UK skills crisis: why the hiring process is broken

August 2nd, 2022

New data reveals that the majority (78%) of job seekers are dropping out or considering dropping out of the recruitment procedure due to lengthy and complex processes, exacerbating the skills crisis. That’s according to new research from specialist background screening and identity services firm, Sterling.

According to the data, which comes from a global survey of more than 1,200 HR professionals and perspectives from more than 3,700 recent job seekers, a third of those that dropped out said the hiring process was too complicated and 22% expressed an issue with the background screening process.

Disconnect between employers and candidates

The research also identified a disparity between employers and candidates. Just 9% of HR professionals believed that candidates would find their hiring process complicated, despite a third exiting the process for this very reason. According to Sterling, these results should be cause for concern at a time when skills are in increasingly short supply, with almost half of HR professionals surveyed revealing that they are unable to find enough candidates to fill roles.

Steve Smith, President International at Sterling, commented:

“With skills in short supply across most of Europe, ensuring applicants have the best possible experience with a brand is of significant importance. However, this latest data indicates that a significant proportion of the candidate community is dropping out of hiring processes due to the complexity of requirements, suggesting the experience for the end-user isn’t as positive as it could be. There’s been a wealth of speculation that individuals are getting counter-offers which is leading to them dropping out of the hiring process due to opportunities elsewhere. While this may be the case, the insight from applicants themselves suggests there’s more to this issue that needs to be addressed swiftly. In the current economy, it’s simply not a viable option to overlook how important it is to provide an efficient and engaging hiring process for candidates.

“Making the switch to Digital Identity will be a critical component towards not only speeding up the hiring process and making it simpler for all parties but also provide candidates with full confidence in their safety, which is certainly cause for concern among job seekers. While it may be tempting to think of background screening as just another step to complete in the hiring process, the way that background searches are conducted can actually have a major impact on how candidates experience and perceive the overall hiring effectiveness of an organisation that they are considering joining. In fact, the majority (54%) of our candidate respondents agreed that their background screening experience made them feel more confident about working with the organisation or pursuing the job. All of this adds up to the notion that there is a degree of control and levers that can be pulled, especially when it comes to background screening and digital identity verification that could keep candidates engaged, help them take the next step in the hiring process, and improve the health of an organisation’s talent pipeline.”

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