The UK labour market has been extremely inconsistent in the recent past: Brexit, the Covid-19 crisis, the Great Resignation (which is another subject entirely, that I’d like to discuss another time) an
d now the uncertain consequences of the Ukraine conflict means it is crucial for us as a recruitment firm to ask the right questions to our clients. To get evidence-based answers and provide a strategy that will ensure the business growth desired.
Key Recruitment Insights
- There were around 172,000 new job postings in the last week of March – 25% lower than the previous week and the lowest since mid-January
- Still 1.83 million job adverts in the UK last week – this total has remained stable since early March
- Five out of the UK’s top ten hiring hotspots were in Scotland last week
- Permanent staff appointments rise at the slowest rate for a year
- Labour supply falls rapidly, driving a record rise in starting salaries
- Overall vacancy growth hits a 6-month high
The overall availability of candidates to fill roles continued to fall with overall staff supply dropping at the quickest rate for four months. The latest KPMG and UK Report on Jobs survey highlighted softer rises in hiring activity during March, as candidate shortages restricted the growth of placements. Lack of candidates continues to weigh on our ability to fill vacancies.
Starting salary inflation hits a new record
This imbalance of labour supply and demand drove further substantial increases in the rates of starting pay, with salaries for new permanent joiners rising at the quickest rates on record in March.
Regional and Industry Insights
The Midlands registered the sharpest increase in permanent placements of all four monitored English regions. The softest, but still marked expansion was seen in the South of England.
Vacancies rose across both the private and public sector at the end of the first quarter. The strongest expansion in demand was signalled for permanent staff in the private sector, IT and computing recorded the steepest increase in demand for permanents staff of all monitored sectors in March. The softest, but still sharp rise in permanent vacancies was seen in Retail. (REC)
The jobs market has been supercharged in the first few months of the year and was always likely to stabilise in Spring. This is no surprise after a period of historically high activity, the job market is still very tight though. development.
In my opinion, there is no end in sight to workforce challenges facing the UK today. Vacancies are rising whilst there are simply not enough candidates in all sectors to fill them. With fewer EU workers, the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the economic impacts of the war in Ukraine and cost of living pressures, many employers will continue to struggle to hire the talent to access the skills they need. With unemployment staying low, there are many great opportunities for job seekers to join or re-join the workforce in the sales sector.
Saying that, it is possible to hire if you get your job offer right! Businesses need to consult with recruitment experts, widen their searches and be creative in making their offer to candidates more attractive. At the same time, the government need to support businesses by investing in skill development where there is a shortage. The alternative is to take the reins into your own hands and focus on training and development.
Each day is different right now, a different daily battle or challenge but I believe this will make our businesses stronger and more robust to deal with whatever comes our way in the future. Our people are the key to our business growth, it’s now time to show them true leadership, a leader that protects, a leader that has their best interests at heart and a leader that inspires them to keep going no matter what comes our way.
As we approach another long Bank Holiday weekend, I would like to wish you and your family a well-deserved break. A break for us to switch off, rest and relax so we can hit whatever comes our way with strength, certainty and might.