In recent weeks, the demand for new employees has surged as businesses finally get back to business following months of Coronavirus restrictions.
Data from as early as April shows that job positions in hospitality had already soared by 77 per cent from the previous month, with numbers continuing to go up.
Similarly, the construction and logistics sectors are crying out for new workers, with estimates from the Road Haulage Association suggesting that the UK needs more than 60,000 additional lorry drivers.
With such a surge in demand for employees, what is powering the need for recruitment?
One of the primary drivers for the increase in recruitment is simply that more businesses are now open and there has been a surge in consumer demand for goods and services.
Many businesses were forced to let staff go during the pandemic, or put them on furlough.
Despite being on furlough, many employees have decided to leave their former employer and seek more lucrative work.
This means they have had to often ‘start from scratch’ or plug holes in their workforce.
There aren’t any official figures available yet for the number of people who have switched careers due to the pandemic but anecdotally, going on recent reports, it seems to be a fairly common practice among many workers who have grown frustrated by a lack of work and income during the pandemic.
A shift in the geography of many workers has also had an impact, with families moving away from big cities and students, who are often the powerhouse of lower-skilled work, continuing to study remotely at home instead of their ‘student digs’.
The UK is also experiencing a skills shortage in some sectors. The career switch of many employees seems to be partly to blame for this.
As an example, estimates suggest that there are around 80,000 people in the UK with a driving licence that permits them to drive a lorry who aren’t currently employed in logistics – this would fill the gap that the job market is experiencing.
On top of this many sectors have lost the skills they need due to the retirement of older workers and a lack of new younger workers entering certain industries, plus the loss of many overseas workers.
Many skilled EU citizens have decided to return home, partly as a result of Brexit and also due to the pandemic, experts suggest.
This gap in the labour force is proving difficult to fill as UK workers do not desire the positions available or do not have the skills to fulfil the role effectively.
Add to this that many workers from other nations are finding it challenging to enter the UK under the new points-based system due to the minimum earnings threshold and the costs involved in applying for a visa, and it is clear to see the gap in the labour market that Brexit has created.
A less studied area, but one where there is clearly demand, is the growth of full-time remote working positions within the labour market.
According to labour market data company Emsi, the number of remote working roles advertised in the UK has risen steadily over the past year, reaching approximately 145,000 jobs in May, which is equivalent to about five per cent of advertised jobs.
Whilst this may seem relatively small, the number of remote jobs being advertised has more than trebled compared with last August and increased sixfold since February 2020.
Many businesses are using the move to remote working to their advantage to grow their business, especially within sectors where workers can effectively work from home.
Making the most of this growth in demand
After a difficult year in recruitment, this latest news will be welcomed by many firms and they must take advantage of this increased interest by investing in their business.
Knowing where to invest and monitoring the outcomes of improvements can be challenging though and this is where the expertise of an accountant can add value.
At Davis Grant, we have spent years working with and supporting recruitment agencies, helping some of the UK’s largest and most successful companies flourish and grow. To find out how we can assist you, please contact us.