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Recruitment in Numbers - March Edition 2017

Key points from the March survey:

  • Growth in permanent placements weakens from February's one-year peak

  • Demand for staff holds close to its strongest for 18 months

  • Availability of temp staff falls at quickest rate since January 2016

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive, says:

"Finding people to do the jobs on offer is rapidly becoming employers' biggest headache and many are reporting an increasing number of white collar jobs as hard to fill, including in the IT and financial sectors."

"Also, economic uncertainty about future prospects is having a detrimental effect on employees' willingness to risk a career move at this time, which seems to be driving down candidate availability."

Staffing Demands

IT and Computing, Nursing/Medical and Engineering were all named as the sectors as most in demand for permanent staff.

For temporary recruitment, the key areas of concern were Nursing/Medical, Blue Collar professions and Engineering, whilst Executive/Professional roles were areas of least concern.

The number of candidates available to fill permanent roles continued to decline in March. A third (33%) of recruitment agencies reported lower availability versus 11% noting an improvement. The steepest drops in permanent candidates were seen in London and the South.

Temporary/contract staff availability fared slightly better with 29% of recruitment agencies reporting lower availability versus 12% noting an improvement. The vast majority however (59%) noted no change at all.

UK Salary Changes

Salaries awarded to permanent starter did continue to rise, despite weakening in pace slightly from last month. Several agencies said that staff shortages and greater efforts to secure quality candidates had placed pressure on salaries.

There was a rise in hourly pay rates for temporary/contract staff in March, a continuing trend since February 2013. By region, the sharpest increases in hourly pay rates could be seen in Scotland and the South of England.

Earnings and Pay Growth

Data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) indicated that pay growth had slowed in January 2017.

This slower growth coincides with rising inflationary pressures, such as the rise in the average living cost (up by 2.3%). This is the quickest rate of inflation since September 2013.

Source: REC Report on Jobs - April 2017