Recruitment Still Strong despite Brexit…

Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, companies are still recruiting. It’s very much a candidates market at the moment and demand for workers is driving a sharp increase in starting salaries. It’s been getting harder and harder for firms to find good staff and with UK immigration policy likely to tighten, this trend isn’t going to get any easier.

Concerns about a no deal Brexit are putting a handbrake on the supply of candidates as the value of job security and stability shoot up people’s personal agendas. However, candidates who are prepared to take a chance and job hop can often bag a pay rise as a result.

Slower rise in staff appointments

Permanent placements increased at softer rates in November. Though strong, the upturn in permanent staff appointments was the second-weakest since October 2017.

Vacancy growth edges down to 25-month low

Though elevated by historical standards, the overall rate of vacancy growth edged down to the least marked for just over two years in November. This was driven by a slightly softer increase in permanent job openings…

Candidate availability continues to tighten…

The overall availability of staff continued to decline sharply in November. This was despite the rate of reduction easing to the weakest since March, helped by softer falls in the supply of both permanent and temporary candidates.

…leading to further upward pressure on pay

Tight labour market conditions and greater competition for workers led to further marked rises in pay for both permanent and temporary staff. Notably, temporary wages increased at the quickest rate since July 2007. Permanent starting salaries meanwhile rose at one of the sharpest rates seen in the past three-and-a-half years.

Permanent placement growth edges down to four-month low

November survey data signaled a twenty-eighth successive monthly increase in the number of people placed into permanent job roles. The pace of expansion remained sharp, despite softening to the second-weakest since October 2017 (after July 2018). Growth was generally linked by respondents to robust demand for staff. However, there were also reports that uncertainty linked to Brexit and candidate shortages had limited the overall upturn in placements.

Steep increases in permanent staff appointments were seen across three of the four monitored English regions, as the North of England registered only a modest rate of expansion.

 

 

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Market Commentary Nov 18 – Demand still high

  • Steeper increases in permanent placements

  • Starting salary inflation close to September’s recent high

  • Steeper decline in candidate supply

Commentary

 “firms continue to hire new staff at near record rates. With the jobs market so heated, businesses across the country, of all types, are struggling to find work ready staff. Some clients tell us they are seeing the worst period of staff availability for many a year. A four-decade low in unemployment means good candidates are at a premium. Consequently, we’re seeing wages pushed upwards and now may be a good time to move to secure  a pay rise!

Key points 

  • Staff appointments increase at quicker pace…
  • The number of people placed into permanent jobs rose at a sharp and accelerated rate in October.

…as demand for staff remains robust

  • Growth of demand for staff remained historically sharp at the start of the fourth quarter.
  • Starting salary inflation continues to rise…

…driven by sustained fall in candidate availability..

  • Overall candidate availability declined at the quickest pace for nine months in October.

 

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 Early Autumn market update: Starting salaries rise at fastest rate since April 2015, as candidate availability drops further..

  • Starting salaries rise sharply amid steep reduction in candidate supply
  • Permanent placements expand at slightly weaker pace
  • Vacancy growth softens to near two-year low, but remains strong

Companies generally are struggling to find the people they need to drive growth and opportunity. 

Permanent placements growth softens…

Permanent staff recruitment continued to rise at the end of the third quarter, albeit at a softer pace. Nonetheless, growth remained sharp…

…as candidate availability drops further

We have found there is continued difficulties regarding the availability of staff for the vacancies we have. Although easing since August, the rate of deterioration in permanent staff availability remained sharp.

Starting salary inflation reaches 41-month peak…

Starting salaries for people placed into permanent jobs increased at the quickest pace since April 2015 during September.

…as demand for staff remains strong

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August news….Permanent placements rise at slower pace

Key market points:

  • Permanent placement growth softens to nine-month low…
  • Staff vacancies expand at quickest rate since last November
  • Decline in candidate availability eases, but remains historically sharp

Commentary

The rise in interest rates for only the second time in a decade may leave some people feeling the pinch. But a new job is one way people can ease the burden on their finances. With our data showing starting salaries continuing to rise, the latest official government figures suggest that we are finally seeing the effects of a tighter labour market feed through to pay.

Softer rise in permanent staff appointments…

Permanent placements continued to rise sharply in July, though the rate of expansion was the softest recorded since last October.

…as supply of candidates continues to drop markedly

A candidate shortages weighed on permanent recruitment. The supply of permanent candidates fell sharply in July, despite rates of decline easing to the weakest in three months.

Staff vacancies rise at quicker pace…

Demand for staff strengthened further in July, with overall job vacancies expanding at the quickest rate for eight months.

