This month’s REC report
hits home with the struggles facing the UK recruitment market as permanent and temporary staff availability tumbles as the demand rises sharply. This is despite a 17 year high in average starting salaries. A recent KPMG report highlights a ‘vacancy vacuum’ as demand for staff outstrips supply by a considerable margin. Engineering topped both the temporary and permanent staff demand tables, both showing increases in June of nearly 50% compared to the previous month and also over double the same figures tabled last year. Despite this permanent staff vacancy placements have now increased for 21 months in a row and temporary placements for 14 months whilst the availability of staff in both permanent and contract staffing contracted to levels not seen since 1997.
This increase in staff demand and falling of labour levels is forcing employers to attempt to bridge the gap through offering salaries at a 17 year high. The belief that by offering higher salaries alone will result in the labour market voting with their feet is still to be proven as there may be the belief that the levels of salary growth are unsustainable and are still remaining loyal to the businesses which have seen them through tougher times. These labour shortages are specifically highlighted in our very own engineering market as top level technical skills are at a premium and businesses look to offer quality products over cheaper alternatives. Paying a premium for quality will continue in our market but businesses will continue to need to think outside the box to attract and retain the very best individuals through a combination of benefits and career paths which will stand out in the crowd. We will continue to keep our eyes focused on a market which continues to challenge all its combatants.