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Vacancies rise at strongest rate in over 16 years

12/09/14 Martin Crapper Managing Partner

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report On Jobs indicates companies still cannot find staff with the right skill set and their desperation to fill roles is leading to continued salary and rate growth.

Luton, Bedfordshire, UK. September 2014

Vacancies rise at strongest rate in over 16 years
Candidate shortages fuel strong pay growth
Availability of candidates falls further in August

The Report on Jobs provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market compiled from 400 leading recruitment consultancies and employers including Redline Group.

Commenting on the latest survey, Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services and KPMG said:

“Jobs are still being offered, and are still sought after, but today’s figures show that permanent and temporary placements have eased in recent weeks. It may be down to holiday season, yet with these figures following the latest manufacturing output data, it wouldn’t be surprising if the confidence expressed earlier in the year is reaching a peak.”

“With vacancy growth reaching its highest since the survey began, I believe that the nervousness in the marketplace is more about the consequences of investing in the wrong people, than it is about spending money in an attempt to recruit the best talent. It’s a conundrum British business will have to solve quickly because if the job market stagnates the wider impact on performance will end up harming productivity.”

Highlights from the survey include:-

The number of available job vacancies rose further in August, the rate of expansion the fastest since 1998, the private sector rising sharpest.
Both permanent and contract rates are still rising, underpinned by tight candidate availability as it fell again in August.
ONS data indicates vacancies up 22.2% on an annual basis in the three months to July
Engineering tops the league of most sought-after permanent candidates, second only to medical in Contract and temp sectors
The rate of decline of permanent candidates was considerable in August with more than half of those surveyed indicating a fall in availability
Contract and temp rates rose again in August, the latest rise even faster that July
The national unemployment rate has fallen to 3.0%, the lowest for just under six years.

“Redline’s August data analysis is now complete and the September’s start has definitely put to bed any thoughts that the recent easing of the pace of growth is anything other than season.” Commented Redline’s Managing Director, Martin Crapper. “We’ve seen a frantic pace of activity from clients now focused on the end of the year and calling in with new roles, requesting candidates for interviews and making offers in both permanent and contract. We’re already predicting September will deliver the second highest number of offers in the last 18 months.”

“We are acutely aware of the impact of skills shortages” Martin continued “and have paid particular attention to the vetting, screening and due diligence during candidate interviewing, and client appetite to hire, and have actually increased our overall offer-to-acceptance ratio this year to a fantastic 86%. It’s challenging enough for our clients to find the right potential candidates, so everything we can do to ensure they actually accept our clients’ offers makes a huge difference in both timescales and ultimately cost. We are also assisting our clients actually present an attractive ‘total employment’ package for candidate, to ensure candidates get the best choice of career, training, environment and of course salary/rate.”

“Redline’s permanent business has already increased 15% this half-year and we will soon be over 50 staff across our Contract and Permanent divisions, with our own talent acquisition and training plans in full flow, to meet this continuing demand from clients.”

For more in-depth information about the market, please contact Martin directly on 01582 878803 or email him