…maintaining upward pressure on pay

Low candidate availability and robust demand for staff led to a further steep increase in salaries awarded to permanent starters.

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June / July recruitment news….Candidate shortages remains sharp!

Candidate shortages contribute to slower rise in recruitment in June…

Key points from June:

  • Permanent placements continue to rise, but not as sharply as previous months
  • Candidate availability deteriorates at steeper pace
  • Robust demand for staff leads to further marked rises in pay

Commentary : It’s a great time for people looking to take the next step in their careers, as employers compete for new staff in a tight market. It’s a candidate’s market out there.

Across the majority of sectors, both temporary and permanent opportunities are growing, and a lack of candidates means it is no surprise to see starting pay also rising.

This high vacancy rate may be driven by good demand from companies not being matched by candidate willingness to move in the face of the current economic uncertainty.

Softer increase in recruitment…

Placements both continued to rise sharply in June, despite rates of expansion easing.

…as candidate availability falls at sharper rate

Lower candidate availability was cited as a factor hampering growth. Notably, permanent availability declined at sharper rates at the end of the second quarter.

Steeper increase in staff vacancies

Vacancies continued to rise sharply in June. Growth of demand for permanent staff edged up to a seven-month high, while short-term vacancies rose at a slower yet still strong rate.

Pay pressures remain historically marked

Salaries for permanent roles increased further in June, with the rate of inflation holding close to a three-year high…

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Further marked rise in recruitment

 Key points market indicators :

  • Steep increases in permanent placements
  • Severe staff shortages leads to quickest rise in starting salaries for three years
  • Staff vacancies expand at the quickest pace since last November

Despite growth in demand for staff this month, there has been another drop in staff availability. There has been a rise in client recruitment indicating that employers are feeling confident in making hiring decisions but a lack of candidates remains a major challenge

Because of the lack of candidate availability we are seeing employers paying higher salaries to attract the right people. This is only part of the solution, with employers also having to think about providing a more flexible working environment and progression opportunities. With skills needs and candidate expectations continuing to evolve, employers are having to radically re-imagine their hiring procedures.

Appointments continue to rise strongly…

Permanent appointments continued to rise at a robust pace, despite growth softening to a five-month low.

…as demand for staff strengthens

Growth of demand for staff strengthened to a six-month high in May, with sharp increases in permanent roles .

Sharp fall in candidate availability…

Overall, candidate availability declined at a sharper rate midway through the second quarter. Candidate numbers fell at the fastest rate for four months, while short-term staff availability deteriorated at the quickest pace since last November.

…leads to steepest increase in starting salaries for three years

Strong demand for staff and low candidate availability underpinned further increases in starting salaries and temp pay. Notably, salaries awarded to successfully placed permanent workers rose at the steepest rate for three years

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May news …Rise in Vacancies…Drop in candidate availability.

Key Points:

  • Continued rise in permanent placements;
  • Growth of demand for staff picks up for the first time in nine months;
  • Steeper decline in candidate availability triggers greater rises in pay.

Permanent placements…

There has been an increase in permanent placements but the rate of expansion in April was the softest witnessed in 2018. The growth of placements was underpinned by a further substantial rise in demand for staff and greater job vacancies.

Decline in candidate availability…

The rate of reduction in candidate availability for permanent roles has quickened to a three-month record. The steepest decline was in the South of England.

Growth of demand for staff…

Vacancies for permanent roles have increased, thereby indicating that there is a greater demand for staff. This demand was higher in the public, as compared to the private, sector.

Pay pressures…

There has been a further rise in starting salaries for candidates placed into permanent roles. This has been linked to candidate shortages and a robust demand for staff. The strongest rise was in the South of England.

 

Commentary 

Demand for staff is still on the rise in every other sector, but candidate availability keeps dropping. Employers are paying more to attract the right people into their vacancies. For individuals, now is a good time to look for a new job, as you are in a strong position to negotiate higher pay. For employers, the challenge is to stay ahead of the competition to maintain and enhance your workforce. This is about more than just pay, it is about providing progression opportunities and a positive workplace culture. As recruitment gets harder the only solution for employers is to get better at attracting and retaining the right skills and staff…

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Latest market news: High demand for staff but low candidate Availability

 Key points from the March Survey:

  • Permanent placements continue to rise;
  • Growth of demand for staff remains high, but candidate availability drops lower;
  • Starting salaries increase to greatest extent for five months.

Growth in permanent placements…

Although the rate of expansion has softened from February’s three-year record high, the growth in permanent placements remains sharp. Permanent placements vacancies continue to rise at a slightly faster pace than that for temporary job roles.

Candidate availability...

