Job vacancies are surging but research among recruiters by LinkedIn has found that concerns over being ‘last in, first out’ are holding UK workers back from moving jobs. The company says more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of recruiters say that candidates currently seem less committed to moving roles, and nearly half (46 per cent) have seen an increase in the number of people ‘sheltering’ in their current job since the onset of the pandemic to avoid putting a regular income and job security at risk.
The research of 500 in-house talent professionals and agency recruiters in the UK comes as the economy reopens and businesses across multiple industries are on a hiring drive. It explored the key factors preventing companies from hiring candidates and highlighted the reluctance of workers to seek out new roles due to the lingering pandemic uncertainty.
A complementary study of 2,000 job seekers from LinkedIn found that almost a quarter (24 per cent) of UK workers have put their career on the back-burner over the past year to avoid the risk of losing a stable job. Another 21 per cent say they have been too concerned about the pandemic to concentrate on career progression.
Adam Hawkins, head of search and staffing at LinkedIn, said: “It’s understandable that people are feeling anxious about the prospect of moving jobs during a pandemic, particularly if they have good job security, a steady income, and their employer has treated them well over the past year. Recruiters are playing a pivotal role in re-instilling career confidence in candidates and getting the labour market moving again. We know there have been many people ‘sheltering’ in jobs, waiting to see how things pan out before making a move, and recruiters are spending a lot more time supporting candidates and getting them to see the opportunities ahead. Never have essential soft skills such as empathy and emotional intelligence been so important as recruiters motivate candidates to explore new opportunities and reinject optimism into the labour market.”
With continued labour market uncertainty, recruiters are having to step-up candidate support and play a more pastoral role. According to the study, 89 per cent of recruiters say their role has expanded to helping candidates improve their confidence, and 82 per cent are encouraging them to make bolder career choices. On top of these added responsibilities, 71 per cent have found it more difficult to support candidates remotely since COVID-19.
The top skills recruiters say they need to help candidates today include: helping them to understand the value of their transferable skills (39 per cent), being empathetic about their anxieties of moving jobs during a pandemic (38 per cent), improving candidate confidence (37 per cent), offering career advice (34 per cent), helping candidates make career switches (32 per cent), and pushing them out of their comfort zone (29 per cent).
Recruiters’ relationships with their clients have also evolved during the pandemic. Nearly half (46 per cent) of recruiters surveyed say that encouraging companies to hire candidates on their skills and future potential, over just their formal qualifications and previous experience is now important. More than a third (37 per cent) are also helping their clients to improve their workforce learning and development programmes, and another 37 per cent are helping them to improve the diversity of their talent pipeline.