Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

How can recruiters fill the skills gap despite unemployment continuing to fall?

Last week it was revealed that unemployment rates fell by 75,000 in the three months to July and are continuing to fall, with the jobless rate currently standing at just 4.3%.

The three-month average number of job vacancies in August was 0.9% lower than the previous three months, suggesting a slowdown in employment growth ahead.


This could present a problem for recruiters and employers who want to find the best candidates for the ever-widening skills gap. The majority of UK businesses have struggled to find workers with the skills they require for their roles, which suggests a number of issues. Firstly, with unemployment falling and much uncertainty surrounding Brexit, people are reluctant to leave stable roles, even if they are overqualified. Secondly, there needs to be more of an investment in the harnessing of talent throughout a person’s education and career.

Darren Diamond, CEO at DYWAJ – Do You Want a Job? outlines the best ways recruiters and employers can find the most appropriate people to fill their positions in order that the skills gap can begin to close.

1. Invest in more on-the-job training

Some candidates may have all the enthusiasm and attitude required for the job, but lack a few of the more specific skills required. This is where additional training can be extremely valuable in ensuring a good candidate has the knowledge required for the job.

Ensure candidates are willing to set aside some free time to learn the skills needed and look out for a history of quick learning on their CV, which could be in the form of speaking a foreign language or playing an instrument to a high level. Short courses can be invaluable to employees and, while they will come at a cost, the staff you invest in will end up with the exact skills your business requires and will be more likely to stay on at the company.

2. Personalise your recruitment messages

Reaching out to potential candidates can be time-consuming, but try not take a “one size fits all” approach, as this will put off more highly-skilled candidates. Be detailed about what you are looking for in job advertisements and personalise your emails or phone calls to highlight aspects of their CV that you think would fit the role.

3. Ensure the job description is enticing

With prospective candidates taking under a minute to read and dismiss job descriptions, it’s vital that you make the role sound as interesting and enticing as possible. If you are listing off a huge number of qualities and responsibilities required for the job, this will likely put many people off, however an overly vague description could have a similar effect too. Ensure the advertisement actually fits what the role requires, so avoid adding in entry-level duties if it’s a mid-level vacancy, for example.

4. Be flexible with your recruitment

When a highly-skilled candidate approaches you, try to take a more person-centred and flexible approach which will allow you to stand out from other recruiters. Providing employee benefits and incentives will allow candidates to see that they will be valued and be part of a happy workplace, which is extremely important to job-hunters.

With unemployment continuing to fall but the skills gap widening in the wake of Brexit uncertainty, it’s essential that recruiters make the most of the candidates they have available to them. If you need help filling a skills gap, DYWAJ - Do You Want A Job? ( allows recruiters to access hundreds of thousands of CVs online to find the best candidates for a job opening. Candidates can also upload their CVs to the website for free, which includes a free review.