New Report says NI Companies need to work harder to attract talented workers

A report that looks at recruitment trends across Northern Ireland is urging local companies to improve their employment offering to attract and retain talent. Jobs Report with Ulster Bank.jpg

The latest Jobs Report with Ulster Bank reveals good news for job seekers with vacancies across a wide range of sectors on the increase, jobs are up 23% in the last year.  With Belfast enjoying a robust employment scene with jobs in the city up 22% YoY and 10% QoQ.

In Q3, the report discloses that seven out of 32 job categories have posted record highs and roles in engineering, accountancy and finance, construction and IT have all experienced an increase in listings.

While the job market has never been better skills shortages are a longstanding issue and is urging employers to look at new ways to win the war for talent.

Sam McIlveen, GM of says; “To overcome the skills gap and hire the talented workers needed to drive businesses forward, employers must look at how they represent themselves to jobseekers.

“This is very much a candidate led market so good employer branding is essential for companies who are recruiting.  It’s not enough to offer a job, you need to convince a candidate that your company can give them the opportunity to progress and develop both professionally and personally. It’s not about bigger salaries, companies need to think beyond that and look at how they engage and communicate with candidates even at the very beginning of the recruitment process.

“As NI’s online recruitment specialist we are encouraging companies to become more digitally savvy.  We pride ourselves on tech innovation focusing on SEO, skills matching and making recruitment a success for both parties.  More than half of our traffic comes from mobile devices and with that has come a change in candidate expectations.  People expect a streamlined and smooth application process.  The old attitude that if you make it hard for people to apply you weed out time wasters is costing businesses talent.  Candidates will just move on, apply and be hired elsewhere.

“Our Q3 data indicates that there are plenty of jobs available so it’s time for businesses to look at the changes they need to make to promote themselves to candidates as an attractive employer.” Q3 Job Report.jpg

The official figures point to a record number of jobs in Q2 2018, with the service sector and private sector as a whole hitting all-time highs. Meanwhile manufacturing sector employment is at levels last seen 16 years ago.

When it comes to Q3, it is clear from the latest NI Jobs report is that there is still a plentiful supply of job vacancies in Northern Ireland across a wide range of disciplines. It is the third consecutive quarter that listings increased and overall, have risen by a quarter in the last year. This is a reflection of both the rate at which new jobs are being created and the fact that a significant number of vacancies are emerging from existing positions.

A deficit in skills has been a longstanding problem within the Northern Ireland economy particularly in some sectors, however, this appears to be moving up a gear, in part related to the number of EU nationals now leaving Northern Ireland for more lucrative opportunities elsewhere in the EU.

This is likely to intensify further given the UK’s desire to restrict migrant labour and the challenge for the Northern Ireland economy is going to be job replacement and retention rather than just job creation.

Not surprisingly, IT remains the sector advertising the most roles and together with engineering they account for one- five of all job listings. Enticing the economically inactive in the labour market and equipping them with the right skills has to move up the agenda in order to address these issues.

Key highlights for Q3 report:

  • IT remains the sector advertising the most vacancies
  • IT and Engineering together account for 1 in 5 of all job listings
  • Third consecutive quarter that number of listings has increased
  • Seven of the 32 employment categories hit record highs
  • Record highs were recorded in the following categories:
    • Engineering
    • General Management & Consulting
    • Marketing
    • Motoring
    • IT
    • Social, Charity & Not for Profit
    • Transport, Logistics & Warehousing
  • Retailing, Wholesaling & Purchasing has witnessed an increase in advertised vacancies.  Following a record low in Q4 2017, listings in this category have hit a 2-year high.
  • Overall listings hit an all-time high and have risen by close to one-quarter (23%) in 1 year and by well over a third (37%) in 3 years.
  • The top five categories account for over 40% of all listings

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