MAJOR businesses are missing out on hiring top talent because their recruitment processes are too cumbersome, a specialist recruiter says.

The warning comes from Oakstone International, a Poole-based executive search firm which serves the financial technology (fintech) and SaaS (software as a service) sectors around the world.

Divisional director Andy Strong, who has spent 15 years with the business, said demand for talent is outstripping supply in the sector.

He said: “In the race for top talent you have got to be fast, approach things in the right way, deliver an optimal candidate experience and partner with clients to speed up their hiring processes – or you will risk losing top talent.

“All the top candidates are getting approached three or four times a day by recruiters and so the longer you spend on a hiring process, the more roles they are going to have presented to them – thus there is a greater opportunity of losing that candidate.

“If you do lose a candidate – a precious resource today – because your hiring process is not fit for purpose you could be waiting months to find another person as good or better. For every month there is an open vacancy it is costing the company tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of pounds/dollars/euros.”

Mr Strong added: “We are seeing a 10 to 20 per cent uplift in salaries purely down to today’s supply and demand climate – which we encourage our partners not to get caught up in, provided they get everything else right.

“Late twentysomethings getting paid six figure salaries were pretty rare before Covid and is now the norm in a highly competitive market. We see highly successful, strategic sales people commanding base salaries of £140,000 to £150,000 – which may continue as long as companies continue to hire and see a solid ROI (return on investment).”

There are currently more job vacancies than unemployed people in the UK, with an unemployment rate of 3.8 per cent and job openings of 1.3million – although the fluctuations of general employment were not mirrored by the tech recruitment world.

Oakstone reported a 61 per cent year-on-year growth in revenue earlier this year.