Undoubtedly, the workplace will never be the same again. As we look to head back to ‘normal’ in just 10 days’ time, the extent of how the job landscape has changed will become apparent.
However, one area where employers are unanimously concerned regarding the market post-pandemic is the current lack of candidates across all sectors. From hospitality to tech, engineering and finance – for the first time since the 2008 economic crash, there is an abundance of vacancies, yet no willing participants to fill them. According to a report by Hays, 51 per cent of employers expect this to be a challenge for them for the next 12 months.
The reason for these shortages varies from industry to industry, but commonalities do appear:
- Continued concern for the volatility of the job market, especially within SMEs who may struggle to stay afloat once Government support schemes are fully stopped as we enter the Autumn. Candidates, even ones who may not be happy in their current role, are still hesitant to take the risk and move.
- An uptick in counter offers from current employers is rife. Even if a candidate is willing to look elsewhere, it’s more than likely that they will receive a counteroffer that is hard to refuse.
- Not enough emphasis from employers on other benefits other than just financial perks. Over half of employees now require good flexible working options and over 28 days paid annual leave as the most important benefits when moving to a new role.
- A misunderstanding of the current market. Contrary to popular belief, there’s many candidates who believe that there’s still a serious shortage in jobs and are putting off looking.
While it may seem hard to comprehend moving jobs in a pandemic, there’s never been a better time than the present. For the first time in nearly a year and a half, the landscape is on more level footing and employers are desperate for talent. Such a candidate-led market is rare, and this is a brilliant opportunity to make the most out of taking your next step.
There’s plenty of choice
The job market has seen a sudden surge in the number of vacancies available compared to only a few months ago. According to the ONS, there was an estimated 657,000 new job vacancies between February 2021 and April 2021 – a growth of 8 per cent compared to the quarter before. Key sectors with booming numbers of opportunities include tech, hospitality, and engineering.
Employers are offering more
48 per cent of employers have stated that they are expecting to see salaries increase over the next 12 months. This is on top of the 8.4 per cent growth of average weekly earnings in April 2021 alone.
And not only are employers now offering more financially, but other perks are more likely to be considered and implemented to attract and retain talent. The top five benefits considered to be most important to current employees are more than 28 days of annual leave, pension provision above the legal minimum, health insurance, training and technology. Because of this increase in demand, over a third of employers have reviewed and reconsidered their offerings.
There’s more opportunity to upskill
88 per cent of employers believe that offering significant investment in upskilling and training is key to staff attraction and retention, and this belief is echoed by employees (71 per cent agree). Over the next 12 months, over half of employers plan to upskill staff and a further third are reporting to help staff invest in further qualifications.
It won’t stay like this for long
Despite the current lull, it won’t last forever. Employers are gearing up for the impending economic boom that will most certainly come with the easing of restrictions and as schemes like furlough come to an end and the scales begin to tip back to balance, more and more candidates will feel confident to move. The economy grew by 0.8 per cent last month, and unemployment continued to fall. The more this trend continues, the less likely it is that candidates will have such a strong hold on the market.
If you are looking to find a new job and want to grab this opportunity by both hands, speak to a member of our experienced team today.