Skills shortages

With the UK unemployment rate at its lowest rate since records began in 1975, and a substantial fall in the number of EU workers in the UK, there is a significant skills shortage developing.

In fact, the Open University recently undertook a survey of 400 firms which has highlighted the problem. Almost all of the firms surveyed said they had challenges finding workers with the skills required, whilst 56% of firms have had to increase the salary on a role to attract the right person with the right skill set.

New opportunities

The latest survey should come as no surprise. In July of 2016, the issue of skills shortages was highlighted in the CBI Annual Report and with the continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit (as highlighted in my previous article, there has been a fall in the number of EU workers in the UK. It dropped by 50,000 in the last 3 months of last year.

This is all great news for recruiters and, in particular, provides significant opportunities for headhunters. With employers increasingly struggling to find the right people for their advertised roles, headhunters can provide the solution. By proactively finding people who don’t respond to adverts and aren’t looking for a new role, a good headhunter will identify those individuals who are interested in moving jobs if presented with the right opportunity.

Great value for money

Many employers perceive the cost of headhunters to be prohibitive but the reality is that in such a challenging market, good headhunters provide excellent value for money. By finding the best available person for a role, a headhunter can save an employer a significant amount of cost in terms of time and money.

The Open University survey found that many employers were finding the recruitment process was taking more time than usual to recruit the right person. This means many firms are having to spend time on hiring temporary staff and paying additional recruitment fees, as well as having to offer higher salaries. And with many temporary workers often moving on to a different employer in a short space of time, more than one temporary person may have to be hired, significantly increasing time and costs from the employers perspective.

However, a great headhunter can find the best person first time, usually without having to advertise a salary, ensuring they identify individuals who want to move for the right reasons. This also means that an employer can acquire an individual at a lower salary than they would otherwise have been prepared to offer.

So in a market with such skills shortages, headhunters should really be highlighting their value to prospective clients and not be overly eager to offer discounts in order to win business.