There are 957,000 job vacancies still open within the UK. Whilst businesses are struggling to attract key talent, one overlooked demographic may well be those who have served in the armed forces. In this article, HR Grapevine digs into the keys to attracting and retaining this group.
The current talent market as it stands in the early months of 2024 continues to show a trend of businesses battling it out to attract prospective new hires. Indeed data states that right now, there are 957,000 job vacancies in the UK.
Despite the most recent KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs showing that hiring decisions are currently influenced by uncertainty about the economy, four fifths (80%) of UK businesses are reporting persistent difficulty filling jobs, a rate more than double the pre-pandemic high of 35% in 2019, ManpowerGroup’s annual Talent Shortage survey found that a massive four fifths (80%) of UK businesses are reporting persistent difficulty filling jobs. This is a rate more than double that of the pre-pandemic high of 35% in 2019.
Bias in the recruitment process and the demographics you attract
This raises significant questions around the demographics that businesses are attracting, intentional or not, with their talent strategy. Elements such as gendered job descriptions and unconscious bias at the hands of hiring managers significantly affects the population of candidates that believe their skills will be valued and celebrated within your company.
Research supports the fact that the vast majority of hiring practices have a bias slant. LinkedIn data from 2022 indicates that 85% to 97% of hiring managers rely on intuition alone when making crucial hiring decisions, or writing job posts. Not only this, but According to BrightTalk data, 79% of HR professionals agree that unconscious bias exists in both recruitment and succession planning decisions within their companies.
One such demographic which is, according to research from the Forces Network, among the most overlooked within the overall talent pool is those who have previously held positions within the armed forces. This group of ex-armed forces individuals, a population that increases by over 16,000 people each year, is an extremely qualified and engaged demographic that holds skills the vast majority of firms deem to be valuable.
Employees who have served their country are taught a wide range of applicable skills, including organisation, leadership and other more technical competencies like engineering
According to Morson Forces, these candidates have a minimum of an NVQ level three trade qualification, and many support this additional professional and personal trades associated with MSc. BSc, MBA and Charter Status. Despite this, Government data found that ten per cent of ex-armed forces individuals are economically inactive a shocking six months after leaving service.