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Report on Jobs February 2018: Permanent placements growth accelerates to fastest since July 2017

12/02/18 Martin Crapper Managing Director

The latest figures from Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) monthly publication ‘Report on Jobs’ produced by IHS Markit reveals Recruitment Consultancies indicates the strongest rise in the number of people placed in permanent jobs since July 2017.

Key points:

  • Stronger rise in permanent placements contrast with softer temp billings growth
  • Starting salary inflation hits 31-month record amid growing candidate shortages 
  • Growth of demand for staff edges down slightly but remains marked

Recruitment consultants signaled a marked rise in permanent staff placements in January, with the rate of expansion the joint-steepest since April 2015. In contrast, growth in temp billings softened to a ten-month low, but was sharp overall.

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive comments: “We are seeing a continued rise in jobs filled via recruiters as it gets more challenging for businesses to find candidates. The UK has almost full employment and the country is plagued by labour, skills and talent shortages. This increasing competition for good quality staff is driving up starting salaries with employers willing to pay higher wages to attract the right people. So, it’s a good time to move jobs, especially as employers aren’t increasing wages for their existing workforce.”

“It’s reassuring that demand for permanent staff remains strong despite the economic uncertainties. However, there is a slight slowdown in the growth of temporary placements. This could be an early sign that employers are hesitating."

“The struggle to find appropriate candidates will get worse. We are therefore asking for a balanced and evidence-based immigration system. Businesses urgently need to invest in the upskilling of their workforce.”

Permanent jobs monitored by the survey saw improved levels of demand for staff at the start of 2018 with IT and Computing jobs leading the rankings, closely followed by Engineering jobs and Accounting and Financial jobs.

Key permanent and contract staff reported in short supply included:

  • Accounting and Financial: Accountants, Audit, Risk and Treasury jobs 
  • Engineering and Technology: Automotive,  Design Engineer jobs, Engineering Managers and Mechanical jobs 
  • IT and Computing: Automation Testers, CAD, Cyber Security, DevOps, Digital, Gaming, IT and IT support jobs, Software developer and Software engineer jobs

Martin Crapper, Managing Director at Redline Group comments:

“The skills shortage continues to be felt, and acutely in the electronics and technology sector. We have seen an increase in appetite to hire during January and early February, with no signs that employers are reducing their need for additional staff. In addition to an increase in clients approaching us for assistance, we have seen a sustained level of interviews being requested, demonstrating a real desire on companies’ behalf to invest time in meeting and hiring candidates.”

Redline offer knowledge-led, tailor-made recruitment programmes to suit clients’ specific needs. We adopt a ‘partnership’ approach to ensure a detailed understanding of clients' recruitment objectives and requirements. For more information regarding how we can help your high technology or engineering biased business, please contact Martin Crapper on 01582 878803 or email 

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