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May Recruitment Report

08 June 2016

May Recruitment Report.


  • Weaker rise in permanent placements amid EU referendum uncertainty
  • Temp billings growth eases from 13-month high
  • Pay growth softens but remains marked

Local and national businesses are now facing candidate shortages in nearly every sector of the economy. From engineering firms, to catering companies, schools and hospitals, we need more people with the right skills for the jobs that are available. Despite this, employers are showing uncertainty about hiring in the run up to the EU referendum. Ask them quite why this is and they probably can’t explain!

Permanent staff placements continued to rise in May, but the rate of expansion eased to an eight-month low. Temporary/ contract staff billings growth also eased, following April’s 13- month high.

Vacancies rose at a marked pace in May, with the rate of growth quickening slightly since April. Stronger increases were recorded for both permanent and short-term employees.

Permanent staff salary growth eased to a 31-month low in May, although remained above the survey’s historical average. Having increased at the strongest rate in almost nine years during April (partly driven by the new National Living Wage), temporary/contract staff pay posted a slower but still marked rise in May.

Further reductions in staff availability were signalled in May. However, slower falls were indicated for both permanent and temporary/contract staff, with the latest declines the least marked in over two-and-a-half years.

Whatever happens post June 23rd we need to ensure a sensible approach to immigration is taken, so that employers have access to the people they need. Sourcing workers from outside the UK is going to be an ongoing necessity if we are to continue seeing the British economy grow. Yet we need to be aware that increasing numbers, from whatever source, means that public services will struggle with the increased demand caused and the cuts being imposed. A double whammy.

Demand locally has definitely slowed and other recruiters tell us that temp billing has also declined recently. Salaries continue to grow for positions where there is a shortage of applicants and clients are missing out on the right candidates in situations where they are offering average or below, salaries for “in demand” roles. The old adage has never been more appropriate – if you offer an average, or below average, salary for a role you should expect an average, or below average, selection of applicants and, ultimately, you should not wonder why you have a “below average” workforce.