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Recruitment is an increased priority for 46% of organisations and retention more important for 33% according to our survey.

Despite concerns about skills shortages and an ageing workforce, the need to complete projects effectively in the short-term means the emphasis for the next year is on hiring experienced candidates.

Just over a third of employers expect to hire more people with at least five years’ experience. A massive 70% do not expect to recruit any apprentices and 41% have no plans to hire more graduates.

Whoever employers are looking to recruit, they are favouring permanent hires as they look to save money on contractor day rates and build teams that will grow and evolve over time.

  Request your copy of the 2014 Hays Energy Salary Guide

“Permanent recruitment is the preference but in many cases skilled workers are choosing to become contract after gaining between five and 10 years’ experience. This is a growing problem for employers,” says Mike Morgan of Hays Energy. “Organisations will look beyond permanent as a last resort or in a business critical stage in projects but they want to replace them as soon as possible with a permanent hire.”

There is evidence more contractors will move back into permanent roles because of the stability these jobs provide and because many employers are willing to offer flexible benefits to attract and keep them.

This is good news for employers who worry about their permanent versus contractor ratio, although they appreciate that contract or temporary staff are ideal when there is a surge in short-term work and they need to be flexible and hire the right skills and experience.

Companies across the sectors are developing a better understanding of their workforce profile to meet long-term demands. Over the next few years employers will need to pay closer attention to meeting the requirements of a more diverse workforce.

The permanent recruitment cycle does need to shorten to ensure businesses get the people they want and the interview process made faster with fewer stages. “Candidates soon start to think an employer is not interested in them if the process is slow and the hiring experience is too long,” says Ankit Nangalia of Hays Energy .
  Request your copy of the 2014 Hays Energy Salary Guide

In the consultancy sector employers continue to put more importance on softer skills and a candidate’s personality when recruiting. They are even willing to compromise on experience if the person can work effectively in a client-facing role and would blend in well with an existing team.

Employers need to think carefully about their recruitment strategy and how to target individuals with the right skills and experience. Selection process, the individual who is reviewing CVs and the speed of response are all central to this. The trend to use portal-led recruitment where candidates upload their CV can mean recruiting managers do not always have access to the best candidates with the right technical and soft skills.

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