11 Steps to tackle a lack of suitable candidates

Many employers, especially smaller ones have experienced a lack of suitable candidates when recruiting. The result of this includes a number of problems, including missed deadlines, reduced customer service, increased sickness absence, losing the competitive edge, and increased costs with using agency workers.

The manufacturing sector has experienced the highest challenge with recruiting so far. The time invested by companies to recruit can be quite significant. For smaller companies, without a dedicated recruitment department, this means that a manager is not in a position to focus entirely on running their department efficiently.

Turnover Statistics

One source using a Cendex data set has found that from a group of almost 280 companies and nearly 430,000 employees in 2022 found the following:

  • Resignations increased by 6.8% to 16.4% from 2021
  • Turnover rates increased by 7.9% to 22.5% from 2021

The higher rates were found in smaller companies. Retail and sales had the highest turnover and technology roles had the least at 13.7%.

Consider, how much time your management team has invested recently in recruiting. If you manage to overcome a lack of suitable candidates and successfully recruit, you’ll want that person to remain at the company. The processing of new employees is a timely one and let’s face it, a manager’s time is better spent elsewhere, not repeating the process if the person leaves within a short time of being recruited.

Reasons for a lack of suitable candidates

Why are employers experiencing a challenge with recruitment? Why is there a lack of suitable candidates? There are a number of factors, including, ill-health and long NHS waiting lists. Experienced women are leaving the workforce due to the impact of menopause. A lack of qualifications and a lack of opportunity to progress within the workplace.

11 Steps to tackle a lack of suitable candidates

  1. Review your rates of pay, benefits, and hours, are they competitive?
  2. Are you advertising in the appropriate places for the vacancy? Popping an advert in the local paper is no longer the way to go. Consider your target employee, where are they likely to seek your vacancy?
  3. Check your application process, is it user-friendly?
  4. Advertise vacancies internally in the first instance, and let employees know they can progress within the company if they wish. Provide training, and allow time off to attend training for the role the employee wishes to progress into.
  5. Retain your current workforce, start at the beginning, design and implement an efficient, welcoming and successful induction process. Ensure managers are trained in this. Investing the time with the induction phase will increase the chance of employee retention.
  6. Invest the time in a robust probationary period process. Outline the expectations of the role, provide training and support, review regularly, be approachable and positive.
  7. Offer training and development opportunities even if it’s just brushing up on skills, knowledge and experience. Consider a workshop, may half a day, get some cakes in, allow employee contributions.
  8. Allow for employee empowerment, and give them a voice where relevant – a new project is an example. Empowerment will lead to motivation which leads to increased productivity, fewer mistakes, and more profit. It also reduces turnover and employee absence.
  9. Implement a recommend a friend scheme – be clear of the parameters.
  10. Introduce an effective and efficient appraisal scheme
  11. Increase notice periods to allow more time to recruit a replacement when an employee is leaving. Be mindful that not all employees will work their notice and indeed you may not want some to work it.

Contact us

Hopefully, this blog has provided some useful information to you. If we can be of any assistance, please contact us on 01455 231982 or by email to hello@hrbyjude.co.uk

Business Planning, recruitment, retention

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