It was five years ago that the McKinsey Global Institute recognised the oncoming Talent War in their “Preparing for a new era of work” report.

This was supported by a KPMG study – “Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World”, where 81% of executives surveyed said talent management was key to establishing a competitive edge over rivals.

Half a decade on, and this is an issue facing HR executives and hiring managers in the UK. They are acutely aware that securing talent is not easy and there are a number of reasons why.

Labour shortages – The British Chambers of Commerce research in January 2018 showed 71% of businesses in the service sectors have issues hiring the right workers. This rose to 75% in the manufacturing sector.

Brexit – The UK’s impending exit in March 2019 is having a huge impact on available workers, particularly from the continent. Several sectors have been hit by the departure of migrant workers, while the prospects of attracting workers from Europe has diminished.

Demand for Labour – The demand for labour remains high – and thus there remains competition for the best talent, but skills shortages amongst candidates continues to increase pressure. With unemployment less than 1.5m – there is a smaller pool in which to get talent.

Candidate power – Give the talent shortage, the brightest and best candidates hold all the cards and it is up to hiring managers to create the right package and environment to secure in-demand talent.

Seasonal spikes – Increased demands for low skilled workers in the summer, predominantly in agriculture, tourism and hospitality sectors, plus for the retail sector in winter impacts on the availability of workers for other sectors – particularly in lower skilled jobs.


It is no longer viable to think that recruitment success can be achieved the ‘old fashioned’ way as it is too labour intensive, too costly and inflexible.

Past methods of retaining paper records, excel spreadsheets and even CRM records require too much management and increases administration costs – resulting in high costs per candidate before they have commenced employment. Recruitment also only takes place within ‘working hours’ of 9-5, which means two thirds of the day is lost.

Even using ‘online’ methods of recruitment, poor decisions and a lack of knowledge are hindering finding talent. Advertising on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is too high for low skilled vacancies. Social media strategies are lacking in cohesion and thus a lack of return on investment. There is no talent funnel to engage and identify over the mid-to-long term. Candidates are known to not have up-to-date CVs and so online jobs boards such as Reed, CV Library and Jobsite are not ‘identifying’ talent.

Finally, a lack of automation by hiring companies, results in recruitment companies unable to meet demand and deploy workforce at speed.


The combination of the ineffectiveness of traditional recruitment methods and the reasons why there is a shortage of talent, has significant detrimental impact for businesses which could initially be a missed deadline, but the long-term repercussions could ultimately spell disaster.

If you begin with the fact that the recruitment company, through outdated methods, cannot meet the clients demands for talent, then I can lead to series of knock on effects including missed production deadlines and late deliveries to clients. This exacerbates the problem and so recruiters seek methods to slimline the process, such as less compliance and induction training to meet demands. But this is now a vicious circle for all parties with the hirer still falling short of targets and ultimately resulting in the business closing.

It is a worst-case scenario but has the potential to become an epidemic unless changes to the recruitment model are put in place.


At Clarico, we have identified the challenges and looked to put into a place a solution that resolves these and delivers for clients seeking to fill vacancies rapidly and cost-effectively.

Today’s candidates need to be attracted to the client. This can be achieved with effective marketing, the right messaging and a willingness to nurture the candidate across various digital platforms. Keep them engaged and informed and ready to choose you when you have the vacancy that meets their aspirations. Ditch being over-reliant on job boards and instantly reduce your advertising costs.

We have moved to a 24/7 operation automated system, so that we are recruiting talent at any time of the day that suits them. In addition, our process cuts back on administration, as candidates register online, which also includes a screening and filtering processes, eliminating the need for costly recruitment consultants.

We are using advanced technology that can handle significant amounts of data and that can also be used for administrative tasks, while we can use it as a communication tool, reaching thousands on candidates, while also enabling our team to manage a high volume of placements each day and to cope with any sudden changes in demand and scheduling.