Candidate Shortages Continue to Hit the UK

July has arrived and it’s about time that we take a mid-year look at what the employment market is doing. Trends for 2018 have been largely positive with unemployment down to 4.2% (as of Feb-Apr 2018) according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Let’s take a closer look at the stats.

The Stats

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that for February to April 2018:

  • 75.6% of people aged from 16 to 64 years were in work, the joint highest employment rate for people since comparable records began in 1971
  • 80.0% of men aged from 16 to 64 years were in work, the joint highest employment rate for men since February to April 1991
  • 71.3% of women aged from 16 to 64 years were in work, the highest employment rate for women since comparable records began in 1971

These great statistics indicate a trend that has continued throughout 2018 so far. The news of great employment rates is only tempered by the news of decreasing availability of permanent and temporary staff across all sectors, which could signify a decrease in the pace of growth for many businesses.

(Read the full ONS report here)

The Consequences

The ‘Report on Jobs’, produced by IHS Markit and sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), compares questionnaire data collected every month from a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. The June release shows that despite the number of staff vacancies rising at the fastest rate since November 2017, staff availability has declined rapidly.

This catch-22, with demand for staff outstripping supply of available staff, is leading employers to raise starting wages, resulting in the steepest increase in starting salaries for three years. This is excellent news if you are searching for a new role, not only because you are equipped with higher bargaining power, but at Select we have also witnessed an increase in employers bringing in additional benefits to attract the right candidates, including flexible working and career progression opportunities.

The other major influence on the employment environment at the moment is Brexit. Statistics from the ONS for year ending March 2017 show a significant drop in net migration from the EU (down by 51,000 from the previous year). On the scale of migration to the UK, this does not sound like a large figure, however when you take into account the fact that EU workers make up 7% (2.2 million) of the UK workforce overall and 15% of workers in low-skilled roles, this is quite significant.

 

The Effects

The UK employment market is evolving at a fast pace, forcing employers from all industries to re-evaluate the benefits of working for them and offering new deals to attract the right candidates. In so doing, the balance of power between candidate and employer is changing giving the right candidates more leverage when looking for a job that fulfils their needs.

There is also a significant benefit for those job seekers looking for an entry-level role, with experienced candidates hard to find, companies are more willing to provide the training and progression for those candidates that show a can-do attitude and willingness to learn.

 

How are Recruiters Changing?

At Select, we have recognised these changes in the market and as ever, when the market changes so do we. If you are looking for a new role or the perfect new member of your team is proving difficult to find, Select can help. Get in contact with your local branch today to learn how we are evolving to accommodate the changes in the recruitment industry.

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