Dec Monthly Recruitment Insights – Optimism for 2023

16th December 2022

As with every December, I have spent most of last week and will spend some of this week conducting end-of-year reviews – confidence levels are high (with caution of course) but more importantly most are positive that we can ride this wave as we have many others, in partnership, with resilience and of course effective workforce planning.

This is because clients are looking for the professional services we provide, more than ever. We are here to support their strategic workforce planning and help them build comprehensive retention and recruitment plans. Our insights provide clients with a safe space to ask for advice on critical developments.

Candidates too look to us: for advice and guidance on their next assignment or career move but equally, they require care, compassion and excellent customer service, plus the attention to higher standards that comes with being a member of the REC.

November Overview

The latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs survey showed that labour shortages and concerns over the economy did impact recruitment in November.

Key Findings

  • Softest increase in vacancies for 21 months
  • Pay pressures ease slightly amid a softer drop in staff supply
  • Permanent placements fell for the second consecutive month

(Data collected 11-24 Nov – REC)

During November overall demand for workers expanded at a slower rate since February 2021. The overall availability of workers continued to deteriorate during November, and at a steeper rate than seen on average since the survey began 25 years ago.

According to REC, this month’s data emphasises that while employers are moderately more cautious in the face of economic uncertainty, there is not yet a major slowdown in hiring. While permanent recruitment activity has dropped from very high levels earlier in the year, the pace of that drop is still relatively slow.

A more stable period in the labour market is inevitable right now, but demand is being supported by some major underlying factors, such as labour shortages and technological change. We should be looking to boost performance by putting people planning first.

Job Postings

  • There were 216,257 new job postings in the week of 14-20 November – 40.6% higher compared to a month earlier (17-23 October, which may have been affected by school half-terms) and only 0.4% lower than the week of 10-16 October
  • The number of active postings has remained stable, with between 1.39 to 1.5 million active job adverts since mid-August
  • Notable increases in adverts for jobs in domestic services, and the energy and retail sectors, including cleaners, energy plant operatives, and shopkeepers
  • Three out of the UK’s top ten hiring hotspots in the week of 14-20 November were in the Northeast
  • Four out of the UK’s bottom ten hiring hotspots were in Scotland.
  • The number of active job adverts across the UK has remained stable since mid-August. In the week of 14-20 November, there were over 1.4 million active job adverts, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

Vacancy levels remained high, suggesting that demand isn’t slowing

While the data fluctuates from week to week, new job postings have averaged about the same level throughout the year, suggesting a pattern of strong and stable demand. Despite a wider narrative of concern about the economy, this reflects feedback from recruiters across the country who are saying that shortages mean demand is remaining high even as growth diminishes. It is worth noting that some of the strength in today’s figures is seasonal, however, with demand up in retail ahead of Christmas, and energy ahead of the winter.

There are more job vacancies than unemployed people in the UK market for the first time since records began. Moreover, the recruitment industry has seen significant growth over the last few years, with greater demand for flexible working opportunities and greater online access to information and people. So naturally, there’s a lot of competition to find and hire the best candidates, the industry is extremely competitive. So, to stay ahead of the competition, we have to adapt and find creative ways to attract the best talent.

The Autumn Statement

Jeremy Hunt unveiled his Autumn Statement – the statement outlined the steps needed to achieve growth. Recognising that we cannot achieve growth without people – and their skills – Hunt announced the appointment of Sir Michael Barber, Tony Blair’s former advisor on Schools Standards to lead a review into the implementation of current skills reforms.

It was announced the Department for Work and Pensions would “thoroughly review workforce participation”, concluding that work in early 2023.


Despite the odds being stacked against us, we turned 2022 into a success. And here we are again, at another crossroads for the economy. Inflation, energy prices and political turmoil. But looking back at this year, I am still left with a sense of optimism. We have hit hard times since 2020 but have bounced back. And I am confident that we will do the same again as 2023 approaches.

I’m proud to be part of this resilient, and creative industry and I know that whatever lies ahead, good-quality recruiters are valued more than ever.

On a more personal note, as the end of the year approaches and we all reflect on what went well and the challenges we have overcome, we here at Citrus Connect Recruitment have been planting something new. Keeps your eyes your open and inbox refreshed, next week we are launching something new that we know you will love! (That’s all we can say for now!!)

Follow our social channels to keep updated of what’s new to come!

To Your Success

Founder – Citrus Connect Recruitment

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