UK Employees confident in ‘buyers’ market’ as talent dilemma continues

2019 is set to be a ‘buyers’ market’ for the UK’s top professionals, as the nation’s war for talent intensifies.

New research from Robert Half UK reveals employers currently face a talent dilemma, where they must look to plug a widening skills gap in the race to adapt to an increasingly digitalised business landscape. Nearly a third (32%) of over 1,200 UK employees surveyed believe their skillset will be more desirable over the coming months – even against the current economic and political climate – as the supply/demand imbalance of the UK’s top talent heightens.

The current skills in demand include data analysis and digital skills, as well as softer skills such as adaptability, resilience and critical thinking to help complement the evolution of the workplace. Those in London are most confident that they will be more in demand in the coming months (44%), followed by those in the North (33%).

The study reveals UK employees believe they will benefit from this ‘buyers’ market’ as they feel more comfortable negotiating promotions (50%), workplace benefits (49%) and salary (48%) with their employer, as organisations implement measures to retain top talent. A further 45% also believe they will receive more training, as businesses invest in upskilling staff.

As the war for talent among UK businesses intensifies, a third (33%) of employees believe they will continue to receive multiple job offers with competitive salaries. A similar figure (34%) anticipate their current employer would offer a counteroffer should they find a new role offering a competitive salary.

Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half UK commented: “Professionals with the skills and expertise to continue their career potential in the future workplace are wising up to their true value in the current recruitment landscape. Employers must adopt flexible recruitment strategies to keep up, or they risk losing out on top performers. This includes being able to quickly identify talent and potentially redefining the ‘must-have’ characteristics.

“It’s also important there is a compelling employee proposition in place; one that focuses on wider benefits, such as flexible working and training as well as remuneration. Those businesses that get this right will be well positioned to attract and retain candidates with the skills they need to cope with fourth industrial revolution on the horizon, while continuing to navigate the current economic and political climate.”