Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Skills shortages are impacting three-quarters of recruiters’ hiring efforts, with new data revealing the jobs that are hardest to fill

72.1% of hiring professionals believe that ongoing skills shortages are impacting their recruitment efforts, rising to 94.7% in the retail industry, 83.9% in distribution, 83.1% in manufacturing, 81.7% in engineering and 76.2% amongst those in the construction industry.

That’s according to a new survey of 300 UK recruitment professionals from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board. Furthermore, CV-Library has analysed millions of CV and jobs earches run on its platform throughout 2019, to compare employer demand with candidate appetite. It reveals that the roles with the biggest skills shortages include: 

  • Registered Nurse (32nd most searched for by employers, 1,830rd by candidates)
  • Physiotherapist (59th most searched for by employers, 1,703rd by candidates)
  • Occupational Therapist (60th most searched for by employers, 1,203rd by candidates)
  • Primary Teacher (40th most searched for by employers, 819th by candidates)
  • Java Developer (36th most searched for by employers, 751sby candidates)
  • Legal Secretary (61st most searched for by employers, 572nd by candidates)
  • Nursery Nurse (62nd most searched for by employers, 380th by candidates)
  • Healthcare Assistant (64th most searched for by employers, 249th by candidates)
  • Carer (65th most searched for by employers, 272nd by candidates)
  • Purchase Ledger (66th most searched for by employers, 299th by candidates)

In addition to this, the job board looked at application data from 1st January – 31st December 2019 and compared this with findings from 1st January – 31st December 2014, to understand how the job market has evolved over the past five years. It reveals that application numbers have fallen by the greatest amount in the following industries:

  • Retail (down 43.8%)
  • Catering (down 32.7%)
  • Administration (down 16.6%)
  • Customer Service (down 16.1%)
  • Recruitment (down 9.8%)
  • Electronics (down 5.4%)
  • Medical (down 5.3%)
  • Charity (down 2.9%)
  • Social Care (down 1.4%)
  • Education (down 0.3%)

Despite this, demand for talent in each of these industries has increased. In fact, job numbers grew by 72.2% in retail, 28% in catering, 71.9% in administration, 72.3% in customer service, 44.4% in recruitment, 43.8% in electronics, 75.6% in medical, 77.9% in charity, 105.6% in social care and 78% in education. 

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, comments:

The UK skills crisis is a problem that isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Plus, it may worsen when the new immigration laws come into effect early next year, particularly for sectors that are heavily reliant on EU talent to fill their vacancies. For recruiters working in agencies, or in-house atorganisations, there’s immense pressure to source the best candidates and fast. But this simply isn’t achievable when people aren’t actively looking for new jobs. There’s definitely pressure to take a more proactive approach and think outside the box if you want to be a step ahead of the competition.”

According to CV-Library’s study of recruiters, 57.3% plan on hiring outside of their industry in 2020, in order to find top talentfor their vacancies. This rose to 61.3% in sales, 60% in the social care industry and 58.1% in marketingAlongside this, when asked what areas they focus on the most when assessing candidates, 92.6% of recruiters said experience, 56.7% said potential and 33.8% said their hard skills.

Biggins continues:

“When it comes to finding the right candidates for your vacancies, you’ll want to make sure they match up to set criteria for the role. However, when skill shortages are rife you should definitely consider hiring someone based on their potential, rather than their experience. It’s not always an easy sell, but it can pay off massively and may be the only option in certain industries where you don’t need specific qualifications to apply.

About CV-Library

CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites and attracts over 4.3 million unique job seekers every month. Founded by Lee Biggins in 2000, CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent online job board with a database of over 14 million CVs.