Why are employers struggling to recruit?
Entry-level candidates account for a huge proportion of the jobs market. Yet many employers are struggling to recruit. This is sometimes because prospective candidates lack certain skills and relevant experience. It is also related to how recruiters perceive would-be employees’ skills/ability levels and how they go about recruiting, generally.
Here, we highlight some of the main reasons why employers are struggling to recruit, and offer recommendations as to how the problem might be solved.
To apply for entry-level jobs, click here.
Inability to identify sufficient ‘job-ready’ applicants
Paul Myers, internal recruitment manager at Nonstop Recruitment, said: “The challenge for our clients is sourcing ‘job-ready’ professionals. More graduates and school-leavers are leaving education without understanding what’s required.
“The workplace isn’t all about having access to training, development or bonding with co-workers – sometimes it’s about putting the graft in and getting things done. Many have unrealistic expectations of pay and immediate opportunities, which doesn’t help employers. Schools and universities have to do a lot more to teach youngsters about factors, such as work ethic and recognising that they will be part of a commercial organisation.
“From the hirer’s point of view, perhaps there needs to be a re-evaluation of attraction strategies. While social media can be immensely valuable, there is a risk of placing too much emphasis on it. At the entry or graduate level, it can be just as effective to go back to basics and adopt a more traditional approach.
“A large proportion of graduates still value person to person interaction with potential employers early in the hiring process. It’s important not to forget this is still a great opportunity to engage with your audience.”
A lack of relevant education and core skills
Career mentor Penny Davenport said: “Core educational skills are as important as they ever were in the job market. English and maths are the foundation for all other subjects, and in reality, for the majority of jobs. The good news is it’s never too late to learn. There are books, online courses and adult education offerings to suit every need.
“Start learning immediately, plug the gaps in your CV and show willing to potential employers. If possible, go for a recognised qualification no matter what your age.”
Highlighting expertise from previous jobs, showing off practical skills, willingness to learn and good references can persuade employers to take a chance on you.
Career coach Sinead Howland, of Sinead Howland Career Coaching said: “Maths and English GCSEs are something employers like to see. These can be studied in the daytime or evening in your local college. If you are worried about affording course fees, speak to the student support team for information on available funding.
“Many local colleges offer courses on employability, covering interview skills, job search and CV writing. They will be able to help you identify what skills and experience you already have and how you can demonstrate them to employers.”
A lack of work experience among job candidates
Work experience for those in education is extremely beneficial for employers and young people.
Recruitment expert Ron Stewart, chief executive of Jobs4Medical said: “I am a strong supporter of work experience placements for students in school. If we encourage our future workforce to get hands-on and really understand what kind of jobs are out there and where we need people, the job landscape could change for the better.
“Work experience is a great way to help young people decide on which careers they would like to pursue. By having an idea of which direction they want to go in early on, they are able to work towards a goal, ensuring they obtain the necessary qualifications as they go.”
Employers are not engaging with young people early enough
Experts say that by liaising with schools to develop the right qualifications – and helping to inspire and excite future employees – employers can attract talent more easily to their jobs.
Ron Stewart explained: “If students become interested in pursuing a certain career, there is a need for employers to liaise with schools, regarding the qualifications that are needed, so that everyone is on the same page.
“Another great initiative is for employers to visit schools, giving talks on what their company does and what a working day would be like. Often students just have no idea what these companies are and what they do.
“If they did, then hopefully we would have students excited about joining the workforce. Jobs fairs and events at universities can work just as well for undergraduate students.”
Employers aren’t maximising online recruitment practices
Ben Hutt, chief executive of Talent Party (UK) said: “One of the biggest issues businesses face when it comes to recruiting, is the time it takes to find the right people. It’s a real problem, and employers are making the recruitment process more complex and lengthy than it needs to be because they are not making the most of useful and relevant online recruitment practices.
“People have grown to expect long, painful hiring processes, but the good news is there are better faster ways, and employers are starting to recognise this.
“Recruitment doesn’t need to be such a hassle and the use of recruitment technology, in particular, big data, can help employers to find the best talent that’s right for their business, quickly and inexpensively.
“Recruitment technology, particularly which includes vast pools of candidates, recruiters and employers, is helping to dramatically reduce time to hire whilst also improving the quality of the outcome.
“This could not be possible without data science and the power of the Internet and cloud-based technologies. In our business, for example, we use it to extract and analyse information from more than 10 million candidate career histories. Fabulous algorithms then make it easy for even the most time-poor employer, to create a shortlist of great candidates within a few minutes. Then the recruiters with relationships with those candidates do the work to screen candidates and organise interviews. Quick and easy!”