Two people walking through manufacturing warehouse
Two people walking through manufacturing warehouse

Candidate Survey 2021 - It's Time To Prioritise Retention

​Candidate Survey 2021 - It's Time To Prioritise Retention

2021 was always going to be a challenging year for the manufacturing sector, and indeed the UK economy as a whole, as we waited to see the impact of Brexit and how businesses would cope as we came out of the pandemic.

As the economic stability returned and companies began to focus on headcount growth, the gap in candidate availability highlighted a massive imbalance between supply and demand. This culminated in a total of 1.2m unfilled vacancies in the UK and the worst skills shortage since 1997.

Many companies reacted to this by increasing salaries to help attract potential candidates. A study by the Open Universitystated that 67% companies put their salaries up at a cost of 2.16 million to help solve the problem. Although in the short term this will help, the knock on effect is often that everyone else does the same, making this tactic is unsustainable.

There are many other options to aid your attraction and retention strategies (view our series on post-pandemic recruitment here). This series is based on our recruitment data from over the past 2 years, and will support your business as we look to support the growth of your business in 2022.

However, we are now providing you with the live data from our candidate database on engineer behaviour and attitudes towards work in 2022. We have surveyed a cross section of our 48,000 engineers in our database to see how they were feeling and what is important to them as employees.

The results are in, and makes for interesting reading for employers looking to increase and retain their workforce in this climate. Whilst increasing salaries will be an important factor, there’s certainly a lot more for employers to consider.

Out of those surveyed, how many are currently in work?

  • Total number of responses in work was 84%, where as out of work was 16%

How many are looking for a new role?

  • Despite only 16% being out of work, a total of 71% are looking for a new role

When deciding what business to join what are your deciding factors?

  • 59% training and progression

  • 53% salary

  • 52% feeling valued

  • 43% stability

  • 21% shifts

  • 14% flexible working

For those looking to move what are the reasons?

  • 21% don’t feel valued by their employer

  • 15% lack of training

  • 24% lack of progression

  • 27% salary

  • 1% other

Change in salary in 2021

  • 14% increased

  • 64% no change

  • 22% decreased

As a result

  • 62% are satisfied

  • 38% are not satisfied with their salary

How would a candidate search for a new role?

  • 59% would upload a CV to a job board and wait to be approached

  • 52% Would apply through a job board

  • 31% would apply through a specialist recruitment website

  • 22% prefer to be approached by a recruiter that they have previously registered with

  • 18% would search via a search engine

A company is only as strong as the people it employs. Is it worth running your own survey? If you need support or advice, we’d be happy to help, we could even design a survey for you.

We will also be releasing our annual Salary Survey in the coming weeks, which will convey data gathered from all the permanent and contract placements we have made throughout 2021. This extensive report, together with the feedback from candidates and their employment plans, ATA Recruitment hold the knowledge and expertise to ensure you're ready to face the growing concern of staff retention.