Employers Focus on Retention as Recruitment Dries Up

Despite the recession, employers have continued to strive to secure the skills they need – but are turning to retention and staff development rather than recruitment as their strategies of choice.

The latest Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s Recruitment, Retention and Turnover survey found the key personnel resourcing challenge for nearly three quarters (73%) of the 760 employers who responded has remained a lack of necessary specialist skills (73%).   Somewhat surprisingly, despite the increased supply of jobseekers, over 8 out 10 (81%) of these employers still experienced recruitment difficulties in finding applicants with the skills they were seeking.

But the downturn means that a majority of the organisations (56%) are preferring to focus on retaining rather than recruiting new talent.  Additional training to allow internal staff to fill posts’ has been the most effective recruitment initiative (75%). Similarly, ‘offering increased learning and development opportunities’ (47%) is the most favoured action to address retention.

Where recruitment is still required, recruiters are paying attention to the long term, choosing to appoint ‘people who have the potential to grow but who currently do not have all that is required for the job role’ as their most frequently used initiative (74%).

The survey found poor levels of satisfaction with some key public agencies and initiatives. Only a quarter (25%) rated ‘Train To Gain’, the national skills service to support employers, as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Likewise, only a quarter rated Business Link, the government organisation that provides practical business advice for organisations, as effective in supporting their organisations’ needs.

Only one in ten of the organisations had signed up to a Local Employment Partnership during 2008, while only 20% thought JobCentre Plus was ‘good’ or ‘very good’ at meeting their organisation’s resourcing needs.



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