ONS labour market: “candidates are ghosting recruiters after job offers have been made” – reaction

by | Jun 14, 2022

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Today’s ONS labour market data  provides yet more evidence – as if any were needed – to show the huge pressures which the UK economy is currently facing. 

The following comments from a selection of recruiters and HRs shows just how difficult it is for UK businesses to maintain staffing levels and recruit the right people to fill vacancies as they struggle to keep their businesses on track:


Julia Kermode, founder at Nantwich-based IWork: “Businesses are still struggling to recruit and applicants are picking and choosing the best employer to suit them. Incredibly some candidates are ghosting recruiters even after job offers have been made. If you want to attract the best talent right now, you’ve got to modernise how you do things. Ditch those long-winded recruitment processes, ditch those outdated job descriptions and ditch your dull corporate image. As an employer, you need to sell yourself like never before. Make sure that everything your company has in the public domain is interesting, exciting and enticing, and make people choose you.”

Kieran Boyle, MD of Gloucester-based CKB Recruitment: “We are still in the midst of the most candidate-driven market I have ever worked in with a large number of blue chip down to SME clients struggling to fill multiple roles. Despite the economic uncertainty, there has been no change to the new world of flexible work that most prospective new staff now want in 2022. The candidate remains king.”

Louise Burns, director of Tyne and Wear-based Nineteen Recruitment: “I have the utmost sympathy for any employer who needs to recruit new staff in order to maintain or expand their business at the moment because it is a very tricky place to be. The market remains heavily candidate-driven and I can’t see that changing any time soon.”


Karen Watkins, founder of Somerset-based Rowan Consulting: “The jobs market is savage, with businesses fighting for key candidates. The biggest education piece here is that businesses simply have to get better at planning and responding to hiring. Gone are the old days and ways of time-consuming and lengthy recruitment practices, it’s now all about planning ahead and being able to respond to the market to ensure you can quickly engage and retain the right candidates for your business. The balance of power is still very much within the hand of the candidates. Regarding the very frosty subject of pay rises, rather than increasing salaries and inflating the market further, which is likely to have irrecoverable consequences for business, we are actively encouraging our equally cash-strapped clients to look at other ways to incentivise and engage their teams. These include holding sessions focused on finances, saving and debt counselling services, using working from home to help save on petrol and making it a policy to pay all employees the national living wage, alongside more targeted solutions like profit sharing schemes linked to your business objectives that allow employees to benefit from the company’s success.”

Amelia Brooke, Career Transition Coach at Galashiels-based ABCV Solutions: “I’m super busy with people seeking to make career changes. More than in previous years, many are not changing careers by choice, but as a consequence of redundancy. Even for those working for companies who are not downsizing, there’s still a lot of talent reshuffling occurring between similar organisations. Either way, the past two years have given people a chance to re-think their options.”

David Orange, MD at Belper-based Talk Staff: “The demand for talent has never been stronger and despite the uncertainty of financial pressures, the vast majority of employers in the UK remain on a forward growth trajectory, or are at least keen to ensure that they do not lose their precious talent to others. Employers are spending much more time and attention understanding what makes them not only attractive to new talent coming through the door, but also to the people who are already within their business. In order to satisfy the needs of all, it’s even more important that employers listen to what their people actually want and need out of their working arrangements. Flexibility of working is definitely still a hot topic, but working from home comes with its own challenges for some and it’s incredibly important that employers do not implement a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution as this will equally alienate as many people as it will attract. We are firmly in a candidate-led market with employers still struggling to find the right people for their roles and whilst demand continues at the current rate, there is unlikely to be any major balance of power shift in the direction of the employer unless they are able to make that switch themselves, achieved by truly empowering the people in the business. It is imperative that employers look into supporting and developing their people in the roles of now and the future. They need to ensure that they are shifting their attention to giving their staff important soft-skills to allow the best growth and more solidified and strengthened team, which in turn develops powerful tacit knowledge that can’t be hired in. We are finding that whilst people are seeing the pinch around income, those that are being invested in in other ways are much less concerned over base salary alone, something that was emerging prior to the pandemic in 2020. With this in mind, employers need to develop not only their talent strategy, but also ensure that they are providing benefits are rewards that are relevant to their people.”


Dr Marianne Trent, a clinical psychologist at Coventry-based Good Thinking Psychological Services: “People are recognising that working flexibly with a hybrid arrangement suits them both personally and professionally. The rich rewards of no commute or car running costs frees people up to enjoy a better work life balance. This in turn benefits employers because it can lead to a happier and more fulfilled workforce with less stress. Boris’ ‘fridge cheese eating’ comments caused outrage because over the past 24 months many have been able to hold themselves fantastically accountable and be brilliantly productive whilst also being happier. It’s a no brainer. Moving forwards, offering employees the choice of working in the way that meets both their own needs and those of the organisation is going to be essential in securing a consistent and stable workforce.”

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