The ‘great resignation’ of last November brought a record number of vacancies to the UK. In November 2021, the Office for National Statistics reported that the number of job vacancies in the UK had reached a new record of 1,172,000. The ‘great resignation’, otherwise known as ‘the big quit’, saw one in four workers in the UK planning to change their jobs, most frequently due to post-pandemic changes in priorities, boredom, and even the desire to travel.
One year later, in November 2022, where does the UK recruitment landscape find itself? And what trends have we experienced over the last year? Let’s find out.
- The candidate-driven market continues
Last November, the high number of employees leaving their jobs combined with a growing number of vacancies in UK businesses as we began to emerge from the restrictions of the pandemic to create a candidate-driven market, with more jobs than there were candidates. A candidate-driven market gives candidates the power to negotiate better salaries and more benefits and makes the recruitment process more difficult for employers, who might not be able to fill their vacant roles. This trend has continued in 2022, but with some changes.
According to the 2022 Q2 ONS data, the average time to hire for Q2 2022 was 6.76 weeks, increasing by almost a week since Q1 (6.04 weeks), highlighting the difficulties of businesses who want to hire but are not finding the right people who are willing and able to fill their roles. The ONS also reported in July that the number of job vacancies in March to May 2022 in the UK rose to a new record. However, the rate of growth is slowing. According to the ONS Labour Market Overview of August 2022, the number of job vacancies in the UK between May to July 2022 was 1.274 million; a decrease of 19,800 from the previous quarter and the first quarterly fall the UK has seen since the summer of 2020 when the desire to recruit increased rapidly.
- Remote hiring and working are still increasing
The pandemic forced UK businesses to hire and work remotely, opening up the potential of overseas candidates. According to Total Jobs, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a third (32%) of businesses have hired more overseas candidates. This shift doesn’t seem to have reversed with the end of social distancing measures. In fact, in 2022 it seems that UK businesses and candidates alike have realised that there are numerous benefits to hiring and working remotely. Businesses can interview a wider pool of candidates, from more locations and in a more efficient way, whilst candidates can fit their interviews and even their work more flexibly around their lives.
- Other priorities for candidates are coming to the fore
In 2022, candidates have not just been driven to choose the company with the highest salary or best benefits package. Other factors are also coming more and more into play. For some candidates, flexibility and the ability to take time away from work to travel or even to work abroad in an overseas office has become more of a priority, whilst for others, the ability to work remotely or in a hybrid manner to avoid high-risk situations is still important. More broadly, awareness of social issues has increased and candidates are looking to work at companies whose values align with their own. According to the McKinsey’s Diversity Wins report, companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity on executive teams are now 33% likely to make more profit, and companies with greater gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform.
2022 has seen an increase in gamification in the interviewing and onboarding process for UK companies. Companies like Attensi are revolutionising how UK businesses recruit and onboard talent. What is gamification, exactly? It’s when you make any process into a digital game. Interview questions and tests lend themselves easily to gamification, as candidates can interact with a virtual environment resembling that which they would encounter in their prospective jobs and face situations with multiple choices and employers can review which decisions the candidates make. The global gamification market is projected to grow from $9.1 billion in 2020 to $30.7 billion by 2025 and a Gartner report shows that gamification has now been adopted by more than 70% of businesses belonging to the Global 2000 list of companies. Including technical and gamified psychometric tests has become a popular way to remove unconscious bias from the recruitment process and examine how candidates would approach day-to-day tasks.
- Overseas hiring has increased (beyond Europe)
In a post-Brexit and post-pandemic world, UK businesses are looking further afield to hire their new talent and fill the skills gap left by the great resignation. According to Total Jobs, as of July 2022, over half of UK businesses were planning to hire from overseas markets within the next year and a third had already increased their international hiring within the last two years.
Although 32% of UK businesses have hired fewer candidates from the EU in the last two years, perhaps due to Brexit, this has not stopped businesses from hiring overseas beyond Europe, as remote working has expanded the pool of candidates from which UK businesses can hire.
- Digital industries are booming
There is some good news for UK employers, however. In 2022, the UK has seen an increase in growth in primarily digital industries’ hiring in the UK. According to Q2 ONS statistics, the industries most likely to have increased recruitment in the UK are media/marketing/advertising/PR and sales (46%), IT and telecoms (45%), and medical and health and hospitality and leisure (both at 43%). What’s more, within the last year, the UK has emerged as one of the leading global fintech hubs. According to The Global City, we now have 2,500 fintech companies in Britain, and The London Stock Exchange has noted that the UK is now the third biggest fintech hub in the world.
So, there you have it! The UK recruitment landscape has seen some turbulent times recently, but the last year gives us some reasons to be hopeful for the year ahead. At Troi, we always stay abreast of key recruitment trends and we can help you navigate this complex recruitment landscape and hire the best candidates for your business. If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for your business, click here or book a chat with us here.