Permanent Placements Growth Accelerates to Fastest Since Last July

  14th February 2018       Robert Bond FIRP
 Employment, Accounting & Finance, Company News, Human Resources, IT & Software Solutions, Office & Commercial, Recruitment, Temps

The IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs, published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.

Sharper increase in permanent placements and noticeable increase in job vacancies

Recruitment consultants signalled a marked rise in permanent staff placements in January, with the rate of expansion the joint-steepest since April 2015. In contrast, growth in temp billings slowed to a ten-month low, but was still noticeable overall.

Overall demand for staff continued to rise sharply in January, despite growth of demand softening to a 13-month low. Notably, both permanent and temporary staff vacancies continued to rise at historically clear rates.

Starting salary inflation increased to 31-month high alongside a steep drop in candidate availability

Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates increased at the fastest pace for over two-and-a-half years at the start of 2018. Meanwhile, growth in temp pay eased to the joint-weakest in ten months, but remained sharp overall.

The number of candidates available to fulfil permanent and temporary roles continued to slow at historically sharp rates in January. This was despite rates of contraction softening slightly in both cases compared to December.

Regional variation

Data broken down by region showed that the North of England saw the fastest increase in permanent placements, though rates of growth were also sharp in the other four monitored regions.

The Midlands saw by far the quickest increase in temp billings, while growth was also sharp in the North and South of England and London. Meanwhile, Scotland registered a modest upturn following a reduction in December.

Sector variation

Stronger demand for staff was led by the private sector in January, according to the latest survey data.

In the private sector, permanent staff vacancies rose at a sharp and accelerated pace in January. Demand for temporary workers across the private sector also rose strongly, despite growth softening since December. Meanwhile, permanent staff vacancies stagnated in the public sector, and the number of temporary staff roles declined slightly.

All nine types of permanent jobs monitored by the survey saw improved levels of demand for staff at the start of 2018. IT led the overall rankings, following closely by Engineering and Accounting & Finance.

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive says:

“We are seeing a continued rise in jobs filled via recruiters as it gets more challenging for businesses to find candidates. The UK has almost full employment and the country is plagued by labour, skills and talent shortages. This increasing competition for good quality staff is driving up starting salaries with employers willing to pay higher wages to attract the right people. So, it’s a good time to move jobs, especially as employers aren’t increasing wages for their existing workforce.

“It’s reassuring that demand for permanent staff remains strong despite the economic uncertainties. However, there is a slight slowdown in the growth of temporary placements. This could be an early sign that employers are hesitating.

“The struggle to find appropriate candidates will get worse. We are therefore asking for a balanced and evidence-based immigration system. Businesses urgently need to invest in the upskilling of their workforce. The government can help by turning the Apprenticeship Levy into a broader training levy. It’s time they put the concerns of UK businesses at the top of their agenda.”

Robert Bond, Director at Bond Williams Professional Recruitment comments:

“It couldn’t be a better time to find a new role, we have seen a 12% rise in Permanent job placements since this time last year. We continually keep track of industry trends to help us prepare for the changes that lie ahead and it’s exciting to see such buoyancy in the industry which we predict is only set to continue”.

The increase we have seen in job-seekers successfully placed into new roles compared to a year ago also shows a growing demand from local employers for additional staff to support their business plans for 2018. The quality of candidates that employers are looking for still remains as high. Companies are no longer focused on just providing a good salary, recognising that employees value flexibility, benefits and opportunities to progress and shape a successful career is just as important for attracting and retaining the best talent.

We are still finding that increasing numbers of companies are choosing to work in partnership with a recruitment consultancy to help them find not only the best talent to hire, but also the best fit for their company culture.”

It’s a positive picture for job seekers and employers this year in the South West. Contact us today to see what your next rewarding career move could look like for 2018 and how we can help you secure it.

Robert Bond FIRP


Rob has a background in Sales and IT recruitment with over 25 years of experience in these sectors. He heads up the IT and Accountancy Divisions of Bond Williams and is also responsible for Bond Williams internal Operations and Finance. Alongside Claire, he is responsible for the overall growth and …

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