UK business growth hampered by slow hiring processes

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Most businesses in the UK believe that hiring methods are restrictive and inefficient, leading to a lack of progress and contributing to the widening skills gap.

The skills gap has been a significant problem in the IT sector, with another recent report from CompTIA claiming that it was harming innovation in the UK.

This new research comes from online talent marketplace Upwork, and reveals that 88 per cent of UK companies think current hiring methods are far too slow, with a further 82 per cent believing this has a negative impact on business.

Hayley Conick, Upwork Country Manager, said: "The current way in which businesses find new talent is broken it's inefficient and often ineffective. It's particularly worrying to learn that UK businesses are being prevented from growing both in terms of winning new work as well as losing existing clients as a result of inefficient processes for finding talent.

"Today, businesses have access to a global pool of talent at the click of a button. However, when only 4 per cent of businesses are looking beyond UK borders, is it any wonder we're falling behind?" she added.

The UK's immigration policy has been questioned by many in regards to the IT skills gap, with techUK CEO Julian David telling IT Pro "you could argue it's dumb."

He said: "We're not talking about numbers here, we're talking about getting the right skills needed to grow the economy, be they plumbers or be they tech entrepeneurs or be they experienced large company people."

The study is based on a survey of 1,000 hiring managers, who revealed that it takes businesses more than a month (34 days) on average to find and hire new employees 14 per cent take longer than two months.

Another surprising result from the study was that 37 per cent of companies still advertise for new staff in newspapers and magazines, with 31 per cent advertising online, 25 per cent on LinkedIn and 19 per cent on other social media.

In its research, CompTIA found that 44 per cent of 1,500 IT workers believe that productivity suffers because of a lack of talent, with the biggest area for concern being cybersecurity.

"The impact of the skills gap threatens the livelihood of businesses across the country, from information security to customer service and more need to be done to table this growing problem," said Estelle Jones, CompTIA's UK director for member communities.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at