The availability of permanent workers has fallen for the fifty-seventh consecutive month in March. Key permanent staff skills reported in short supply includes in particular Accountants, Engineers, HGV Drivers and Web Developers.

Pay pressures…

The rate of inflation in salaries for newly-placed permanent staff has accelerated for the second month running in March. Evidence suggested that the higher salaries are attributed to strong demand for staff alongside competition for scarce numbers of candidates with the required skills for the roles. Data published by the Office for National Statistics shows improved earnings growth in its latest report. Alongside a softer increase in living costs, this suggests that the pressure on real wages may be coming to an end.

Commentary:

Permanent placements are growing month on month as demand for staff remains high. More people are entering employment, but it doesn’t make up for the shortfall of candidates for many roles, from cyber security and aerospace through to sewing machinists and drivers.

As a result, employers are increasing starting pay to draw candidates away from current roles into new positions. 

Candidates planning to move jobs have a strong chance of getting a pay rise. With inflation outstripping pay growth for over a year now, high pay offers will be tempting, as the pressure on starting salaries still isn’t translating into pay rises for staff who stay put. Employers need to look at other means to keep staff, such as creating a good workplace culture and offering progression opportunities.

 

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Inflation Remains at a Record High Amid Candidate Shortages

Key Points from the February Survey:

  • Softer rise in permanent placements
  • High levels of candidate shortages amid high starting salaries
  • Softer rise in staff vacancies

Softer rise in permanent placements…

The number of people placed in permanent jobs increased in February although at a slower rate than January’s recent high. The continued increase has  been attributed to a strong demand for staff and a greater willingness among candidates to take up new roles

Decreased demand for staff…

The demand for staff for permanent positions has risen at its slowest pace in fourteen months.

Availability of staff…

The availability of staff for permanent roles continued to decline in February.

Pay Pressure…

Salaries for permanent starters have increased further in February and the rate of inflation remains at a record high. The higher salaries have been attributed to higher candidate and skill shortages amid rising vacancies.

 

 

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Is it legal to ask about mental health in job interviews?

Mental health can be a difficult subject for employers and candidates to bring up and discuss although it’s much more open now than ever before. Many organisations are afraid of legal repercussions if they ask too soon or fail to ask at all.

Is it legal to ask employees about their mental health during a job interview?

Generally, no, this would not be legal.

Employers should make all efforts to avoid any questions relating to health at the interview stage, particularly in relation to mental health. The main reason being if you do ask the question and the candidate discloses that they have an issue, there is then a very high risk that if that candidate is then rejected for the role, they will link that to the disclosure of their health condition and make a claim for discrimination.

Are applicants legally obliged to disclose mental illness during an interview?

No, a candidate does not have to mention any medical condition during a job interview. Even if asked, there is no obligation to answer the question.

Are they legally obliged to then disclose it if they are offered the job?

An organised employer will provide a health questionnaire once a job offer has been made and accepted. The purpose of this form is to see if the incoming employee suffers from any medical condition(s) which could affect their ability to perform the role, and which could warrant adjustments being made to assist them in their role. A simple example could be an employee with ongoing back problems that may need a special chair or someone with vision problems who needs a larger computer screen.

Is it breaking the law if they do not disclose mental illness and then need to take time off as a result?

It would not be breaking the law, but you do have to be careful. If an employee states in the health questionnaire that they don’t have any medical condition(s) which would affect their work and then takes considerable time off due to an ongoing condition, there is an argument that they have not been truthful. An employer could pull them up on this. If, however, your absence is very limited this should not be a concern.

What can employers do to make their workplaces more mental health-friendly if an ideal candidate does have such issues?

There are many things that can be put in place to help support employees with mental health problems, enabling them to stay in work. If the employee has been honest regarding their mental health then there are options that an employer can take such as flexible working, adjusting the workload or extending deadlines, where possible, to reduce the pressure that they are under.

If employees do not disclose mental illness, however, then it can make it harder for their employers to support them in a timely manner for example, if their work is suffering as a result of declining mental health but the employer is not aware they will just think that the work is not up to standard and take steps relating to that.

What piece of legislation are applicants’ and employees’ rights protected under?

The Equalities Act 2010 provides protection in the workplace from both direct and indirect discrimination on account of certain protected characteristics. This includes gender, age, race or disability. Mental health falls under the disability category. Section 6 states that a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal everyday activities. Section 39 details the exact discrimination which an employer is prohibited to conduct against an applicant/current employee. This includes the prohibition of an employer to discriminate against a person as to the terms which the he offers that person employment. Section 120 states that an employment tribunal has the jurisdiction to handle complaints relating to such discrimination in the workplace.

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