Job Vacancies At All-Time High As Employers Struggle to Recruit and Retain Talent

ONS Report: Job vacancies hit all-time high as employers struggle to recruit and retain talent. Over half of UK workers are prepared to leave their roles in search of better hybrid working benefits.


1.295 Million Unfilled Roles

A recent report released by the ONS found that job vacancies are at an all-time high in the UK, as employers battle for talent in one of the most competitive markets in history. The number of unfilled roles soared to 1.295 million between February and April, with the number of people moving from job to job also reaching record highs. This, combined with the fact that regular wages continue to lag behind inflation, has created a market of jobseekers with options on the table who are searching for roles that provide high salaries as well as work-life balance.

In light of this, Chris Biggs, Partner at Theta Global Advisors, discusses how employers can still manage to attract and retain skilled workers by offering forward-thinking flexible working policies that are still frowned upon by some of the world’s largest companies.


57% Brits Do Not Want Traditional Office Environment

With the highest number of people employed throughout the UK in 50 years, workers feeling the pinch of the cost-of-living crisis are actively looking for employment with flexible working options. A landmark study by Theta Global Advisors unveiled that more than half (57%) of Brits do not want to work in a traditional office environment five days a week putting in regular hours. This shift to hybrid options being the norm has many benefits when it comes to work-life balance, but also saves employees money on travel, food, and clothing costs – as much as £500 a month according to the ONS.Recent research from Microsoft UK found that half of UK workers (51%) are prepared to leave their roles in order to access these hybrid working benefits, with Theta’s study also unveiling that 41% of people are likely to consider leaving their jobs within the next year. As a result, businesses are seeking answers to counteract the surge of resignations from their employees and offer them solutions to combat the cost-of-living crisis.However, big companies such as Deloitte and Goldman Sachs are still somewhat reluctant to fully adopt flexible work environments due to the fear of lowered productivity. This was echoed in Theta’s research which found that for 24% of Brits, their employers haven’t explored any flexible working options to help improve their work-life balance. Goldman Sachs have been in conversations about making changes in this area for almost a year after a leaked report disclosed abusive working conditions among junior bankers, who were working averages as high as 105 hours a week. Chris Biggs, partner at consultancy and accounting disruptor Theta Global Advisors comments: ​“With the cost-of-living throughout the UK reaching record highs, employees are taking an active stance on demanding flexible working options. As an employer, you can’t control things like inflation and rising energy prices, but you can support your employees during this time of financial stress by providing flexible working options tailored to their specific needs. “We’ve seen that those who fail to offer these options are often met with their staff leaving – so it’s beneficial to companies and their bottom line to accommodate hybrid options for their employees – not just for recruitment and retention, but for productivity as well.”