Talent has become something of a buzzword in the business world of late. While companies have always sought to employ and retain talented employees, it’s only recently that companies have started to really latch onto their true value. Suffice to say, the race for talent isn’t in danger of slowing down anytime soon.
As revealed by a new survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Hays, the recruitment agency, this increased competition for talent has contributed to more than three quarters of organisations reporting recruitment difficulties in the last year. However, this doesn’t paint the whole picture: escalating skills shortages also contributed to the problems that companies faced when it came to filling key positions.
The CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey revealed that managers, specialists and technical staff proved the most difficult vacancies to fill, followed by senior managers and directors. And, although the most common reasons given for these recruitment difficulties varied by role, a lack of specialist skills and industry or general experience were the most common.
In terms of addressing the skills gap, 55% of companies in the private sector said they are looking to increase headcount in 2015, compared to just 16% of public sector employers. This coincides with an increase in resourcing budgets for 45% of private companies, with 43% of public sector respondents reporting a decrease. Meanwhile, a third of organisations said they are putting more effort into the quality of individuals being hired, while 86% said they’d made efforts to improve their ’employer brand’ to help attract key talent.
However, it seems this focus on recruitment has not been without sacrifice as the majority of organisations said their talent management spend had remained the same. While 45% of respondents said they were making efforts to develop talent in-house, 74% continue to recruit externally for talent or niche roles.
“In the ‘make or buy’ debate, the ‘buy’ decision still seems to predominate investment in talent but hiring new talent is just part of the solution for addressing skills shortages,” said Jessica Cooper, research adviser at the CIPD. “Organisations also need to consider how they can align recruitment activity with an increased focus on internal talent development, in order to build skilled workforces that can easily flex to fulfil future skills needs.”
With further figures revealing that 77% of organisations have experienced challenges retaining staff, it’s clear there’s a balance to be struck if companies are to successfully attract, and hang on to, the very top talent.