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Tighter jobs market pushing up starting salaries

10/08/18 Adam Walker Director

The latest figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) monthly publication produced by IHS Markit ‘Report on Jobs’ – published today – reported permanent placements rose at a slower pace amid further drop in candidate availability.

Key points from August report:

  • Permanent placement growth softens to a nine-month low, while contract / temporary billings increase at a faster pace
  • Staff vacancies expand at the quickest rate since last November
  • Decline in candidate availability eases, but remains historically sharp

Permanent placements continued to rise sharply in July, though the rate of expansion was the softest recorded since last October. Contract and temporary billings also increased strongly, with the rate of growth picking up from June’s recent low.

Recruitment agencies indicated that candidate shortages weighed on permanent staff appointments. Notably, the supply of both permanent, contract and interim candidates fell sharply in July, despite rates of decline easing to the weakest in three months in both cases.

Low candidate availability and robust demand for staff led to a further steep increase in salaries awarded to permanent starters. At the same time, contractor pay rates rose at a marked and accelerated rate that was close to April’s two-year record.

Engineering jobs continued to rank second for the most in-demand category for permanent staff, Accounting and Financial jobs ranking fourth and Executive jobs ranking fifth.

Sophie Wingfield, Head of Policy at REC says:

“The rise in interest rates for only the second time in a decade may leave some people feeling the pinch. But a new job is one way people can ease the burden on their finances. With our data showing starting salaries continuing to rise, the latest official government figures suggest that we are finally seeing the effects of a tighter labour market feed through to pay.

The latest Global Business Outlook data, compiled by HIS Markit, indicated that the UK continued to express positive sentiment towards future staff hiring in June particularly in the manufacturing sector. As a whole, a net balance of +23% of firms anticipated hiring additional employees over the next year, which was down only slightly from +24% in February.

Adam Walker, Director at Redline says:

The most successful employees are the most productive with the greatest output, therefore companies seeking top talent must recognise a candidate’s worth in a skills-scarce market.

We have researched many issues companies are facing when hiring in the current climate: attracting and retaining talent, developing the talent they already have, managing performance, creating leadership teams, reorganising to capture value quickly, reducing overhead costs for the long term, making culture a competitive advantage, leading transformational change and the list goes on.

There is increasingly fierce competition to attract and retain employees at a time when too few skilled professionals are available, and this must not be ignored. Since business leaders know that top talent is valuable and scarce, they must know how to find it. “Make your offer magnetic – and deliver”, says Adam.  Leaders know the term ‘employee value proposition’ or ‘EVP’: what employees get for what they give. ‘Gives’ come in many flavours—time, effort, experience, ideas. ‘Gets’ include tangible rewards, the experience of working in a company, the way its leadership helps employees, and the substance of the work. If your EVP is truly stronger than the competition’s, you will attract and retain the best talent.  

Redline secures 1000’s of offers for Engineering, Technology, Sales, Manufacturing, HR and Finance professionals within the European high-technology and engineering sectors. Not all accept, but through a robust, quality and knowledge-led approach, last year we secured a 78% acceptance rate (81% in Contract and 73% in Permanent), a decline of 7% from the previous year‘s 85%.

Redline has undertaken research into candidate offer to acceptance ratios for many years. For a copy of our most recent research on the Offer Vs Declination Analysis, please click here

For more information regarding how we can help your business attract talent, please contact Adam Walker on 01582 878802 or email