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Skills Shortage: What Are Candidates Looking For In a Job? 2023 Update

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Skills Shortage: What Are Candidates Looking For In a Job? 2023 Update

Skills Shortage: What Are Candidates Looking For In a Job? 2023 Update

Over the past year, we have discussed ways that a business could become more attractive to employees. How Industry bodies are reacting to the skills shortage and what solutions they are offering, and this time last year we looked at what our candidates had to say. On the back of the blog's success, we've decided to do a follow up with fresh survey results, and the results are interesting...

Looking back to last year we were all talking about the prices of petrol to pasta rising - now we're discussing price increases and inflation as it's our 'new normal'. Everything is increasing still.

So, if you’re a business that is already working to tight margins what can you do to be a more attractive employer? Is increasing salary the only competitive edge a business can offer still, or are people looking for something different now?

The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) (May 2023) has said that the UK employment rate was estimated at 75.9% in January to March 2023, 0.2 percentage points higher than October to December 2022. The increase was driven by part-time employees and self-employed workers.

Key Points:

  • The more timely estimate of payrolled employees for April 2023 shows a monthly decrease, down 136,000 on the revised March 2023 figures, to 29.8 million. This is the first fall in total payrolled employees since February 2021, more data due next month.

  • The unemployment rate for January to March 2023 increased by 0.1 percentage points on the quarter to 3.9%. The increase in unemployment was largely driven by people unemployed for over 12 months.

  • The economic inactivity rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points on the quarter, to 21.0% in January to March 2023.

  • In February to April 2023, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 55,000 on the quarter to 1,083,000.

  • Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 5.8% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 6.7% among employees in January to March 2023. In real terms (adjusted for inflation), growth in total and regular pay fell on the year in January to March 2023, by 3.0% for total pay and by 2.0% for regular pay.

  • There were 556,000 working days lost because of labour disputes in March 2023, up from 332,000 in February 2023.

We re-ran our survey with the same questions so we could compare the year-on-year results - there has definitely been a shift in mood. Let's take a look...

When looking for a new role what attracts you to a job the most?

This is quite a significant shift. The swing from salary to career opportunities could indicate that people are thinking about their future. A salary increase will always be welcomed but at what point does that cap? Price increases aren't improving, everything is costing more.

Skills Shortage: What Are Candidates Looking For In a Job? 2023 Update

Talk about the great career opportunities that you have in-house with your current staff, training staff takes time which is effectively money so promoting within is not only better on your bottom line but it’s always a fantastic talking point when recruiting.

Spotting, training, and nurturing existing talent within your own business is attractive. Working for a company that likes to promote from within can create a strong sense of loyalty and it's exciting to know that a job has become available because you promote from within.

'Guarantee of future career opportunities'

Which perks are businesses offering vs. Which perks do candidates find attractive?

​We can see from the below that things have changed in terms of what employers are offering - this is great news. It looks like a lot of employers have taken some really positive steps to make themselves more attractive to candidates.

Skills Shortage: What Are Candidates Looking For In a Job? 2023 Update

​'A career job with good training and a nice salary'

Skills Shortage: What Are Candidates Looking For In a Job? 2023 Update

'Guaranteed regular hours on a day shift'

You can’t always help restrictions or competition with salary, but you can highlight why you’re a great business to work for. Just because somewhere has a high salary or maybe joining bonuses doesn’t mean their staff turnover won’t be high as well.

Think about your positives and highlight those, even something as simple as free parking can make a big difference to a household budget.

If you’re looking to talk about how you could make the most of your business's best points contact the team today.