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Latest report finds it’s a great time for candidates to take their next career step

09/07/18 Nick Livingstone Director

Report on jobs - July 2018 

The latest figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) monthly publication ‘Report on Jobs’ – published today - reveals Recruitment Consultancies reported candidate shortages contributed to a slower rise in staff appointments.

Key points:

  • Permanent and contract placements continued to rise, but not as sharply as previous months
  • Candidate availability deteriorates at a steeper pace
  • Robust demand for staff leads to further marked rises in salaries

The IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs revealed UK employers hired permanent staff at the slowest pace since October as a shortage of available candidates caused the labour market to slow down.

Permanent staff placements and contract and interim starters both continued to rise sharply in June.

Candidate availability was cited as a factor hampering growth in staff appointments. Notably, both permanent and contract candidate availability declined at sharper rates at the end of the second quarter.

Vacancies continued to rise sharply in June with the growth of demand for permanent staff increasing to a seven-month high, while contract and interim vacancies rose at a slower pace.

Pay pressures remain at an historical high, with salaries offered to candidates in permanent jobs increasing further in June, combined with inflation holding close to a three-year high. At the same time, contract and interim rates also rose sharply, with the rate of growth broadly similar to April’s two-year peak.

June’s survey data indicated that permanent staff vacancies rose across all monitored job categories with  current ranking indicating IT & Computing jobs and Engineering jobs leading the overall upturn in demand:

  1. IT & Computing – (↑ 2 from Jun '17) 
  2. Engineering – (↓1 from Jun '17)
  3. Accounting & Finance - (↓1 from Jun '17)
  4. Executive / Professional – (↑4 from Jun '17)

The number of key permanent candidates in short supply continued with a number of recruiters commenting that some candidates were reluctant to move roles due to the uncertain economic outlook. Key permanent candidate skills reported in short supply included Audit, Finance Management, and Payroll.

Engineering continued to be one of the toughest sectors to secure candidates with recruitment consultancies experiencing difficulties to find candidates for the Aerospace sector, Design Engineers, Engineering and Technical Manager jobs, Mechanical and Technician job roles.

Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive says: “It’s a great time for people looking to take the next step in their careers, as employers compete for new staff in a tight market. It’s a candidate’s market out there.”

 “Across the majority of sectors, both temporary and permanent opportunities are growing, and a lack of candidates means it is no surprise to see starting pay also rising.”

 “Recruiters report that some of this high vacancy rate may be driven by candidate unwillingness to move in the face of the current economic uncertainty.”

Nick Livingstone, Redline Group Director comments: “These findings from the REC and the recent Redline research ‘Why Candidates decline offers’ continue to highlight the challenges high-tech and engineering businesses are experiencing in recruiting and retaining talent.”

He continued “Our role today is all about supporting companies to benchmark their current recruitment methods, advise, recommend and reinvigorate their strategies in order to attract the right candidates in ‘the war for talent’. It has never been a better time as a candidate or contractor to consider your next career move or assignment.”