Robert Walters surveyed 102 organisations in Ireland to research the effects of both a candidate short market and the strategies businesses employ to manage them. According to the survey, an overwhelming 82% of employers in Ireland, regardless of company size, have experienced challenges when recruiting suitably qualified candidates.
66% of employers stated the main recruitment challenge that they faced was candidates lacking the relevant skills, whilst 51% stated that the salary expectations of candidates were too high. When asked how skills shortages have affected businesses, 55% of employers stated that they face increased difficulty in meeting deadlines and client expectations, while 29% stated it has increased the cost of retaining existing staff.
50% of hiring managers have trained or upskilled existing staff to help manage candidate shortages and 29% felt that talent shortages across all job functions have directly impacted on productivity. An overstretched workforce is a sure-fire recipe for employee discontent, with 26% stating a reduction in staff morale. To counter this, employers should take steps to increase the appeal of working for their business; for example, by offering greater autonomy, flexible working hours and clear opportunities for career progression.
Gemma Allen, Director at Robert Walters Ireland says: “By actively marketing your employer brand at the start of the interview process, employers have the opportunity to distinguish themselves from their competitors, putting them in an advantageous position to attract the best candidates in the market place.”
Companies need to review their existing recruitment strategies and long-term planning. With 82% of employers affected by talent shortages, 36% of companies stated that they currently do not have a plan in place for managing this. When navigating a candidate short market, employers should make retention of top performing staff a priority. It is essential that employers explain clearly the long-term benefits and opportunities that their organisation offers.
Louise Campbell, Managing Director of Robert Walters Ireland says: “A significant number of companies acknowledge the importance of career progression or better work-life balance, yet to what extent do they actually deliver? Businesses that respond to what employees want from their career are more likely to develop a high level of trust with their staff.”
Companies should look at all of the different recruiting channels available to them to attract candidates in a market with talent shortages, from recruitment partners, contractors, online platforms and internal promotions / transfers. To find more comprehensive information on how to manage skills shortages in Ireland download our latest Whitepaper ‘Recruiting professionals in a candidate short market’ here.