Archives for August 2021

Supply shortages: how can an RPO partner help?

Supply shortages: how can an RPO partner help?

Content Team

UK supermarkets are struggling to keep the shelves stocked in the way they would normally. Shopkeepers have been warned to expect stock shortages in the run-up to Christmas and need to negotiate with their suppliers increasing their prices. What is happening, and how can an RPO partner help businesses alleviate pressure?

Staff shortages

Pre-covid, the shortage of HGV drivers in the UK was around 60,000. Today, the UK has 100,000 fewer truck drivers than it needs, leaving companies and hauliers unable to guarantee pick-ups and deliveries. HGV drivers transport almost all products found on UK shelves, and especially those relying on tight schedules of deliveries like farmers, manufacturers, and construction companies, have expressed concerns.

truck drivers needed
Pre-covid, the shortage of HGV drivers in the UK was at 60,000. Today, the UK has 100,000 fewer truck drivers than it needs

A lack of HGV drivers is not the only labour shortage the UK supply chain faces, and the pingdemic impacting the availability of supermarket workers has long been mentioned as a contributing factor. However, this may just have been the tip of the iceberg.

Industry response

The time to fill a vacancy for an HGV driver takes most companies over 8 weeks. Reasons for the shortage include:

  • Drivers in the ageing pool of available drivers retiring,
  • Shortages of previously employed EU drivers that have left the UK,
  • And a backlog in drivers tests that could provide more qualified drivers because of the pandemic.

So far, the government response has included a relaxation of the driver’s hours rules, meaning drivers can now be on the road for 11 hours instead of 9. It is a response that has received wide criticism, as it is considered to do little to ease the problem it is trying to address, while compromising safety standards.

trucks parked
Many companies have taken it upon themselves to become a more attractive employer to the small talent pool of available drivers.

Many companies have taken it upon themselves to become a more attractive employer to the small talent pool of available drives. Tesco, for example, is offering a £1000 sign-on bonus, while Morrisons is working on training schemes for staff to become lorry drivers. Others advertise permanent contracts, no weekends or evening shifts, focus on wellbeing and salaries up to £40k and have expanded their recruitment campaigns to speak to a broader group, including women and first jobbers.

Engaging an RPO partner

An RPO partner can’t make a shortage of the needed skills go away, but an RPO partner can certainly help you gain the competitive advantage, insights and recruitment technology to ensure that the available talent chooses to work for your organisation. RPO experts bring the experience and knowledge of different markets in different contexts and will be able to advise. Examples include:

Recruitment strategy

A different market may mean reconsidering your overall recruitment strategy. When job advertising is no longer enough to attract the talent you need, an RPO partner can advise on a different approach. 

man holding clipboard
An RPO partner can help you gain the competitive advantage, technology and insights needed to compete for talent.

Hudson RPO has assisted a manufacturing client with hard to fill roles in remote locations by implementing a renewed on-the-ground, recruitment strategy. Click here to read more.

Predictive hiring

The need for niche skills and talent can fluctuate quickly, especially in unpredictable times. An RPO partner can do more than help you with your current hiring needs; with extensive experience and the tools available for analysis of your market, along with best practice methodologies, an RPO partner can help you predict future hiring needs. Predictive analysis helps you with more time to prepare, building talent pools in advance, and engaging and building relationships with talent early. Click here to read how our local knowledge, sourcing skills, and predictive analysis helped our client Caterpillar. Your RPO partner can also advise how to strategically train and develop existing staff to meet current and future demands.

Competitive advantage

Becoming the employer of choice in a competitive market takes a holistic approach to the recruitment process that an RPO partner can help set up from employer branding, recruitment advertisements, and the interview and onboarding processes. Click here to read how Hudson RPO helped AstraZeneca achieve 100% candidate satisfaction by augmenting the service with employer branding, satisfaction surveys, candidate pool management and LinkedIn and social media presence.

These are just a few examples of how an RPO partner can help you meet your hiring needs. If you would like to discuss your challenges or have any questions about how we can help, get in touch today.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

Climate Change: how will businesses adapt?

Climate Change: how will businesses adapt?

Content Team

Many conversations in the last year have been around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we emerge from the pandemic and adjust to the new world of work, our next challenge is arising. With deadly heatwaves, floods and extreme weather events becoming another new normal, businesses will have to answer a new set of questions as the UK, due to host COP26 in Glasgow in November, is priming companies for action.

A decarbonised market

At the opening of the COP26 private finance agenda, Alok Sharma, the COP26 president and UK business secretary, highlighted the need for a shift in funding. “Only decarbonised economies will be able to grow through the worst impacts of climate change”.

