Pushing an open door? The 20 jobs employers find hardest to fill

With job vacancies at a record high, new analysis reveals Britain’s 20 most undersubscribed roles lower competition, meet higher pay – over a third of the top 20 roles pay more than the average UK salary of £27,195Three roles in optometry feature in the ranking compiled by Indeed



With official data showing UK employment at an all-time high and jobseekers enjoying a record number of vacancies to choose from job site Indeed has identified the top 20 roles employers find hardest to fill.

While many careers remain highly competitive, in some sectors the number of people looking for work isn’t keeping up with demand from employers. With fewer candidates applying for jobs, vacancies can take longer to fill.


Indeed – the world’s largest job site – analysed tens of thousands of UK vacancies being advertised in January, and identified the 20 roles most likely to have been listed for more than 60 days.


The hardest to fill was football coach, with half of these vacancies (49.7%) still unfilled after two months. Just a whisker behind was veterinary nurse – which had 49.2% of vacancies still open after 60 days.


One eye-catching finding revealed by the data is how much the optometry sector is struggling to find staff. Three roles in the industry – optician (fourth), optometrist (sixth) and optical assistant (15th) – feature in the 20 hardest to fill jobs.


Several of the roles are limited to highly-trained professionals and offer correspondingly high average salaries – solicitor (£41,913), surgeon (£39,528) and dentist (£37,825) – and a third of the top 20 pay more than the average UK salary of £27,195.


Bill Richards, UK Managing Director at global job site Indeed, commented:


“Britain’s job creation boom means more of us are in work than ever before. But with job vacancies at a record high too, in some areas employers are engaged in a full scale battle for talent.


“Some recruiters are seeking to stand out by offering especially attractive packages to recruits, while others are leaving vacancies open for longer to draw a bigger pool of candidates.


“From the jobseekers’ point of view, these ‘hard to fill’ roles may be worth considering if you’re contemplating a career move. While some require highly specialised skills, others do not; and with potentially lower levels of competition and some tempting salaries on offer, landing one of these jobs could boost both your career and your bank balance.”


Table: UK’s top 20 hard to fill roles

Rank Job title Salary (£) % Of Roles Open After 60 Days Rank Job title Salary (£) % Of Roles Open After 60 Days



Football coach

21,331 49.7%  


Dog walker 17,026 37.6%



Veterinary nurse

28,495 49.2%  



Flight attendant

20,496 36.6%






Sandwich maker 16,142 36.5%


Optician 27,494 45.3%  


Beauty consultant 17,996 36.3%



Collection agent

19,939 43.5%  


Optical assistant 17,153 36.1%


Optometrist 30,621 42.5%  


Secondary school teacher 28,863 32.4%


Surgeon 39,528 42.3%  


Visual merchandiser 19,929 32.4%


Seasonal associate 17,232 38.6%  


Solicitor 41,913 29.9%


Graduate assistant 20,566 38.3%  


Dentist 37,825 29.5%



Hair stylist

20,803 37.9%  


Patrol officer 17,339 29.2%

Author: Editorial Team

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