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The Resourcing and talent planning survey 2021, produced in partnership with Omni, explores the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on resourcing activities, as well as ongoing trends in recruitment and talent management practice. Now in its twenty-second year, the report and supplementary case studies will help employers and their people teams to make informed decisions about people management and investment as they navigate their way through recovery from the pandemic.

Download the report and case studies:

Increased competition for talent

Despite the growth in unemployment during the pandemic, 45% of respondents believe that competition for well-qualified talent has increased. A similar proportion of employers who attempted to recruit had difficulties attracting suitable candidates. A quarter said it was more difficult to recruit due to Brexit.

The dramatic change in the labour market as COVID restrictions eased means that the pressure on hiring is growing, with significant skills and talent gaps across many roles.

More talent being developed in-house

A third of organisations report having developed more talent in-house compared with the previous year. Upskilling existing employees was the most common response to recruitment difficulties (57%).

Offering flexible working and improving work–life balance

71% of organisations advertise at least some vacancies as ‘open to flexible working’ and 49% advertise at least some as ‘open to location’. 

The proportion of employers taking steps to retain employees through improving work–life balance has increased to 49% from 37% in 2019.

Improved diversity in hiring

24% of organisations that attempted to fill vacancies say they recruited a more diverse workforce over the last 12 months compared with the previous year.

Technology use boosts recruitment but adoption limited by lack of skills

Two-thirds of employers say technology use has sped up the recruitment process at least to a small extent. Increases in diversity and quality of hires have also been noted.

But more than half (54%) say technology use in recruitment has been limited by a lack of internal skills and knowledge.

A strategic approach to workforce planning needed

Less than half (46%) of organisations have a workforce planning strategy based on a robust understanding of current and future workforce needs. 43% tend to take an ad hoc approach to recruitment. A third of organisations report having developed more talent in-house compared with the previous year. Upskilling existing employees was the most common response to recruitment difficulties (57%).

Growing attention paid to attracting experienced returners

27% of employers now offer career-returner programmes (up from 19% last year) and 21% offer mid-career-change programmes (up from 16%).

Omni is a resourcing transformation specialist with one clear purpose – to change the way organisations resource for the better. They work with clients to improve their resourcing effectiveness, enabling them to stand out from their competitors in how they engage, develop and retain talent. Omni has three business streams:

  1. Recruitment – delivering brand-led recruitment services including RPO, MSP, Executive Search and Assessment
  2. Talent Consultancy – helping organisations to understand and improve their resourcing effectiveness through a range of strategic consultancy services including workforce planning 
  3. Talent Development – supporting organisations to attract and nurture talent through recruitment training, management and leadership development, coaching and 360 assessments.

PDFs to previous reports can be found below. CIPD members can access earlier reports via the HR and L&D archive database.

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