Overview for 2023 : The ever-increasing war for talent

If you talk to any business leader right now at the forefront of their minds is a skills and capability shortage, the need for increased productivity and restricted candidate availability.  The ever-increasing war for talent.

The causes of the current labour market deficiencies are so layered, it is almost impossible to provide a simple answer as to why. The current situation is unprecedented and there is no ‘one size fits all’ response or recruitment solution, primarily because the challenges are so complex and are impacting different sectors in different ways.  
In part the reduction in available labour is interconnected to the UK’s exit from the European Union and the exodus of overseas nationals returning to native soil. More than 200,000 EU citizens left the UK during 2020.  In reverse there is also the challenge of fewer EU workers travelling to Britain given the government’s 2021 post-Brexit immigration points-based Visa programme.  

A decreased reliance on face-to-face work means that individuals are now applying for jobs in different cities, regions and in some cases, countries, whilst still working from home. In addition, thousands of workers placed on furlough at the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020 also switched sectors leaving cavernous employment gaps.
The COVID Pandemic has changed how we live and work and, in many ways, for some it could have altered our office-based behaviour permanently. The days of the 9-5 or 8-6 have disappeared, now gracing the shelfs as “dusty books from the past”, to be open and peered at by the eyes of future generations with wide-eyed disbelief.

The tide has turned from the employer to the employee, now the negotiating power sits firmly with the latter.

Betsy Williamson CEO, Core-Asset Consulting

For employers the rapidly changing employment market means the balance of power is shifting. The tide has turned from the employer to the employee, now the negotiating power sits firmly with the latter.    

To access and maintain this new pool of labour efficiently organisations must pay close attention to what potential candidates want; basic salary increases to meet rising inflation, more focus on employee wellbeing, increased investment in training and development, finding ways to carefully and creatively support employees grappling with the rising cost-of-living.

Winning the race for talent requires a deep understanding of what employee’s value. Research around the world shows what employee’s expectations have changed considerably over the past two years. Flexibility is the name of the game, but as a basic benefit, not a nice to have. Flexible working has become the norm for many, and organisations need to re-position and re-invented themselves to compete effectively for talent. 

During 2023 we may see demand in the labour market slow given the Bank of England’s recession forecasts, however skills shortages are likely to continue. 

Businesses need to be prepared to market to candidates just as they would to potential customers

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