Investment in climate action is already creating jobs, with workers on the frontline of the necessary industrial transformation. For example, the solar energy industry in the US is already creating jobs 20 times faster than the overall economy.

Two co-workers having a discussion
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the next big challenge for many businesses will be climate change.

The increasing pressure on organisations to become more environmentally responsible comes from a broad range of stakeholders, including investors, employees, governments, and customers. Year after year, the percentage of funds held in green and sustainable investment rises.

As part of the green industrial revolution in the United Kingdom, the sale of non-electrical cars will stop after 2030. Scotland is ramping up quickly in its effort to become a wind-energy leader on the European continent with ambitious plans for offshore wind farms.

Still, many climate responses in business currently primarily focus on short-term cost-saving measures, and targets for carbon reductions are not always in line with the Paris agreement.

The challenges

Climate change creates new business risks that will vary per industry. Apart from the most obvious risks for operational impacts from extreme weather events, supply shortages and rising sea levels, climate change poses challenges at various levels:


Business models will have to adapt, and offsetting emissions will soon no longer be enough. This can include office models as a fifth of UK emissions come from commercial property, but also travel policies, office recycling plans and suppliers. There are also transition risks that arise from the response to climate change: changes in technologies, markets and regulations that can increase cost, product, and asset values.


If companies do not voluntarily work towards low-carbon targets, regulation will eventually force the issue. Aside from this, an increasing risk for organisations is the liability for emitting greenhouse gasses. Although legal cases at the moment have primarily focussed on fossil fuel and utility companies, more organisations will face accountability for the damaging effects of climate change.


Despite rising pressures, many businesses still consider climate change a distant problem. As long as customers do not appear to care, action can be considered an unnecessary expense. But younger generations are particularly engaged in the issue, sidelining visible climate offenders as employers of choice, and changing their purchasing and investment decisions. Walmart, Target, Ikea, Nike and Amazon have recently come under scrutiny in a report that measures the climate pollution retailers emit from overseas shipping. Next, it is likely for scrutiny to shift to companies in sectors that have been avoiding action. Increased transparency, a stance on climate change and improvements are becoming part of an (employer) brand, and questions businesses will have to answer in interviews, client pitches and online.

modern office
Despite rising pressures, many still consider climate change a distant problem.

The job market

With a shift in any market, comes a shift in employability, required skills and job availability. In urban labour markets, damage by extreme weather events will be more likely, while rural labour markets face a greater incidence of flooding and damage from extreme heat. Supply chains, labour conditions, health & safety, and labour productivity are at risk from rising temperatures and the effects of forced short- and long-term migration from rising sea levels.

Jobs can disappear without replacement in the banning or discouragement of particular processing methods or resources, especially in energy and pollution-intensive industries such as manufacturing, tourism and transport.

On the other hand, jobs will be created in emerging and adapting green sectors that will need various skills for their transitions, development and operations. Most studies show that the transition to a low-carbon economy will lead to a net increase in employment. Stimulating investment and innovation in green products and services that are more environmentally friendly and low carbon enables enterprises to access new markets and offers a competitive advantage for other enterprises to emerge.

The opportunities

The UK identified the low-carbon economy as an area of opportunity; it’s forecast to grow 11% a year up to 2030. In the wind industry, it is believed that jobs in the offshore sector could grow to 70,000, primarily based in northeast England, Yorkshire, the Humber, East Anglia, and Scotland.

While in the US, it is anticipated that millions of jobs will be created in sectors from renewable energy to innovation of low carbon-related construction. The growth for wind turbine service technicians is predicted to be 58% in the next eight years and NETs, negative emission technologies, could increase to generate annual revenues of 800bn$ by 2050, larger than the current market of the oil and gas sector.

Earlier this year, the Sustainable Market Initiative Insurance Taskforce, including 17 firms like Allianz, Hiscox and Axa, has pledged its support to the transition to a less carbon-intensive economy. They are expanding their insurance coverages for projects such as offshore windfarms and partnerships with governments to provide better disaster protection.

The opportunities go further than the demand for renewable energy and environmentally friendly products. The transition to net-zero has been dubbed the greatest commercial opportunity of our time. Industries will see an increased opportunity to come together to, for example, use AI and technology to analyse large data sets in efforts to cut plastic and food waste, for service and for consulting industries to offer assistance in energy transitions and legal advice.

Millions of jobs will be created from renewable energy
Millions of jobs will be created in sectors from renewable energy to innovation of low carbon-related construction.


