With the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data revealing that the UK’s vacancy rates have started to decline in May to July 2022, businesses must not neglect hiring efforts at a time when skills remain in short supply, with data showing this can be detrimental to organisations’ long-term hiring strategies. That’s according to leading background screening and identity services firm, Sterling.

According to the firm, while vacancies are down, the hiring landscape continues to be candidate-led and the UK’s current labour market remains critically short of top talent. In response to these conditions, firms need to rethink their current hiring process to better match the job seeker’s needs.

Sterling’s latest research, which comes from a global survey of more than 1,200 HR professionals and perspectives from more than 3,700 recent job seekers, further reinforces this issue, revealing that the majority (78%) of job seekers are dropping out or considering dropping out of the recruitment process due to lengthy and complex screening requirements, exacerbating the skills crisis. A third of those that dropped out said the hiring process was too complicated and 22% expressed an issue with the background screening process.

Steve Smith, President of International at Sterling, comments:

“With so much uncertainty and with skills still in short supply across most of Europe, this is the time to ensure that you have the right processes in place to secure the talent that you need to continue successfully operating your business. Particularly in a competitive recruitment environment, ensuring applicants have the best possible experience with a brand remains of paramount importance and will be for the foreseeable future.

“When it comes to candidates dropping out of the hiring process, there’s been a wealth of speculation that individuals are getting counter-offers and they are pursuing opportunities elsewhere. While this may be the case for some, the insight we’ve gained 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 experience for candidates throughout the entire hiring process.”