No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Recruitment: Staff Development is the Competitive Edge


Ashley Williams, Director of Partnership Products at recruitment consultants Angela Mortimer plc, explains why training and development can attract the best candidates.

With our economy performing the way it is, British businesses are seeing an unprecedented increase in recruitment activity. However, of our annual blue book research – released in January - revealed that the recruitment market in 2007 is set to be a challenging one. We questioned over 700 employers across the all major industry sectors last year and the majority (78%) were struggling to attract the right candidates.

As recruiters, we expect to see significant movement in the market this year. In fact, a surprising finding from the blue book research was that employers expect the demand for new staff to be at least three times the 2006 level. This figure might be unrealistic, but it does indicate that recruitment activity will be ramped up. In fact, just in January this year our consultants have already taken 50% more job briefs, compared with the same period last year

The reality of the market is that there is a dearth of good candidates, which results in people asking for more than companies expect to pay; and the process is taking longer, with more candidates withdrawing, increasing their financial demands at offer stage or declining job offers.

Furthermore, with an average role taking two months to recruit - twice the standard one month notice period, many businesses are having to manage with fewer staff for longer periods while recruiting.

Yet employers should not be discouraged. There is a way to resolve these problems - companies need to proactively review their existing processes to ensure that they understand and are offering what candidates are looking for if they are to attract and retain the best people.

While it’s true that 40% of employers are finding that the cost per hire is increasing, spending more on recruitment is not necessarily the most efficient way in which to approach the issue. We also surveyed over 1,000 candidates for the blue book, which showed very clearly that massive salary packages alone will not secure the best people.

In fact, a better-than-average benefits package comes only third on the list of priorities for candidates looking for a new job. The right working environment (82%), and career progression opportunities (70%) are far more important. Only 50% of the candidates we surveyed (51%) even placed benefits package in their top three at all.

A number of interesting discrepancies also arose in the research between what candidates want from a role and what employers have to offer, with 60% of employers claiming that their position as a market leader would be a major attraction for prospective employees. Only 30% of candidates would be significantly influenced by this factor.
Employee training and development is another area of discord. Although 70% of candidates ranked career progression in their top three reasons for moving job, only 40% of companies think that the career progression potential they offer is a top selling point.

Our survey was nationwide and crossed most major industry sectors. It took into account all the major financial centres of the UK and therefore paints a representative picture of Britain in the midst of a skills-shortage.

The lesson is simple: in order to attract good candidates, listen to them and provide the career development that they value over anything else. Employers need to be as competitive in what they offer to candidates as they are to clients / customers.

Recruitment Tips

  • Offer clear career progression and training opportunities – this is what matters most to candidates.

  • Be realistic on time-to-hire.

  • Make your process as smooth as possible: define it and stick to it.

  • Have a policy on bonus and above-basic financial reward.

  • Communicate the atmosphere and ethos of your workplace; provide an occasion for candidates to expe


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!