Business owners unsure about PM employment target
British businesses anticipate recruitment will be difficult over the next couple of years

Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of British companies do not believe David Cameron’s target of full employment will be achieved in the next five years.

The data from totaljobs also reveals that 43 per cent of jobseekers say they have been more selective about the roles that they have taken over the last three years.

As a result, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of businesses have experienced restricted growth due to a shrinking talent pool and 55 per cent say that they currently have a skills shortage in their business.

The research, which surveyed 100 UK businesses and over 4,000 jobseekers, finds that nearly half (49 per cent) of British businesses anticipate recruitment will be difficult over the next couple of years, with the average number of candidates interviewed per role currently six.

Despite employers finding it harder to find new talent, 65 per cent of jobseekers think it has been more difficult to get a job compared to the last time they were looking for a new role.

This contradiction demonstrates the continued mismatch between the skills held by candidates and those demanded by employers.

With the national unemployment rate at 5.1 per cent, its lowest level since May 2008, the recruitment industry is seeing a shift in candidate supply and demand with the significant majority (68 per cent) of employers saying it is now more candidate-led than in the last five years.

More than a third (31 per cent) of respondents surveyed say they believe that as the economy continues to get stronger, finding talent becomes a bit more difficult. 

John Salt, group sales director at totaljobs, say that the research reinforces the argument that the UK economy will struggle to maintain long-term sustainable growth if the mismatch between the supply of jobs and existing jobseeker talent pool is not addressed.

‘In an increasingly candidate-led market, there are a number of ways businesses can ensure that they are recruiting and employing the right talent. 

Salt adds that is has never been more important to ensure that businesses retain a clear focus on employer brand positioning across multiple channels to attract the right talent.

‘This should then be complemented by initiatives that speak directly to candidates as individuals, headlining what appeals to them most. This can include company culture, not just skills and experience, the type of working environment and a business’ approach to work-life balance.’

The Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that 60,000 people will lose their jobs as a result of the changes to the national living wage.

However, encouragingly for jobseekers, 95 per cent of businesses say the new national living wage won’t discourage them from hiring and 77 per cent of employers regularly train people into roles demonstrating that employers are already adapting to a tougher recruitment outlook.

Further reading on skills 

See also: Employment law for business owners

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