Job vacancies are surging but recruiters say concerns over being “last in, first out” are holding UK workers back from moving jobs, according to new research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network.
More than three-quarters (77%) of recruiters say that candidates currently seem less committed to moving roles, and nearly half (46%) have seen an increase in the number of people “sheltering” in their current job since the onset of the pandemic to avoid putting a regular income and job security at risk.
The research of 500 in-house talent professionals and agency recruiters in the UK comes as the economy reopens and businesses across multiple industries are on a hiring drive. It explored the key factors preventing companies from hiring candidates and highlighted the reluctance of workers to seek out new roles due to the lingering pandemic uncertainty.
A complementary study of 2,000 job seekers from LinkedIn found that almost a quarter (24%) of UK workers have put their career on the back-burner over the past year to avoid the risk of losing a stable job. Another 21% say they have been too concerned about the pandemic to concentrate on career progression.
Adam Hawkins, Head of Search and Staffing at LinkedIn, said: “It’s understandable that people are feeling anxious about the prospect of moving jobs during a pandemic, particularly if they have good job security, a steady income, and their employer has treated them well over the past year. Recruiters are playing a pivotal role in re-instilling career confidence in candidates and getting the labour market moving again. We know there have been many people ‘sheltering’ in jobs, waiting to see how things pan out before making a move, and recruiters are spending a lot more time supporting candidates and getting them to see the opportunities ahead. Never have essential soft skills such as empathy and emotional intelligence been so important as recruiters motivate candidates to explore new opportunities and reinject optimism into the labour market.”
Recruiters step-up candidate support
With continued labour market uncertainty, recruiters are having to step-up candidate support and play a more pastoral role. According to the study, 89% of recruiters say their role has expanded to helping candidates improve their confidence, and 82% are encouraging them to make bolder career choices. On top of these added responsibilities, 71% have found it more difficult to support candidates remotely since COVID-19.
The top skills recruiters say they need to help candidates today include: helping them to understand the value of their transferable skills (39%), being empathetic about their anxieties of moving jobs during a pandemic (38%), improving candidate confidence (37%), offering career advice (34%), helping candidates make career switches (32%), and pushing them out of their comfort zone (29%).
Recruiters’ relationships with their clients have also evolved during the pandemic. Nearly half (46%) of recruiters surveyed say that encouraging companies to hire candidates on their skills and future potential, over just their formal qualifications and previous experience is now important. More than a third (37%) are also helping their clients to improve their workforce learning and development programmes, and another 37% are helping them to improve the diversity of their talent pipeline.
To help people find new job opportunities, LinkedIn is opening The Jobs Shed on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th June on the roof-top terrace of London’s Ham Yard Hotel. The free, socially-distanced, outdoor event will feature live job opportunities and expert advice to help those ready to make a job move. Sarah Ellis, one of the authors of best selling book ‘The Squiggly Career’ will be sharing her experience, and recruiters from Pinewood Group, Patch, LinkedIn and Michael Page will be attending with live roles available for job seekers. See more details here.