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The Talent War is Coming: Candidates have all the Power


As 2016 approaches, CV-Library, the UK’s largest job site, looks at the direction 2015 took in terms of job growth and why the year ahead could see businesses losing the talent war, despite operating in a thriving economy.

The UK’s job market in 2015

  • Candidate power – candidates are operating in a prosperous job market giving them more control than ever before; skilled professionals expect multiple job offers during their job search and can now afford to be picky;
  • Reduced applicants – increased candidate power has led to a reduction in the number of roles they apply for, giving businesses much less choice when recruiting for a new role;
    • Talent war – as a result of all of this, businesses are having to fight harder than ever to attract and retain the best talent; we are living in the midst of a talent war;
  • Decentralisation – the job site has reported huge amounts of job growth in cities outside of London, such as Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds and Bristol;
  • Country-wide catch-up – London still holds more jobs than any other city in the UK. Almost a fifth of the nation’s jobs are still based in the Capital, which holds 3-4 times more roles than other major cities such as Manchester and Birmingham;
  • National job growth – job creation is flourishing in the UK and 2015 has seen an increase of 23.1%, compared to 2014;
  • Industry job growth – industry jobs in particular have seen a massive rise in 2015. Roles in construction, distribution and manufacturing have seen growth of up to 40% in the last year.

Expectations for 2016

  • Even more candidate power – candidates are in control and they know it. Businesses will continue to have to pull out all the stops if they want to win the talent war;
  • Skills shortages – if job growth continues to escalate at its current rate, it will be difficult to source enough skilled professionals to fill roles. Skills shortages and a severe lack of talent is expected to be a growing concern in 2016, further fuelling a recipe for a massive business-headache;
  • Maintained growth – job growth is picking up pace and businesses are operating in a thriving economy. There are no signs of a slowdown any time soon;
  • London centricity – there is still a huge amount of work to be done if the government is going to turn its ‘Northern Powerhouse’ into a reality and this isn’t going to happen overnight. For 2016, at least, London will still be the UK’s job-hub.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments:

“It’s great to see such strong job growth across the nation, especially in areas outside of London and in key industries such as construction. However, with this growth set to continue into 2016, businesses should be aware of the difficulty this could bring in finding the right talent to fill new job roles.

“Candidates are already in a powerful position and we expect this to strengthen in 2016. This, combined with growing skills shortages and slowing job applications, is only going to fuel problems faced by companies looking to recruit new staff. Recruitment strategies in 2016 need to be slicker than ever if businesses are going to win the talent war.”

Learn more about CV-Library here.


CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites, with the UK’s biggest database of over 12m CVs. The company was founded in 2000 as a response to Lee’s identification of a market niche. As a young carpet fitter at the time struggling to find work, Lee saw a need for an easy-to-use job board benefiting both job hunters and recruiters. With a £9k loan and help from a web developer, the CV-Library website was built. Lee’s raw passion and hands-on marketing strategies lifted the business off the ground and it is this that continues to push his company to new heights.

The business is now one of the fastest growing websites in the country. The team is expanding rapidly, now employing over 200 staff. It has also launched sister website, Resume Library, in the US, where the company is set to expand and take the brand global over the coming years. Lee puts the reason for his success down to working incredibly hard, loving what he does and a strong desire to make the business the best it can be.

Lee has received over 50 awards and accolades to date and was last year recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 2015 CV-Library was also ranked as number 49 in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100.


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