Posted On 23 Jun 2017
Recruitment Market Update March – May 2017
In the three months to May, a third of employers felt that UK economic conditions were improving and expected confidence in making hiring and investment decisions to improve.
The proportion of UK hirers planning to maintain or increase permanent headcount over the next quarter remained steady at 95%.
22% of Northern employers plan to increase headcount, compared to just 15% of London hirers.
The medium term prospects for permanent hiring also remained steady this quarter, with 92% of UK hirers highlighting plans to either increase their headcount or hold numbers.
Whilst the quarterly percentage of hirers planning cuts to numbers was low (3%), the proportion increased notably in the month of May (to 5%).
SKILLS SHORTAGES AND QUALITY OF HIRES
Four in ten employers highlighted a concern over the sufficient availability of candidates in at least one skill area
Workers in three specific job functions have been highlighted as areas of concern
Construction, Health & Social Care and Engineering & Technical
87% is the proportion of employers that suggested that they would be either holding or increasing agency worker numbers
Most notable, however, was the month-on-month change in those planning to decrease their number of agency workers in the short term. In the month of May, 13% of employers said they would reduce numbers, compared to just 5% in April and 7% in March.
The percentage of UK employers who highlighted plans to hold or increase their agency headcount in the medium term remained static this quarter at 89%.
30% of employers in the South (excluding London) planned to increase agency worker numbers over the coming year, compared to just 9% of their counterparts in the North
SKILLS SHORTAGES AND QUALITY OF HIRES
The proportion of employers that anticipated a shortage of appropriate candidates to fill temporary agency positions in at least one job function increased by 3 percentage points this quarter, to 32%. Candidate availability is an acute issue within Health & Social Care and Engineering & Technical,
TOTAL EMPLOYMENT – PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY
The UK workforce grew by 109,000 in February–April 2017 (to 31,954), when compared to the previous quarter, and was 372,000 larger than in the same period in 2016.
The year-on-year increase included +103,000 self-employed (of which +57,000 were working full time and +46,000 worked part-time) and +274,000 employees (of which permanent employees increased by 321,000 and temporary employees decreased by 47,000).
The annual total increase comprised 427,000 more individuals working full-time and 55,000 engaged on a part-time basis.
CRITERIA USED BY EMPLOYERS TO SELECT RECRUITMENT AGENCIES
Employers most value quality of service (95%) and expertise (87%) from their recruitment partner. The price/cost of temporary agency workers (65%) is also cited as an important factor when determining which recruitment agency to work with.
SATISFACTION WITH CANDIDATES
One in five UK employers (20%) were very satisfied with the quality of candidates being presented to them by agencies this quarter. A further 56% were fairly satisfied. This is an improvement since this time last year (June 2016) when 16% of employers said they were very satisfied and 52% were fairly satisfied. Despite tightening candidate availability, recruiters are continuing to find and present high quality candidates to their clients.
Amongst the 20% of respondents from all UK enterprises stating that they were ‘very satisfied’ were two notable regional exceptions: just 11% of Midlands’ employers expressed this sentiment whilst 39% of hirers in London indicated the highest level of satisfaction. Large employers expressed the lowest level of dissatisfaction (5% compared to the 9% UK average).
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