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Securing the ‘right’ technology staff remains high on many Boards’ agendas

09/11/18 Martin Crapper Managing Partner

The latest figures from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) monthly publication compiled by IHS Markit ‘Report on Jobs – reported Staff appointments rose at a faster rate in October.

Key findings:

  • Steeper increases in both permanent placements and contract billings
  • Starting salary inflation close to September’s recent high
  • Steeper and continued decline in candidate supply
  • Firms continue to hire are near record rates

The number of people placed into permanent jobs in the UK rose at a sharp and accelerated rate in October. Notably, the latest increase was the second-fastest since March. Buoyant market conditions were frequently cited for the strong demand for permanent hires.  

At the same time, billings for contractors expanded at the quickest pace since May. The robust demand for short-term workers, in some cases, was due to the inability to secure permanent staff.

Demand for staff remained robust with job vacancies remaining historically high albeit expanding at a slightly softer pace than earlier in the year. The growth of the demand for staff remained historically high at the start of the fourth quarter.

Starting salaries continued to rise sharply in October, with the rate of inflation holding close to September’s 41-month record. Hourly pay rates for contract staff also increased markedly, despite the rate of growth edging down to the least marked since March.

Overall, candidate availability declined at the quickest pace for 9 months in October. The supply of both permanent and temporary candidates fell steeper compared to September, the former noting the sharper rate of reduction.

Vacancies for permanent staff rose across all ten monitored job categories with IT and Computing jobs and Engineering jobs witnessing the steepest demand.

Commenting on the latest survey results, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, said:

"Whilst Brexit may be dampening overall business investment, firms continue to hire new staff at near record rates. With the jobs market so heated, businesses across the country, of all types, are struggling to find work-ready staff. Particular pinch points include IT, engineering, nursing and care staff. Some clients tell us they are seeing the worst period of staff availability for 20 years. A four-decade low in unemployment and a dwindling supply of EU workers means good candidates are at a premium. Consequently, we’re seeing wages pushed upwards and a trend of canny workers job hopping to secure a pay rise rather than remaining loyal to their existing employers.”

Martin Crapper, Redline Managing Director comments:

“With contractor pay rates rising again at the start of the quarter (the fastest expansion since May) and permanent placements continuing to increase again in October, identifying, attracting and securing the right technology staff remains high on many Boards’ agendas. This has been a key topic for Redline and our latest research projects seek to assist companies with these challenges. ‘Why do candidates decline offers? identifies key reasons why technical biased candidates are declining some roles and accepting others and offers practical advice for companies to make themselves more attractive to candidates. Redline’s Successful Onboarding report and accompanying toolkit addresses research suggesting 33% of candidates are looking for a new role within 1 month of joining! There is much more Redline is doing to help you with your hiring challenges. Half-year numbers show a 10% increase in turnover (YoY) - contract revenue up 7% and permanent up 32%. As a result, Net Fee Income (NFI) is up 35%. This is on the back of 27% growth the previous year. Yes, it’s tough, but Redline’s knowledge-led approach is really taking the frustration out of the recruitment process. If you’d like a copy of the reports, or one of the team to come and long and audit your hiring and retention processes, just give us a call.”

If you’d like to understand how to implement strategies to improve your ratios, or more general information regarding how we can help your business, please contact Redline's Business & Customer Development David Collins on 01582 878804 or email