Most organisations have seen how vital adaptability is in light of the pandemic. Climate change is likely to become the next challenge the world of work has to overcome. While some businesses may be further advanced in their efforts than others, it is never too late to start. Starting points can include reviewing company travel policies, encouraging trains over inland flights, reviewing suppliers and commuting practices. In a changing market with fluctuating demands, an RPO partner can offer flexibility, scalability and advice. Get in touch today.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

Reference Checking Technology Solution Saves Over 3,500 Hours Annually

Reference Checking Technology Solution Saves Over 3,500 Hours Annually

Kathi May

Reference checking remains a critical element of our recruitment process across most of our teams and still brings value to the recruitment process. It allows a recruiter to capture and validate information about an applicant concerning the selection criteria. It also helps the recruiter better understand a candidate’s strengths and limitations to ensure they are well supported to be their best selves when they are onboarded.

However, the length of time it took our recruiters to complete a reference check meant they had less time to spend on vital recruitment tasks that need a ‘human touch’. It also meant less time to devote to elevating the candidate and hiring manager experience, which is a top priority for our onsite recruitment teams.

In 2014, after an extensive evaluation of vendors, we engaged Xref as our trusted partner for our online reference checking tool across our solutions.

“By using reference checking technology, we have saved our teams over 3,500 hours per year!”

Since introducing Xref, our reference checking process is simpler, consistent, more user-friendly and fully automated. As a result, our teams have gained better insights into their candidates and enjoy a more efficient process while our clients benefit from reduced time to hire, improved reporting and data insights. In addition, it has given our recruiters time back into their day to focus on the things that matter most – delivering great experiences.

Our Technology & Innovation Director, Stephen Fitzgerald, says, “as an early adopter of this technology, it has led to reduced time to fill and enabled our recruiters to spend more than 3,500 extra hours each year with candidates and hiring managers”.

Click on the infographic to find out more about how reference checking technology has benefitted our teams and to see more great outcomes from our successful partnership.

If you are interested in finding out more about our technology solutions contact one of our Talent Experts.

Xref & Hudson RPO Story
Click image to view infographic
Kathi May Headshot

Kathi May

Regional Director, Marketing & Employer Branding

Kathi leads Marketing and Employer Branding in APAC and is passionate about helping Hudson RPO clients attract, engage and retain top talent through innovative employer branding initiatives.  She works closely with the Client Solutions team to develop meaningful marketing strategies that promote the benefits of recruitment process outsourcing in delivering cost reductions, reduced time to hire and significant improvements in quality of talent, staff retention and recruitment service levels.

Related articles

Recruitment in a candidate-led market

Recruitment in a candidate-led market

Content Team

In contrast to last year’s recruitment freezes, furlough, and job losses, the job market has taken an undeniable turn in 2021. With careful optimism, an uptake in vaccination rates and easing restrictions, the confidence to hire is at an all-time high. However, the shortfall in available talent to fuel this newfound optimism while we emerge from the pandemic is creating a job market where the demand for skilled talent outstrips the supply.

What previously unseen recruitment challenges will arise as we adapt to the new world of work in a market led by candidates, and how to overcome them? We have asked our very own Hudson RPO recruitment experts.

several candidates seated
49% of participants in our World of Work survey expected that hiring in 2021 will exceed 2020 levels.

What is a candidate-led market?

The hiring demand has soared 145% above pre-pandemic levels in the first months of 2021. In a market like this, candidates feel confident to explore different opportunities, driven by life changes over lockdown, the opportunity of better pay and benefits, remote working, or a lack of progression in their current role.  

“Offers for some positions are 30% higher than they were before.”

Although opportunities are opening up left and right as organisations recover, the supply of available talent has not increased as quickly after the pandemic. Strengthened by an online recruitment process requiring less time commitment and investment, candidates successfully engage in multiple interview processes at one time, and more often than not receive multiple offers.

Candidates with multiple offers tend to be more confident to challenge offers they receive, backed by other offers and counteroffers. They are more vocal about their expectations of pay and benefits and weigh up their options carefully to make their decision to accept an offer, sometimes well into the onboarding process.

Particularly skilled candidates in supply chain, engineering (software and power), IT, logistics, sales, recruitment, trade, mechanics, STEM and e-commerce are high in demand.

What does it mean for the recruitment process?

Although the challenges and successes can vary per industry, some recruitment trends are shared across all industries, business sizes, competitive landscapes, and talent requirements. Whether it is early in the interview process, or at offer stage, candidates seem less engaged and see it as less of an issue to trade their opportunity for a better one.


