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Recruiters struggle to recruit recruiters amid ‘Great Resignation’

·2-min read
A man walks by a ‘Now Hiring’ sign
A man walks by a ‘Now Hiring’ sign

Recruitment giants are struggling to snap up enough headhunters as they embark on a hiring spree to cope with the ‘Great Resignation’ boom.

A dearth of available candidates has hit the UK’s recruitment industry itself as headhunters widen their search for staff amid widespread shortages, according to jobs giant Manpower.

Chris Gray, director at Manpower UK, said bosses are being forced to cut their hiring wish list and overhaul job adverts to attract more candidates. He said the recruitment industry itself is finding it “very challenging” to find experienced staff as bosses battle for workers.

Employers are scrambling to snap up staff after unemployment fell back to pre-pandemic levels and a record 1.2m job vacancies were posted in the UK. The so-called “Great Resignation” has pushed job-to-job moves up to their highest level ever, boosting demand for recruitment services.

Mr Gray said: “We’ve been hiring hard during the course of the last two or three months and we continue to see that carrying on into the beginning of next year as well.

“In an ideal world, you can choose or find someone who’s got experience in the industry and maybe works with a competitor. That is very challenging at the moment.

“We’ve had to obviously look at maybe adjacent sectors… we’ve also had to look at maybe people with less experience.”

Amid a shortage of staff, the balance of power in the jobs market has shifted towards candidates over employers.

Mr Gray said employers are being forced to rein in their demands for candidates and tweak job adverts to fill vacancies.

He explained: “The actual job ads are being tweaked now. Whereby in the past you might have been met with a filtering message, which might be ‘we need people with X experience’… now it’s ‘we’re a great brand to work with, we’re exciting, we’re fun’.”

Worker shortages have been caused by a boom in post-lockdown demand and lower supply. Covid forced some workers into early retirement while the pandemic also caused a slump in net migration.

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