Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson
Associate Director: In House

Articles From the Team

UK Recruitment Activity – strong demand and a lack of talent drives growth in temporary hires

On Tuesday 9th May 2017, The Recruitment and Employers Confederation, issued a Press Release based on the The Markit/REC Report on Jobs – a comprehensive guide to the UK labour market which utilises data provided by recruitment consultancies. The press release highlights a number of key points that have become apparent in the labour market.

Key points:

• Growth in permanent staff placements has slowed to its weakest level for seven months;

• The availability of permanent and temporary candidates has declined, and April saw the sharpest drop in candidate availability for 16 months;

• Demand for permanent and short-term staff remains marked with The Midlands seeing the fastest rate of expansion in permanent placements, followed by Scotland. London saw the slowest increase;

• Growth in permanent starting salaries edged down to a four month low in April and hourly rates of pay for interim staff increased at the sharpest pace in 2017 so far.

REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:

“Demand for staff is growing within all sectors and all regions of the UK, but there are fewer and fewer people available to fill the vacancies. We have the lowest unemployment rate since 2005, and people already in work are becoming more hesitant about moving jobs amid Brexit uncertainty. Meanwhile, the weakening pound and lack of clarity about future immigration rules is putting off some EU nationals from taking up roles in the UK.

“As a result, candidate availability is at a 16-month low and recruiters are flagging a shortage of suitable applicants for more than 60 different roles from cleaner to accountant. Every shortage has wider implications, for example the exceptional reputation UK engineering enjoys globally is at risk because employers can’t find people with the skills they need.

“One thing is for certain, if British business is to thrive then whichever party forms a government after 8 June needs to address the ever-shrinking pool of suitable candidates by investing in skills and career advice for UK jobseekers, as well as safeguarding access to the workers we need from abroad. It is vital that the future immigration system is agile enough to reflect and adapt to evolving labour market needs.”

BCL Legal – opinion:

The REC findings on the April recruitment market are very much in line with BCL Legal’s experience in April and May (so far). Permanent vacancies remain numerous, as companies and law firms continue to seek talent; however there is a very definite lack of quality, relevant and available talent to fill the roles.

This is driving employers to consider interim support, fuelling a growth in temporary activity and in turn reducing the availability of quality interim/consultancy talent. As evidenced by the report, the benefit of this demand is an increase in temporary rates of pay.

Employers recruiting in the current market need to recognise that the dynamic between employer, employee and future employee has changed. Other employers want your talent, you need to move fast to secure talent, and you need to recognise that retaining or attracting talent is likely to cost more than you think. In addition, brand name, benefits and perks are no guarantee of success.

For more information contact Craig Wilson at BCL Legal.

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