internal recruitment

Why are Welsh firms spending less on recruitment?

In July this year, the Open University published its Business Barometer revealing that Welsh organisations are investing 15% less in recruiters’ fees this year than in 2018. At the same time, it found that 74% are struggling with a skills shortage and finding it difficult to fill roles.

As we wrote in our previous blog on how to identify your workplace skills gaps, much of the skills shortage crisis is related to the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit which some reports suggest has diminished the number of qualified job seekers. In this respect, it makes sense that instead of looking to recruit externally, nearly half of Welsh organisations are increasing their training budgets to improve the skills and retention of existing employees. 

But we have mixed feelings about the redistribution of funds.

On the one hand, we are hugely in favour of identifying and upskilling ‘untapped’ potential internally and commend their investment. One of our first steps when working with a new client – alongside understanding the role – is helping them to assess their in-house talent. It may seem counter-intuitive for a recruitment agency to do this but, in our experience, it is far more beneficial when it comes to building a long-standing recruitment partnership.

On the other hand, we would urge employers to be mindful of the time and effort required to upskill their staff and ask themselves whether the means justify the ends. It depends on the role of course, but external candidates can often bring a ready-made and more diverse range of skills and industry experience with them which can have a real, positive impact on the organisation’s profitability. This is particularly true when it comes to managerial positions, which the survey identified as having the shortest supply of candidates.

With the skills shortage expected to worsen after Brexit, our concern is that by restricting their recruitment techniques, Welsh organisations could severely limit their pool of candidates and take a financial hit as a result; the OU’s report found that skills shortages cost Welsh organisations an average of £13,740 over the year. In our view, this figure would be much better spent on a more comprehensive recruitment process to find a professional with the right skills, not just to undertake their role, but to get the best out of other existing employees too.

Our deep-dive approach to recruitment is designed to support organisations to achieve the best outcome to support their growth. If you see the value in expanding your recruitment externally, we can work with you to find out whether you have anyone suitably qualified in-house before we begin a more extensive, targeted search and if you do, we’ll be more than happy to support you the next time you need help.

To find out how we can work with you, please drop us a line