Significant jump in the number of employers struggling to hang on to their staff

11/06/2007 10:13:00

There has been a significant rise in the number of organisations struggling to retain their staff over the past year and recruitment difficulties persist, according to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). But this research also shows that recruiting from overseas, targeting migrant workers, training existing staff and better use of employer brand will help UK employers tackle these problems.

The CIPD's annual Recruitment, Retention and Turnover Survey finds that almost eight in ten organisations struggled to hang on to their staff in 2006, compared to nearly seven in ten in 2005.

While the large majority of organisations (89%) providing additional training to internal staff so that they can fill vacancies say that it has a positive impact, only 29% of employers currently use this initiative.

Nicola Monson, author of the report, says: "Employers will continue to struggle to find suitable candidates and keep staff turnover under control if their approach to recruitment and retention fails to take account of both business and employee needs.

"Only half of employers currently have a formal resourcing strategy, which suggests many are not planning for the future skills requirements of their organisation. This is particularly worrying given that specialist skills and required experience is still in such short supply.

"All organisations rely on talent so employers need to take a proactive approach to talent management and tap into the skills of the people wanting to contribute and progress.

"Actively developing employees should not only increase the internal talent pool, in turn reducing their reliance on external candidates, but also see problems retaining staff ease due to new career opportunities."

The following initiatives are also very effective in helping organisations to overcome recruitment difficulties:

Using the employer brand as a recruitment tool (75% say it has a positive impact but only 31% currently use)

Offering flexible working (74% say it has a positive impact but only 30% currently use)

Targeting migrant workers from EU countries and recruiting staff from abroad (75% say it has a positive impact but only 14% currently use)

The research will be discussed at the CIPD's Annual Talent Management, Recruitment and Retention Conference, on 19 - 21 June 2007, where delegates can hear what other organisations are doing to tackle their recruitment and retention difficulties.

Recruitment difficulties

Key reasons for recruitment difficulties are lack of necessary specialist skills (65%), followed by higher pay expectations (46%) and insufficient experience (37%).

Only the public sector has seen a drop in recruitment difficulties which reflects the pressure on the public sector to make efficiency savings (80% of public sector organisations say they experienced recruitment difficulties, compared to 89% in the 2006 survey).

Migrant Workers

Organisations are continuing to look beyond the UK to fill vacancies - 14% are targeting migrant workers from EU accession states. This was seen to have a positive impact on recruitment difficulties by 75% of organisations, compared to just 48% in the 2006 survey.

A further one in ten (11%) are recruiting in foreign countries and bringing workers over to the UK.

Working with recruitment agencies

73% of organisations still engage recruitment agency services to help fill job vacancies.

Most respondents agree or strongly agree that using agencies considerably increases the cost of their recruitment spend (76%).

Nearly six in ten fail to evaluate agency performance (59%).

A third of employers don't possess a preferred supplier list.

81% of those employers using recruitment agencies do so for hiring temporary workers and 78% for seeking permanent staff.

The key driver for organisations' move away and decline of agency usage is to cut down on recruitment costs (72%). Adopting a direct-hire strategy is also identified as another motive for not using or reducing the use of agency services (53%).

Source - newsletter