Where have all the candidates gone

Posted by Parc Ellis on 29-01-2018

Where Have all the Candidates Gone?

This is not a simple question to answer but as recruiters it’s our responsibility to understand what the issues are and how to address them for benefit of our clients. We’ve studied this topic previously, but from a more narrow view, examining where all the software developers had gone back in 2013. Much has changed since then, with Brexit being one of the biggest factors affecting the UK job market.


Let’s start with some figures to help us understand the contemporary labour landscape. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data for the last quarter of 2017 (the most up-to-date at the time of writing) shows a nation in excellent health. 32.21 million people are in work, an increase of 102,000 from the previous quarter and the highest number ever recorded. The unemployment rate is 4.3%, the joint lowest since 1975. The employment rate of 16-64 year-olds stands at 75.3%, the joint highest since records began in 1971.


GDP also continues to steadily rise, with the latest ONS figures showing small but consistent increases. Despite Brexit fears, the economy is doing well with the pound is performing better against the dollar and the Euro. Many UK-based companies have invested heavily in growth and development since the 2007 financial meltdown and Brexit has not significantly affected their long-term plans. However, international investment into the UK has started to slow as Robin Walduck, tax Partner at KPMG UK, explains:


“For companies already investing or located in the UK, their perspective is that it is an attractive place to do business and executives are broadly confident about the country’s future prospects. For those on the outside looking in, the picture is looking less positive and businesses are markedly more bearish.”


The UK has always relied on the influx of foreign workers to fill voids in the labour market and the latest ONS figures show the number of people migrating to the UK is still higher than the number leaving. However, the number of EU citizens leaving the UK has risen sharply resulting in a fall in net migration. A Baker Mckenzie survey from the summer of 2017 asked EU employees at FTSE 250 companies about their intentions to remain in the UK as a result of Brexit. 56% of respondents expected to leave either before a final EU divorce agreement was reached or shortly thereafter. 86% of respondents who worked within the healthcare sectors indicated they would be leaving the UK. A staggering 70% of respondents said they felt more exposed to discrimination as a result of the Brexit vote. These numbers are quite alarming and with so many EU workers delivering much needed skills to the UK’s economy, the result of this exodus could be catastrophic. 


With GDP steadily rising and inward investment continuing to grow. Companies are ignoring the bad publicity Brexit has brought and with the grit the British are renowned for, it is business as usual. However, finding the right people to fill the glut of positions that are becoming available as EU nationals leave and new jobs are created, we are heading towards a skills shortage not seen for many decades. For organisations looking to grow, plans must be made to avoid being left with unfilled roles vital to the continuance and growth of their business. Long-term strategies must be devised and implemented, but what and how?


Our solution is simple: continuous recruitment. This is not a new concept and most large companies have enough the resources to constantly search for their next employees (continuously recruit). They employ teams dedicated to the constant supply of people and are able to foresee the drop in the supply of labour and know how to circumvent it. Unfortunately, smaller companies who would greatly benefit from continuous recruitment often lack the deep pockets required to meet the cost of advertising or employing a team of in-house recruiters.


If SMEs had access to a continuous recruitment model without the expense, it would mitigate costs companies don’t even factor into their annual budgeting. Improving down-time when someone leaves or allowing for quicker, flexible expansion, coupled with the ability to map competitors hiring needs and policies, provides the inside knowledge that smaller companies have not been able to harness.


Parc Ellis has been providing continuous recruitment services to SMEs since 2008 and we have perfected the integration of our expertise into our clients’ hiring processes. The seamless connection we create between us and our clients has benefited countless businesses through the provision of both a “just in time” and a “talent marketing”  approach usually only available to big organisations with giant recruitment budgets. To find out how we can help you future-proof your hiring process, or assess the true cost of recruiting give us a call.


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