POSTED: August 10 2017
Staff appointments increase at fastest rate for over two years as candidate availability drops

Staff appointments increase at fastest rate for over two years as candidate availability drops

The most recent survey data from REC (The Recruitment & Employment Confederation) indicates that permanent placements are at a recent high with the availability of applicants dropping.

The increased to the greatest extent in 27 months. At the same time, growth in temp billings improved to a near two-and-a-half-year high.

There remains a robust demand for staff with Recruitment agencies signalling a sustained and marked increase in demand for staff. Furthermore, overall demand for staff rose at its joint-strongest pace for 23 months (on par with May 2017).

Candidate availability however continues to decline markedly with both permanent and temporary workers continuing to fall sharply during July. The rate of reduction eased for permanent staff, but the availability of temporary candidates declined at the quickest pace for just over a year-and-a-half.

Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates rose again in July, with the rate of inflation reaching a 20-month record. At the same time, hourly pay rates for short-term staff also continued to increase sharply.

The strongest upturn in permanent placements was recorded in the Midlands, closely followed by the North of England. The weakest increase was seen in London, where growth softened to an eight-month low.

All monitored regions saw sharp increases in temp billings during July, led by the North of England.

The demand for staff across the private sector continued to outpace that recorded for the public sector in July.

The number of vacancies at private sector companies increased sharply overall, with growth picking up slightly since June. However, growth in demand for both temporary and permanent workers reduced across the public sector.

The recent survey data signaled sharp increases in demand for permanent workers across all monitored job categories, led by Engineering. Accounting/Financial and IT & Computing achieved second and third place in the rankings, respectively.

Blue Collar recorded the quickest upturn in temporary staff demand of all nine job categories in July. Hotel & Catering and Nursing/Medical/Care also saw steep increases in demand, while Executive/Professional placed at the bottom of the table.

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive commented: “The jobs market continues to confound expectations with both permanent and temporary placements growing at the fastest rate for over two years. Starting salaries are also still rising, so for workers who want to boost their earnings now is a good time to consider moving job.

“It’s clear that employers are having to work even harder to fill jobs as vacancies rise and candidate availability shrinks. UK employment remains at an all-time high and looks set to keep improving. The parts of the economy most reliant on European workers are under even more pressure as many EU workers return home. Employers are not just struggling to hire the brightest and the best but also people to fill roles such as chefs, drivers and warehouse workers.

London in particular is feeling the Brexit effect. Hiring is still growing but at a much slower rate compared with every other region of the UK. Financial services, a crucial part of the London labour market, are not hiring in their usual quantity as the uncertainty caused by Brexit makes them hesitant.

“We can’t ignore the importance of our relationship with the EU to employers. If we want to keep our jobs market successful and vibrant, we must make it easier, not harder, for employers to access the people they need.”


You can read the REC press release in full here.