Is the Skills Shortage to Blame for Failures in the Recruitment Process?

April 16th, 2019 | 5 minute read

Hardly a day goes by without seeing something in the press about skill shortages. In the UK we are in the middle of the worst skill shortage for 30 years. The controversial question is – is the skills shortage really to blame for your recruitment challenges? Or are you just not doing enough within the recruitment process to find good talent in a challenging market?

With years of experience operating in “skills short” industries including Oil & Gas, Construction, Engineering, Digital & Creative, IT and Manufacturing, we don’t really believe the skills shortage is the issue in recruitment. 

Our thoughts? Businesses need to be more innovative with the recruitment process, and do more to find and attract talent in a challenging market. 

Despite the very true realisation that there are less people entering into STEM subjects, and that a significant amount of skilled workers, particularly within Engineering & Manufacturing, will retire in the next 10 years. The real question to businesses worried about the skill shortage affecting their industry – what are you doing in the recruitment process to overcome this?

Aside from investment into education like Apprenticeships, which, whilst important, doesn’t help the current situation. What are you doing right now to create talent pools of skilled workers for your business?

Using recruitment agencies and job board or other traditional tools is no longer enough. We operate with greater challenges and competition for talent, therefore we need more creative and proactive solutions.

If you feel like the skills shortage is an issue for your business, it’s important to look at the recruitment process you are using and  assess how strategically you are attracting and retaining talent.

Some key questions to consider:

  • Is your employer brand well defined and differentiated to your competitors?
  • Do communicate your values and employer value propositions clearly?
  • Do you fully understand the needs of the people you want to attract?
  • Are your value propositions aligned with the needs of the talent you want to attract?
  • Are your recruiting solutions different to competitors in your industry?
  • How aligned are the people involved in the recruitment process? Does your HR team and hiring manager have the same goals?
  • Do you have a robust & strategically developed succession plan?
  • Have you established a talent pipeline?
  • Have you created, and tested, a culture that people want to be part of?

If you can address the questions above, and develop a more strategic recruitment process, the “skill shortage” issue may just magically disappear.

To find out more about how to build a talent pipeline, a key strategy in tackling a skill shortage check out:




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