive for foreign EU workers to get U.K work visas.

Here is how technology can help companies deal with the ongoing labour shortage:

  • The use of industrial robots in the manufacturing industry to complement the existing workforce
  • Investing into upskilling and reskilling tools to prepare the existing workforce for other tasks.

Wage inflation

Thanks to increasing labour demand and skill shortage, U.K-based employees are witnessing a steep rise in starting salaries. Industry sectors with the most skill shortages are showing the most wage inflation. An October 2021 survey by Indeed found that nearly half of the respondents cited “higher pay” as the main reason for a job change.

To overcome the challenge of wage inflation, employers must leverage technologies to boost employee productivity and develop new capabilities. Hiring companies must invest in technology tools to automate mundane “human” tasks and improve their business processes.

In the face of the Brexit referendum, U.K-based companies are facing the toughest challenge of attracting and recruiting the best talent. Organisations need to look at innovative ways to connect with active job seekers and passive talent.

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Nina Alag Suri

Founder and CEO, X0PA AI