The UK employment rate was estimated at 75.8% in December 2022 to February 2023. This is 0.2% higher than September to November 2022. The increase is due to more part-time employees and self-employed workers, and it means the labour market remains tight. So, what can you do to make recruitment easier for your business.
In January to March 2023, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 47,000 in the quarter to 1,105,000. Vacancies fell due to uncertainty around the economy and businesses being reluctant to take on more commitment. Yet many clients we speak to tell us that finding the right people remains challenging. If this resonates with you then you need to be taking small steps to attract the right team members.
What can employers do?
Many of you have already implemented pay rises just to keep up with the “cost of living” pressures.
Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 5.9% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 6.6% among all employees in December 2022 to February 2023. Average regular pay growth for the private sector was 6.9%.
You can make your business attractive to potential new team members by looking at recruitment differently.
Obviously reviewing your pay and conditions to be as competitive as possible is important but what else could you be doing? We’d suggest that the first thing you do is look at your recruitment process and where and how this is communicated to any potential employee.
In the by-gone era all you would do is perhaps advertise the job, contact a recruitment agency or both when you have a new role. But these days potential employees are tracking employers and sometimes this is done well before a job prospect even comes up.
So, you need good online presence either on your website or socials but ideally both.
What else can you the employer do?
- Tasking recruitment as a permanent process.
- Regularly asking existing staff, customers, and suppliers for introductions.
- Offering incentives for referrals.
- Making sure you are running constant online social media and local advertisements.
- Embracing flexibility in hours and location in your business.
- Introducing a “Golden Hello” and loyalty bonusses for length of service (typically one to three years).
- Advertising testimonials from existing staff.
- Using government initiatives for apprentices. This will help you train young people relevant to your job, plus you get to share the cost of training with the government.
Have a look at the rules around apprenticeship funding and how these can benefit you.
- Knowing that job satisfaction comes from feeling respected and having the opportunity to learn new things and excel in the face of obstacles when advertising the role.
- Conveying your business’s personality so potential employees get a feel for what it would be like to work for you. Your workplace culture is very relevant when it comes to recruiting and retaining good staff.
Recruiting new employees is a lengthy process, so try and stand out, “be different”!
For example, some employers are now offering “wellbeing leave” in addition to the usual holiday package. We’re not saying you have to offer this because it may not work for you but offer something different. Here’s Myers Clark Careers page to show you how we do things.
Can you recruit from abroad?
If staff shortages become business critical it may be time to look elsewhere.
But as you know the UK has now introduced a skills-based immigration system. So, if you want to recruit international talent, you would either have to do a lot of the leg work yourself or employ an agency.
Many lawyers are also experts in this field and maybe able to help you in the first instance.
Full guidance on the rules from the government can be found here.
To attract workers from abroad you need to pay at least £20,480 per year. You will also need people in your business who will have the time to take on the responsibility as a sponsor. One person in your business will need to be a single point of contact for UK Immigration. This can be time consuming.
International recruitment is not for everyone and is not a quick fix. As an employer you will be taking on a significant amount of responsibility and it can be costly. So have a good think before you decide to go ahead.
If you want to learn more there’s a HMRC and Home Office webinar next week and you can register here
Checking an employee’s right to work in the UK
One final reminder when taking on new staff. Please make sure you are doing all the necessary checks.
To prevent illegal working, you need to carry out right-to-work checks whenever you take on new staff. This is the law.
These checks should be carried out against prospective employees ideally in advance of employment, but not too far ahead.
The best way to do this is by way of looking at passports of prospective joiners. If it is not a British passport, then you can ask for the online share code and use this link to do your checks.
Remember there is a penalty if you employ anyone without making these checks and they are later found to be in the UK illegally.
We know finding the right person who fits with your organisation and brings the right talent is difficult right now. We are here to help. If you want to talk to us please get in touch with your normal manager. We are even happy to help you with the interview process for finance roles.