New research from job site Indeed has revealed that optometrist roles are the hardest to fill in the UK, with more than two thirds of job postings lying vacant for at least two months.

The study found that 68.79% of optometrist vacancies posted on Indeed over the past year remained unfilled for 60 days or more, while over half of solicitor’s roles remained vacant over the same period, and 46.32% of surgeon roles were left vacant.

And with the UK employment rate currently resting at a record high, finding the right fresh talent to fill roles has never been more of a challenge for recruiters. The research also indicated that the shortage of staff is most acute in the sectors that are reliant on skilled candidates.

Indeed’s research found that of the top ten most complex roles to fill, the vast majority were situated within the tech sector.

The study suggests that this key finding is likely to be indicative of the tech jobs boom and how patient recruiters and employers are having to maintain to fill the vacancies with the necessary, qualified skillsets.

Bill Richards, UK Managing Director at Indeed, said that finding the right staff requires a “winning blend of hiring strategies”, regardless of the current jobs climate.

He added: “But the current jobs market has raised the bar for many employers.

“With a higher proportion of the population in work than ever before, the pool of jobseekers is a shallow one. When demand from employers outpaces the supply of workers, it can take a long time to fill vacancies and our research pinpoints which ones have been most affected.”

These staffing shortfalls can be equally attributed to the rising concerns of Britain’s departure from the EU next month.

“The Brexit connection is hard to overlook,” added Richards. “Many of the ‘hardest to fill’ roles have historically been ones that were filled by EU workers drawn to the UK by Britain’s more abundant job opportunities. With official data showing net migration from the EU slowing, these roles are set to become even harder to fill.

“But on the other side of the coin, where employers see difficulty, jobseekers should see opportunity. Clearly in a tight labour market like ours, much of the power already sits with the workers, but these roles that are notoriously hard to fill could prove especially fruitful for ambitious jobseekers looking for a new challenge.”

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