The survey also unveiled major disparities between what businesses offer and what job seekers want in many areas including training and development, financial rewards and holiday allowance.
31% of employers questioned revealed that in 2006 more candidates withdrew from the recruitment process at the last moment, compared with 2005. 43% also found more candidates increasing their financial demands at offer stage.
With candidates more likely to withdraw, there is more pressure on businesses to fill their vacant positions than ever before. 48% of employers surveyed found that they were more frequently required to pay higher salaries than their original budget to secure the right candidates.
Key findings include:
- 31% of companies found an increasing number of applicants withdrawing from the recruitment process.
- 26% experienced an increase in the number of jobs declined by candidates, particularly in Manchester (31%) and in Brussels (32%)
- 43% of employers found that more candidates increased their financial demands at offer stage
- The cost per hire has risen by 40% between 2005 and 2006.
- 48% of employers experienced an increase in the need to pay higher salaries than their original budget to get the right person. This figure was particularly high in Birmingham (66%) and in Manchester (60%)
- 40% of businesses found employees more bullish about their financial value, and asking for salary increases.
The survey found that the top three priorities for candidates looking for a new job are the right working environment (listed in the top three by 82%), career progression opportunities (70%) and a good financial package (51%).
“Employers found the recruitment process more difficult and expensive in 2006. Now, with a greater number of jobs available, competition to recruit the best candidates is tough,” says Ashley Williams, Director of Partnership Products at Angela Mortimer.
“Businesses need to ensure that their recruitment processes run quickly and smoothly – with many employers reporting a higher dropout rate at final interview stage. Whilst additional benefits such as healthcare, share options and season ticket loans are good incentives, they are unlikely to attract new recruits if working environment, career progression and financial incentives are ignored,” he adds.
Views on what attracts candidates to a role vary, with 60% of employers claiming that their position as a market leader would be a major attraction for prospective employees. This factor was not high on candidates’ lists of priorities, with only 30% claiming it would significantly influence their decision.
Employee training and development is another area of contention. 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. Discrepancies also arose around bonuses – 39% of candidates placed bonuses amongst the top three benefits sought, but only 13% of employers offered a guaranteed bonus scheme (see Table 1).
Holiday allowance represents a further factor of importance to candidates. 53% of employers offer 25 or more days as standard holiday allocation. However, 80% of jobseekers receive less than 25 days holiday, with 64% hoping for at least 25 days in their next role. This suggests that inadequate holiday allowance contributes to job churn.
“Where candidates are not receiving the benefits that they value they are likely to move and we anticipate extensive movement in the market in the first quarter of 2007. In fact, employers expect demand to be somewhere between three and four times the 2006 level. Already, our consultants have taken 50% more job briefs in the first two weeks of January, compared with the same period last year,” continues Williams.
He added: “Employers are finding recruitment of skilled candidates more difficult resulting in having to pay over budget to secure the right people. Additionally, it is taking an average of two months to recruit – twice the standard one month notice period, meaning that many businesses are having to manage with fewer staff. Employers need to review their existing processes and ensure they are offering what candidates are looking for. The blue book details all these requirements and more and we hope that businesses will find it an indispensable guide for all their recruitment needs in 2007.”