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Tackling the 'Skills Shortage' in the IT and Engineering Sectors

The impact of the ‘Skills Shortage’ on IT and Engineering Recruitment in Worcestershire and the West Midlands

  In a recovering economy, it is no surprise that the number of vacancies we are seeing year-on-year is increasing. In the West Midlands we have seen a 41% increase in Jul-Sept 2014 vs the same period last year*. And locally we have seen the highest increase in engineering vacancies in the UK. So what are people complaining about?

1. The balance of power has tipped – During the recession companies could take their pick from a large pool of candidates. Now candidates receive several job offers and will select the most attractive option. So interviews have become more of a two-way process with businesses having to make the effort sell themselves to the candidate.
2. Salaries spiral - Companies are offering more to compete in securing the rare breed of a PHP Developer, or a Mechanical Design Engineer. Candidates know that they are in a strong negotiation position as they are being headhunted daily through Linkedin, Google+, GitHub, Stack-overflow and called directly by agencies when they are sitting at their desks!

3. Importing talent – With a lack of talent on our doorstep, we are already working with some of our clients to find talent in other European countries where the economy is not as strong. Some companies are offering generous relocation packages to make it easier for people to make the move.

4. Employee engagement & retention strategies have become key. Once a business has managed to attract and secure the candidate, the next job is to hold on to them! This is something we have been focusing on in the last few months – understanding the needs of the people who work for us and building a plan to keep them motivated and fully engaged. These needs vary hugely between individuals, and are certainly not just money-related

It really is a case of changing mind-sets in terms of attracting and then retaining the people who will drive business growth as the market continues to become more buoyant.

Ref: ASPSCO data

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