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40,000 UK job roles left vacant for six months or more

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Here’s why

On average, over 40,000 job vacancies are left unfilled for over six months according to research by Robert Half UK. The figure doubles to 80,000 for roles left vacant for more than a month.

Time Unfilled roles (mean average) Unfilled roles (no.)
>1 month 10 per cent 81,500
>3 months 7 per cent 57,050
>6 months 5 per cent 40,750

With employment at record levels and an ongoing skills crisis, companies are facing a war for talent which is leaving many positions unfilled. A lack of skilled candidates (51 per cent) tops the list of challenges, whilst difficulties in finding the right talent follows close behind (30 per cent). Even when the right person has been found, many firms aren’t hiring fast enough and end up missing out on their preferred candidate (28 per cent).

UK organisations clearly recognise the detrimental effect that unfilled roles can have on their business. Reduced productivity (42 per cent), increased stress (42 per cent) and limited business growth (38 per cent) are cited as the main consequences – all of which can cripple a firm’s performance.

“High employment often leads to a lack of candidate availability,” said Matt Weston, Managing Director at Robert Half UK. “This, combined with an ongoing skills shortage, creates a job vacuum which breeds a war for talent. To effectively recruit in this type of employment landscape, employers should be flexible and realistic with their attraction and selection strategy.”

“Establishing a clear difference between the requisite technical skills and skills that can be developed over time, can help businesses unlock a broader talent pool. In the rapidly changing world of work, identifying a candidate with the right soft skills, potential and willingness to develop should form the foundation of a long-term recruitment and retention strategy.”



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