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Significant growth in the importance of a Specialist Recruitment Partner

31/03/17 Daniel Saddi Associate Director

With Six in 10 (59%) UK businesses increasing headcount in the last year, 86% of employers cited an employment agency’s expertise is important when selecting a recruitment partner. This is now the second most important area cited by hirers, with the price/cost of workers third. The quality of service still remains the most important to employers with 93% citing this as the most important according to the (REC) Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Jobs Outlook report for March 2017.

The REC report also found that half of employers (51%) anticipate a shortage of permanent employees across all sectors, with employers having consistently cited technical and engineering jobs as where they’re most likely to come up against a skills shortage. Employers with more than 250 staff are particularly concerned about the lack of talent available, with 63% expecting a shortage, contributing to the evidence of the skills-scarce employment market.

Correspondingly, one in five employers (22%) plan to take on more permanent staff in the medium term (four to twelve months), with only 1% planning to decrease their headcount.

The REC’s latest Jobs Outlook survey of 600 employers also revealed:

• Six in 10 (59%) have increased their headcount in the last year.
• A third (34%) believe that UK economic conditions are improving, whilst 29% think they’re getting worse.
• Almost eight in 10 (78%) are operating with ‘none’ or ‘a little’ spare capacity, and would need to take on staff to meet an increase in demand.

Seven in 10 (71%) of UK employers expressed satisfaction with the quality of candidates presented by recruitment partners. The general upward trend continued in the proportion of employers using a range of recruitment channels to source candidates, suggesting a further tightening in skills availability.

Daniel Saddi, Contract R&D / Engineering Manager at Redline Group Comments: “The R&D / Engineering market has many specialisations, from mechanical design jobs, software development, NPI, manufacturing to electrical engineer jobs. These highly skilled permanent and contract professionals play key roles in what is a global technology industry. This area of employment is in need of many more skilled professionals.”

Daniel continues: “The Engineering sector has to be one of the worst affected by a skills shortage, in fact the Royal Academy of Engineers have calculated that the UK needs 75,000 new engineers every year from now until 2020 to meet the industry’s targets. Here at Redline, we are already witnessing the ‘war for talent’ with engineering companies competing for the limited availability of specialist contract, interim and permanent professionals. A joined-up and concerted effort is required by the UK education authorities and industries to deepen the talent pool. If the UK is to retain and strengthen its reputation for world leading engineering and high-technology, we have to continue to invest in developing skills and attract more graduates into the profession.”