Employers anticipate an even tougher battle for recruitment this year, especially post-Brexit, says Greg Guilford at HR Solutions. With anticipated increased visa restrictions and tougher immigration rules, 67 per cent of businesses believe the talent battle will become their biggest issue.

That's according to a survey: Navigating the future: HR 2020. A Jobvite survey also found that 86 per cent of recruiters predict strong competition for recruiting talent in today's market.

Shrinking talent pool

It’s always been crucial for businesses to secure talented employees. A talented workforce can make a significant difference to how well an organisation responds to economic and market changes. But Brexit will now make it even more important, especially with 14 pert cent of employers already experiencing a skills gap . Across the UK, the shrinking talent pool has created almost 209,000 vacancies, an Employer Skills survey revealed. This compares with just 91,000 skills shortage vacancies in 2011.

Increased costs

But there is also a direct financial impact of this recruitment crisis. Over two-thirds of employers struggling to recruit reported experiencing facing increased expenses due to a rise in operating costs, loss of business to competitors, or having to outsource work. Tackling the talent shortfall has also seen an increase in the market for contract staff, with as many as 84 per cent of recruiters reporting a rise in demand for contract or temporary roles.

Technology and social media

Despite the pressure on UK employers to find the right people, the Jobvite survey found that 60% only spend around £1,000 a year on advertising vacancies. And only a small number of UK recruiters exploit the recruitment opportunities available through social media. Just 40 per cent now use social media, with 75 per cent of those online using Facebook, 57 per cent using twitter and 38 per cent choosing LinkedIn. But times are changing and one third of recruiters plan to invest more in recruiting via social media during the next year.

Attractive benefits

More employers are now using benefits to attract candidates and this doesn’t just mean competitive salaries. Research by Glassdoor reveals 34 per cent of employees admit that benefits and perks will attract them to a new job. Some of these benefits could include:

  • Flexible holidays
  • Employer matched pension contributions
  • Free transport or parking
  • Flexible working
  • Casual dress code
  • Memberships
  • Career promotions
For businesses struggling to recruit, focusing resources on what has already proven successful is the first step. But there’s no quick win or easy solution. However, investing in creative strategies, combined with maximizing social media opportunities, offering attractive employee perks and providing quality employee training will go far in the fight for new talent.

Greg Guilford is the CEO at HR Solutions