The 20 jobs employers find hardest to fill

Posted by Andrea Cleary,
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According to new data from the world’s biggest job site Indeed, finding suitable new staff has never been more of a challenge for British employers.

The shortage of staff is seen mostly in sectors that require highly skilled workers, with Britain’s tech sector struggling to find enough people with the right skills and experience – despite paying high salaries.

The role of an optometrist has proven to be the most difficult to fill, with 68.79% of vacancies posted on Indeed over the past year remaining unfilled for 60 days or more. Just over half of solicitor roles were still vacant after 60 days, with surgeons just behind on 46.32%.

The vast majority of these difficult to fill roles are in the tech sector, an indication both of the tech boom and also of how employers are having to exercise patience and find staff with the specialist skills they need.

Software engineers (41.8%), software architects (41.78%), front-end developers (40.31%), system engineers (40.24%), software test engineers (39.86%) and full stack developers (39.76%) also make the ‘hard to fill’ list. All pay an average annual salary of £37,500 or more, with the average software architect able to command almost double (£70,000).

Jobs with highest percentage of vacancies that were ‘hard to fill’ in past year

Rank

Job Title

% of vacancies that are ‘hard to fill’

Average Annual Salary

1

Optometrist

68.79

£50,000

2

Solicitor

51.4

£45,000

3

Surgeon

46.32

£41,000

4

Software Engineer

41.8

£40,000

5

Software Architect

41.78

£70,000

6

Front End Developer

40.31

£42,500

7

System Engineer

40.24

£37,500

8

Flight Attendant

40.06

£23,000

9

Software Test Engineer

39.86

£40,000

10

Full Stack Developer

39.76

£47,500

Indeed have also determined which roles have the highest number of ‘hard to fill’ postings.

Cleaners account for almost 3% of the jobs currently listed on Indeed that are classed as ‘hard to fill’. Although only 11.53% of cleaner jobs are classed as ‘hard to fill,’ the overall quantity of cleaners being sought means that, as a proportion of ‘hard to fill’ jobs, cleaner roles top the list.

Support staff make up 2.15% of ‘hard to fill’ jobs, chefs make up 2.06% and customer service representatives come in with 1.91%, while care assistants complete the top five, making up 1.677% of all ‘hard to fill’ jobs listed.

Jobs with highest proportion of all ‘hard to fill’ postings in the UK in the past year

Rank

Job Title

Jobs with the most ‘hard to fill’ roles (by % market share)

Average Annual Salary

1

Cleaner

2.95

£16,640

2

Support Staff

2.15

£17,680

3

Chef

2.06

£18,408

4

Customer Service Representative

1.91

£18,000

5

Care Assistant

1.68

£18,221

6

Customer Assistant

1.60

£19,396

7

Registered Nurse

1.12

£35,360

8

Server

1.05

£17,722

9

Delivery Driver

1.00

£18,616

10

Sales Assistant

0.97

£16,432

Among many of the roles where candidates are proving most elusive are entry-level jobs. Given there is already difficulty in filling these roles, there is rising concern among employers that post-Brexit constraints on the ability of EU citizens to work in the UK could make it even harder for British bosses to source workers.

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