HR · 4 July 2017

Skills shortage costing 2.2bn a year as employers turn to underqualified staff

Underqualified staff
Three in five business owners believed hiring underqualified staff had damaged their company
Over half of UK business owners have filled vacancies with underqualified staff in the last year, as new research reveals how employers have responded to adrop in available skilled candidates.

According to The Open University’s Business Barometer, 90 per cent of surveyed organisations experienced difficulties finding candidates for open positions in the last year.

The study suggested company decision makers increased wages by a collective 527m as a result of an over-competitive job market, while the average small business owner added an extra 4, 150 toeach salary to secure the righthire.

As well as bringing in workers less qualified than desired, inflated wages, use of temporary staff and higher recruitment costs together amounted to an extra 2.2bn in costs for British businesses, the university claimed.

Some three in five business owners admittedhiring underqualified staffhad damaged their company.

Meanwhile, a skills shortagehad extended recruitment times for three-quarters of all employers on average almost two months longer than expected.

Looking forwards, 69 per cent of respondents expected the coming year to be equally difficult in finding suitable andqualified hires.

Commenting on the study, Steve Hill, a director at The Open University, said a change of strategy could help employers overcome the skills gap.

the UK challenge of finding talent with the right skills means that businesses need to look at recruitment, development and retention differently, Hill said.

now faced with a shrinking talent pool, exacerbated by the uncertainties of Brexit, it is more important that employers invest in developing their workforce.

Recent job market data from CV-Library showed average salaries rose by four per cent between April and May 2017, as business owners competed among a declining pool of applicants.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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