Home Business News A third of UK businesses are short-staffed every week amid recruitment struggles

A third of UK businesses are short-staffed every week amid recruitment struggles

by LLB staff reporter
9th Apr 24 11:01 am

A third of UK businesses are finding themselves short-staffed at least once a week, new research by Indeed Flex, the online marketplace for flexible and temporary work, has revealed.

A survey of HR teams and managers responsible for organising staff rotas found that a third of UK businesses (34%) have a gap in their rota at least once a week because they have insufficient staff available to work. An additional fifth (23%) of businesses are under-staffed at least once a month.

Among companies finding themselves short-staffed, half (49%) say one of the main problems is employees being off work sick. A third (34%) point to problems recruiting enough people to fill the gaps, while 31% have staff unwilling to work certain days or hours, while a quarter (28%) attribute the problem to having staff unwilling to work overtime.

Overall, a quarter of businesses (24%) have found it hard to fill vacancies this year, while only 13% say it has been easy to recruit.

The labour market remains tight, with official data showing there are 908,000 vacancies across the UK and a fifth of adults are classed as economically inactive.

Nearly two in five businesses (38%) are using more temporary workers than they were a year ago. Those using more temps say it is because they are struggling to find permanent staff and because temps offer the best way to fill gaps at short notice.

Novo Constare, CEO and Co-founder of Indeed Flex, said, “Employers are fighting hard to fill vacancies, but in such a tight labour market many are forced to leave gaps in their rotas on a regular basis.

“This is a big problem for the UK economy, as it reduces productivity and can lead to workers doing more overtime and ending up feeling burnt out.

“To get around this problem, two in five businesses are using more temporary workers than they were a year ago. Temps are a crucial part of the labour market, as they provide employers with an immediate and flexible solution to gaps in staffing.

“At the same time, temping provides complete flexibility to workers over when and where they work. Many temps find the temping lifestyle suits them better than a permanent job with one employer, as it gives them variety and the freedom to fit work around their lifestyle and other commitments like childcare or caring for a loved one.”

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