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Why are companies struggling to find top talent?

It is one of the most perplexing paradoxes to date: despite the pandemic’s impact on businesses and the resulting blow to employees – many of whom have been made redundant – there is still a skills shortage facing UK businesses. As industries and sectors have been disproportionately hit, many of those businesses that have been battling the war for talent for many years are finding that good people are still hard to find!

This talent shortage is partly due to the fact that there is a constant drive to implement increasingly complex and intuitive technology to create meaningful analysis and drive business decisions, but not enough highly-skilled professionals available to efficiently use that technology to its full effect. It can also be caused by large-scale developments within a company that need highly experienced, senior-level professionals to oversee them, like a merger or acquisition, systems implementation or critical project. Often the required resources don’t exist in-house so companies need to recruit.

However, many companies experience difficulty attracting the right talent because they fail to properly leverage their recruitment channels, or struggle to allot the necessary resources to their recruitment efforts. Hiring managers or HR teams can often struggle to find top-tier talent on their own, especially as the candidate pool increases in line with the rising unemployment rates and it becomes harder to sift increasing amounts of applications accurately.

Is there a solution to the talent shortage for these companies?

Fortunately, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’. Recruitment doesn’t need to be an uphill battle.

Where many organisations don’t have the resources, market insight or time to recruit using internal processes, using an industry-specific recruiter can help. Recruiters are able to assist in the entire recruitment process from conception to onboarding.

Initially, recruitment consultants will sit down with the hiring manager and discuss the aspects of the role they’re trying to fill, taking into account the company and department’s long and short-term business goals. From there they can support an organisation’s hiring process and:


The hard line about recruitment: Money

When looking at that list of services that recruiters can provide (and that is by no means an exhaustive list), you would think that the cost of using a recruiter would far outweigh the benefit of using one, right?

Fortunately, this time the answer is a resounding ‘Actually no!’. Not using a recruitment specialist can increase the likelihood of not attracting the right talent, not assessing skill sets accurately and choosing the wrong person for the job.

And making the wrong choice when hiring can cost you significantly more than hiring a recruitment consultant!

According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation,  a bad hire at mid-manager level (earning £42,000) is estimated to cost a business as much as £132,015.

Total: £132,015

When the salary for a highly skilled, senior-level professional is calculated, this number would be even higher!

How can recruiters tackle the talent shortage?

One of the most effective ways that recruiters can help organisations tackle the talent problem is by utilising their networks of highly-skilled and experienced interim professionals.

Interim professionals or managers are senior-level professionals who can provide an alternative solution to the skill shortage, particularly where they occur for large-scale projects, deploying new systems and processes or overseeing impactful changes to a business like a merger or acquisition.

Interim managers are well suited to these tasks because they are:


Again, it can all be boiled down to money. Interims and contractors only operate within your organisation for a set amount of time on a contract. This means you only pay for their services for as long as you need them, forgoing the yearly expenditure of a permanent employee.

As we are facing business uncertainty over the coming months, the cost-effective usage of interim resources is sure to be a hugely popular solution to the current talent shortage. Interim resources will be as useful during this downturn as they were for the 2008-2014 economic recession.


According to the Office for National Statistics, there was a significant rise in demand for interim managers to keep overheads low while companies recovered during this period. At the start of that financial crisis in 2008, there were 3.9 million recorded limited companies (interims function as independent contractors and are technically, self-employed), making up around 13% of the overall workforce. However, by June 2014, 4.6 million people were self-employed in the UK – the equivalent of 15% of the entire UK workforce.

Sourcing qualified interims can be a challenge for internal hiring teams who don’t already have an established network of them. Recruiters work hard to foster good relationships with a broad network of interim professionals and are able to help match interims to organisations and assignments that suit both the organisation’s business goals and the interim’s long-term career aspirations.

The recruitment imperative: Redefining and re-establishing value in the ‘next normal’

Along with my colleagues at Heat Recruitment, I have been working on a White Paper that looks at the value add of recruiters in the current employment market. By exploring some of the ways in which recruiters can craft and enhance a recruitment strategy for an organisation from the ground up, we discern the true value of recruiters in a time where every expenditure counts!

I am very proud to say that this guide to leveraging recruiters can give companies and organisations the upper hand when it comes to filling skills shortages in a time that most needs it. As Brexit, the Coronavirus and changing IR35 legislation promise changes for years to come to the world of employment, this guide allows organisations to make informed choices and prosper with cost-effective solutions to the talent shortage facing the UK.

I hope you enjoy reading it, download it here:

The recruitment imperative: Redefining and re-establishing value in the ‘next normal’  


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