Early 2020 brought about an influx of applications, but it is proving to be harder to get the same number of applications in 2021. Roles that had 200 applications previously, now reach no more than 30. Exceptions to this are applications for home-based working, which gives employers that offer flexibility a real competitive advantage.

With less applications, recruiters are forced to respond with more active sourcing and direct recruitment. But many face the challenge that candidates who did not apply via job adverts, are less engaged in the interview process, and more inclined to abandon the interview process or reject offers.

“Candidates applying via job adverts are twice as likely to commit to the entire recruitment process.”

The interview process

The pandemic has irreversibly changed the recruitment process, and for most it now no longer includes having to take time off work and travel for a face-to-face interview. With less investment in time and relationship, an interview cancellation or no show is only ever one click away.

Many report that if an interview process is too long, and includes too many steps, some candidates disappear without letting anyone know. Moreover, some candidates are not even interested in an interview or screening call before they know what kind of salary and benefits are on the table.

several people in meeting
Most candidates are considering 2 or 3 offers at a time.

The role of the recruiter in the interview process increases, and candidate experience becomes even more important than it was before. Recruiters are forced to take on a more consulting and soft approach with candidates, and spend more time coaching and advising hiring managers on their hiring needs, the recruitment process and offers. More follow ups are required to keep a candidate engaged, and most interview processes have been shortened and streamlined. Unfortunately, a recruitment process that is too streamlined required even less commitment from a candidate and brings the risk of being easy leverage to raise other offers.

Making the offer

Certainly, the most reported challenge is the rejection of offers, sometimes even while candidates have started the onboarding process. The main reason for rejected offers are counteroffers, either by competitors, or their previous company. In a tight market, organisations are happy to raise a counteroffer, as entering a recruitment process is more expensive and difficult than keeping an existing employee. Retention bonuses have also become more common.

“Some candidates carry on interviewing when they already started a job, and change jobs when they get a better offer. They keep their options open.”

Candidates can be involved in the final stages of a long, multi-step interview process for a senior position that requires a larger investment of their time, and still reject an offer. But even if a candidate is not currently in work, there is still less on the line in rejecting an offer even after having started, as the next opportunity is just around the corner.

Not only does the candidate driven market bring more confidence to keep options open, but candidates also look at an offer from a more holistic point of view. Pay is not the only factor they consider, they also look for sign-on incentives, car allowances, promotion trajectories, holiday packages, permanent contracts, flexibility and remote working and are more vocal about this too.

Unfortunately, many of the familiar benefits organisations offer, do not match what candidates are looking for. Relocation packages have lost their attraction when candidates know that their job can be done from anywhere, insurance and benefits packages are less interesting to the younger generation to whom lifestyle focused benefits such as gym memberships, counselling, and cycle to work schemes are more appealing. Unsurprisingly, the most attractive benefit is the ability to work remotely, hybrid, or on a fly-in fly-out schedule.

How can organisations recruit successfully and efficiently in a candidate-led market?

We have spoken to the Hudson RPO specialist recruiters and talent advisors across many of our accounts to ask them how they have successfully responded to the changes in the candidate led market.

  • Analyse where improvements are needed

Start by identifying where and how changes can be made. Analysis behind job advertisements such as AB testing, monitoring the length of the recruitment process and at what stage candidates drop out, survey competitors and review if the benefits you offer aligned to your target audience.

  • Explore alternative ways of sourcing talent

As sourcing becomes more difficult and is a time heavy investment for little response, employee referral schemes, social media, and local networks become more interesting and offer more opportunities for truly engaged candidates that fit the organisation.

  • Improve the employer brand

Because more applicants that actively applied for a position tend to be more engaged throughout the interview process, it is no longer about finding the talent, but about making sure they know about an employer and are interested enough to apply. This is where a strong employer brand is of great importance and competitive advantage. To read more about employer branding, click here.

three diverse employees working
Sourcing can be expensive in a candidate-led market where candidates tend to be less responsive. Referrals are a great alternative.
  • Explore where you can adapt your needs to the market

When a particular role or skill is hard to fill, consider if your investment in the recruitment process would be better off being an investment in training and development. Not every candidate can tick all the boxes right away, by investing in training and development you are also making an investment in a long-term employee that contributes to your organisation.

Do you recognise any of the challenges described? Contact us today for advice, or learn more about how recruitment has adapted after COVID-19 in our most recent podcast with our client, LV=, or in our latest whitepaper with Future Talent.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

Download our Latest Guide