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Around 80% of UK businesses are experiencing talent shortages

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33% of UK accountants plan to leave the industry in the next five years

Despite a faltering economy, rising interest rates, supply chain issues, and the ongoing impacts of Brexit, many businesses operating within the sector reported optimism about their recruitment plans as they entered the third quarter of 2023. 44% are expecting to recruit more workers, displaying a +29% net positive hiring outlook.

Brook Street, part of ManpowerGroup, releases its 2023 Salary Guide for Businesses. The guide explores  UK hiring trends and salary rates for permanent and temporary employees in the Contact Centre, Business Administration and Support, and Accounting and Finance roles.

Around 80% of UK businesses are experiencing talent shortages with more than 1,000,000 unfilled job postings. As businesses remain unable or unwilling to meet employee salary expectations, workers are becoming reluctant to pursue vacancies – leading to difficulties in hiring.

33% of current UK accountants plan to leave the industry in the next five years, hiring conditions are proving difficult on a national level, with 102 candidates per job posting.  However, there are regional variations, in Belfast there are on average, 21 candidates per post compared to Tunbridge Wells (Kent) where there are 207 candidates per post.

The Brook Street salary guide indicates some notable variance, including a +189% difference between a temporary and permanent median salary for Accountancy roles in London. It also finds UK salary ranges can differ by region – for example, the highest paid permanent median salary was £61,300 p.a (in Reading), compared to the lowest paid at £22,000 p.a. (in Newcastle).

In Contact Centres and Customer Support (CC&CS), more than 75,000 workers are missing from the sector, due to the current cost of living crisis and low to moderate pay scales.  With a national average of 342 candidates per vacancy, hiring remains difficult but regional supply differences and differing salary levels reduce this number further, giving the employer less choice.  It takes an average of 51 days to fill vacancies in CC&CS – a significant contrast to other sectors such as Finance and Accounting which reports an average of 36 days per post.

Despite a potentially large pool of candidates, the Administration and Business Support final talent pool needs to be narrowly spread after salary, job location, and working conditions are factored in.   With it taking 35-38 days to fill vacancies, 12% of businesses in the sector say they cannot secure the support staff they need.

Leigh Passingham, Brand Leader, Brook Street said: “Business leaders who better understand hiring trends and compensation rates will make better hiring decisions in what is currently a hyper-competitive labour market. While there is no magic bullet that will quickly fix the UK’s talent shortages and reduce the various pressures being placed on both employers and candidates, we’re advising employers to use originality, adaptability and speed. Hiring speed is really the key – those employers with speed to placement will secure the best talent.”


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