Staff feeling strain of recruitment freezes

The stress of under-staffed workplaces could be exacerbated by jobseekers' London-centric approach

Nearly half (46%) of employees have been left feeling under-resourced and under-staffed at work because of recruitment freezes, according to research by MetLife Employee Benefits.

Four in 10 (40%) of those polled said that workplace stress would be reduced if employers took on more people, and only 42% of employees said their company helps staff to deal with work pressure and stress, an issue that could worsen in light of the disruption to the jobs market caused by Brexit uncertainty.

Tom Gaynor, employee benefits director of MetLife UK, warned that some organisations are not communicating effectively with their workers when it comes to supporting them though recruitment freezes: “Recruiting more staff is a major investment and potentially risky, but there are actions employers can take to help the people they already have without huge investment.

“Employees need to feel supported and the evidence is that employers recognise the issue and are trying to provide that support to their workforce but are not getting the message across."

When employers do offer stress-reducing solutions staff are most likely to be offered flexible hours. Three in 10 (29%) said that they could work flexibly, while 20% have access to employee assistance programmes providing telephone or online counselling.

A persisting talent exodus to London rather than other regions could be exacerbating the strain many workers are feeling, according to a separate report by intelligence firm SimilarWeb.

The analysis, based on data from January to March 2016, found that nearly four in 10 (37.4%) UK online job searches are for jobs in London. The capital’s share of job searches was three times that of the second most searched-for city Manchester (11.48%).

Job searches were less capital city-orientated in European countries. In France Toulouse took a 21% share of online job searches on the country's five leading job sites, while Paris was in second place (16% of market share). Berlin secured 24% of Germany’s job searches by location.

Pascal Cohen, SimilarWeb digital insights manager, compared the capital with other European cities. “Searches for Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Paris, Lyon, London, and Manchester drive the most traffic to job sites in Europe,” he said. “However, the dominance of London for job searches in the UK shows no signs of diminishing. No other European city examined has anything close to London's recruitment pull."