As summer holidays come to a close this week, and the economy prepares for the end of furlough, September will most definitely bring in new beginnings for the employment market. Although the recruitment market looks healthy and positive, neither companies nor recruitment firms are able to keep up with the demands of the growth and employment strategies of many businesses in the UK.
Since the end of 2020, both the employment and unemployment rate have shown signs of recovery. In the latest period of April to June 2021, we saw a quarterly increase in the employment rate of 0.3 percentage points, to 75.1%, and a decrease in the unemployment rate of 0.2 percentage points, to 4.7%. (gov.uk website)
The availability of candidates continued to decline rapidly in July and August, driven by insecurities from the pandemic, a lack of European workers due to Brexit, and a low unemployment rate. As a result, starting salaries have risen at the fastest rate in the survey history. (Report compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies)
REC’s latest survey found business confidence in the UK economy rose by one percentage point to net: +18, confirming the positive outlook, this has been further established by the number of new enquiries we are receiving on a weekly basis at Citrus Connect. It looks like we are in some form of economic recovery as the survey also shows that demand for labour remains high. We still have to consider that even if a large number of candidates come off furlough in August and September, it is very likely that the increased demand for workers will continue to cause shortages. “There will be particular pressures in logistics, food manufacturing and hospitality as we gear up for Christmas, and hiring for this period has already started.” (REC)
Businesses need to ensure they have a robust plan to ensure they can source and recruit the right people they need in the coming months and years. For the government, the concern should be whether labour shortages will limit business and economic growth and recovery as a whole.
SELF EMPLOYED, COMMISSION ONLY SALES ROLES ON THE RISE
If we’re connected on LinkedIn, you’ll know I recently shared an article that showed from 2016 to 2020, (even more so since the pandemic,) redundancy and unemployment was driving entrepreneurship in the UK. “AXA research has found that 30% of small businesses founded during this time were started by people who had been made redundant or had been unemployed. With the recent sharp rise in the UK’s redundancy rate, this trend is only set to continue.” As a business, we are certainly seeing the same trend for candidates opting for or now being open to a self-employed, commission only sales roles. This increased appetite for both businesses and candidates means currently 75% of the roles we are recruiting for are self employed, commission only, and have more than 400+ of these vacancies which the team are working hard to fill. As people have experienced a lack of control in their earning potential, candidates are wanting to take control of their destiny and income potential instead of leaving it in the hands of an employer.
August Recruitment Insights;
- In the first week of August, there were 1.65 million active job adverts in the UK
- There were around 204,000 new job adverts posted in the same week, the fourth highest weekly figure since the start of the pandemic
- The last three weeks have seen the highest numbers of new job postings since mid-May, but labour shortages continue to affect many sectors
- Supply of workers plummets, driving stronger increase in starting pay
- Vacancies expand at record pace
Other key figures from the latest JobsOutlook include:
- Employers’ intentions to hire permanent staff in the medium term (the next 4-12 months) remained high at net: +26.
- Meanwhile, medium-term demand for temporary agency workers grew by four percentage points, to net: +20.
- In July, two in five (43%) employers said that they needed to restructure pay grades across their business to reflect pay increases after the National Living Wage was raised in April 2021. It will be interesting to see how things unfold as we head into September, but for now, let’s enjoy the last few days of summer, the warmer and lighter evenings and time with loved ones. Wishing you a pleasant weekend.