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Recruitment Challenges in the UK for 2022

  •  Posted on Jul 26, 2022  by  | No Comments

After almost two years of uncertainty brought by the Covid pandemic, recruitment has now started to return to normal as much as possible. After a post-pandemic boom of new roles, things are now slowing down and returning to the levels of pre-pandemic. However, the combination of the pandemic and BREXIT has made recruitment in the UK even more challenging in 2022. In addition to this, we have a war in Europe and massive rise in cost of living, followed by a potential recession that the world is now facing.

The pandemic has brought us many changes and most of them are for the better. For instance, most of the businesses managed to adopt very quickly to remote working arrangements and develop a whole new system that is already proven to be successful for most of them. Some businesses will never return to their offices on a full-time basis, and some have closed them completely. Hybrid working arrangements are getting more and more popular amongst employers. It is basically a combination of work from home and office days, where the team has certain days to meet and work from the office. However, there are still many employees who prefer to work from the office on a full-time basis as they miss the socialising and after-work drinks, hence one of the challenges would certainly be the new working arrangements.

Another challenge for recruiters is the lack of qualified/skilled workers that we are currently experiencing in the UK. Many industries are short-staffed from the increase in redundancies over the last couple of years and lots of professionals decided to change their career paths and move to industries which were less affected. It is a candidate driven market when it comes to skilled workers. The best way to tackle this, would be to tailor the offers to the skilled people, and base them on their experiences and knowledge. Also, some industries will need to drastically increase their pay rates so they can keep attracting candidates. Highly competent candidates are aware of the value of their skills. In addition, they have plenty of choices in the job market, therefore a more personal approach might be very useful.

Recruiters must be prepared for a very high turnover in temporary recruitment. Candidates are looking to gain new experience and skills in a short-term placement that could help them to change directions in their career paths, and they will be preferably looking for permanent opportunities straight after that short assignment. In addition to the above, we have BREXIT which restricts new workers entering the UK from Europe and that makes temporary recruitment in the UK even more challenging. Skilled workers are in high demand and they are hard to find and difficult to keep. Recruiters need to make sure they really look after their temp candidates if they are willing to keep them on their books. This might also include communicating to their clients and to try to increase pay rates so they can attract more relevant candidates, especially for the short-term assignments. Recruiters need to adopt to the new normal. With the potential recession knocking at our door, it is possible that there will be an increase in temporary staffing needs.

The below data is from May 2022 (taken from

90% of UK employers are seeking to recruit in 2022 – a significant increase from 66% in 2021
76% of employers are offering remote and hybrid positions – to meet candidate’s increased work-life balance expectations
87% of companies are struggling to fill job openings – with 63% failing to hire because of skills shortages

The above numbers are confirming the shortage of skilled workers and the shortage of staff in general.

The five lessons and recruitment practices employers need to consider when hiring in 2022 include:

  1. Wherever possible, adopt flexible, hybrid working options to attract candidates
  2. Improve the attractiveness of roles by promoting extras, such as development and training opportunities, benefits, and bonuses
  3. State a willingness to consider transferable skills in job advertisements and assess candidates for them
  4. Broaden recruitment strategies to target wider geographical locations while highlighting higher pay and increased workplace flexibility
  5. Appreciate that hiring will take longer and cost more

The report, conducted in partnership with Dynata, which surveyed 400 UK talent acquisition, recruitment, and HR professionals, indicates that companies are hiring relatively equally, aiming to fill new roles and replace existing staff.

To tackle the challenges, recruiters need to consider a wider talent pool, look for transferable skills and train those candidates. Hard and soft skills are always in demand including communication, strategic planning, collaboration, flexibility, IT, and problem-solving.

Published by Georgi Slavchev, Senior Recruitment Consultant – Temporaries Division


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