14 February 2023 — With the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealing that the number of vacancies fell on the quarter between November 2022 and January 2023, while the employment rate grew, AMS, the global talent solutions business, has warned businesses not to be complacent when it comes to investing in skills attraction and retention.
Steve Leach, Regional Managing Director, UK & Ireland at AMS commented: “Looking at the percentage increases or decreases over these quarterly periods arguably doesn't aid talent and skills strategies in the current climate. It’s too soon since the highs of last year and the constant record-breaking vacancy numbers to look at trends in this narrow way. What matters is what businesses are feeling, and they're showing continued difficulties hiring and retaining people. Candidate confidence is still high and the cost-of-living crisis is pushing people to move when they would've perhaps stayed in a role in normal circumstances. Consequently, the importance of employer branding is perhaps more crucial than ever, and companies need to ensure that their existing people – and those they hope to hire – have a positive experience of their brand.
“What the UK’s firms can’t afford now is a repeat of the talent investment withdrawal we saw both at the beginning of the pandemic, and in the 2008 financial crash. The talent climate is particularly volatile at the moment and the cards are still very much in the hands of the candidates. With forecasts from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) now indicating that the UK will avoid a recession, firms need to invest in attracting and retaining talent and rebuilding skills to boast economic growth and rebuild Britain’s status as a skills powerhouse.”