Staff appointments increase at fastest rate for over two years as candidate availability drops..

Key points from July:

  •  Permanent placements growth reaches 27-month record
  •  Marked decline in staff availability contributes to further increases in pay.

The jobs market continues to confound expectations with both permanent and temporary placements growing at the fastest rate for over two years. Starting salaries are also still rising, so for workers who want to boost their earnings now is a good time to consider moving job.

It’s clear that employers are having to work even harder to fill jobs as vacancies rise and candidate availability shrinks. UK employment remains at an all-time high and looks set to keep improving. The parts of the economy most reliant on European workers are under even more pressure as many EU workers return home.

London in particular is feeling the Brexit effect. Hiring is still growing but at a much slower rate compared with every other region of the UK. Financial services, a crucial part of the London labour market, are not hiring in their usual quantity as the uncertainty caused by Brexit makes them hesitant.




Candidate availability continues to decline markedly…

The availability of permanent workers continued to fall sharply during July although the rate of reduction eased for permanent staff.

…imparting further upward pressure on pay

Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates rose further in July, with the rate of inflation reaching a 20-month record.



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Market News – Existing skills shortages are being exacerbated by Brexit.

Key points from the June :

  • Permanent placements continue to rise markedly
  • Availability of candidates continues to decline sharply
  • Growth in permanent placements moderates, while temp billings rise at faster pace
  • South of England sees the quickest drop in candidate availability of all UK regions
  • Pay pressures intensify & Starting salaries increase at quickest pace for just over a year-and-a-half

With fewer people currently looking for jobs, employers are having to increase starting salaries to secure the talent they need. This is creating great opportunities for people with in-demand skills who are prepared to change jobs, but it’s also putting unsustainable pressure on many businesses.

Existing skills shortages are being exacerbated by Brexit. For example, demand for accountants and other financial roles has increased recently as organisations try to protect themselves against economic uncertainty. London alone employs almost 200,000 EU nationals in these roles. Policies which make it more difficult to recruit and retain these people will put business growth at risk.

Investment in training the domestic workforce is vital to the long-term health of the jobs market, but it won’t allay employers’ fears about losing access to workers from the EU. The government needs to outline a five-year roadmap for post-Brexit immigration policy to enable businesses to plan effectively, and so the UK economy can flourish.

Staff appointments increase at softer pace

Permanent placements continued to rise sharply in June, despite the rate of expansion easing slightly since May’s

25-month peak.

Demand for staff holds close to May’s 21-month peak

Demand for staff continued to rise in June, with the rate of growth staying close to May’s recent peak. This was despite both permanent and temporary vacancies rising at slightly weaker rates than in the previous month.


Salary growth fastest for over a year-and-a-half…

Permanent starting salaries rose at a sharp and accelerated rate that was the fastest in 19 months in June. Growth in hourly pay rates also quickened since May, and reached a six-month record.


…as candidate availability continues to decline

The pool of available candidates for both permanent and temporary roles continued to shrink markedly in June. While the number of permanent candidates fell at a slightly softer pace than in May, the supply of temporary labour deteriorated at the quickest rate in 18 months.


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Demand for staff is growing within all sectors and all regions of the UK.

The key points changes this month

  • Permanent placements increased but at a slower pace
  • Salaries continue to rise in April
  • However, the availability of permanent candidates continues to reduce

Slowest increase in permanent placements since Sept 2016

The number of permanent placements increased across the UK, though at its slowest pace for seven months. The strongest pace of expansion was in the Midlands, with the slowest in London.

Supply of candidates drops sharply

A drop in job seekers for permanent positions has seen the availability of candidates continue to reduce at its quickest pace for 16 months, with most markedly in the South.

Salaries continue to increase

Salaries for permanent staff continued to rise but at a slower pace to previous months. The highest increase has been seen in the South, followed by Scotland and the Midlands. The demand for quality staff and competition for skilled candidates has driven salaries higher.

Demand for staff remains sharp

There is a strong demand for permanent staff and vacancies continued to rise considerably throughout April.

Commentary : Demand for staff is growing within all sectors and all regions of the UK, but there are fewer and fewer people available to fill the vacancies. The UK ha the lowest unemployment rate since 2005, and people already in work are becoming more hesitant about moving jobs amid Brexit uncertainty. Meanwhile, the weakening pound and lack of clarity about future immigration rules is putting off some EU nationals from taking up roles in the UK.

As a result, candidate availability is at a 16-month low and there is a  shortage of suitable applicants for a variety of  roles. Every shortage has wider implications, for example the exceptional reputation UK engineering enjoys globally is at risk because employers can’t find people with the skills they need.

One thing is for certain, if British business is to thrive then whichever party forms a government after 8 June needs to address the ever-shrinking pool of suitable candidates by investing in skills and career advice for UK jobseekers, as well as safeguarding access to the workers we need from abroad. It is vital that the future immigration system is agile enough to reflect and adapt to evolving labour market needs.


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How to answer Competency Based Interview Questions….…..

Most interviews include competency based questions that require candidates to describe real life examples of where they have demonstrated a particular skill as the basis of their answer to a question.

The interviewer will ask a series of questions to get you to show how suitable you are for the role, and generally cover your personal attributes plus others which are specific to the role. They are designed to find out how you have used specific skills in your previous experience and how you approach problems, tasks and challenges. The skills and competencies tested will depend on the role applied for but typically include…

  • Customer service
  • Leadership
  • Developing others
  • Decision making
  • Flexibility & change
  • Communication & influencing
  • Planning & organisation
  • Results orientation
  • Process management

Answering competency questions is simple as long as you are prepared and specific in the examples given.  They should be seen as an opportunity to talk about your achievements and provide evidence of what you have to offer.

  • Check what skills and experience the job requires, reviewing the job and person spec, and think of the likely questions you would be asked around those competencies
  • Go through your CV and employment history and find a couple of examples of situations where you demonstrated those attributes
  • For each example, follow a structured approach using the STAR technique, remembering to keep it specific to what you did, and practice your answers.

Situation – sets the scene for the answer

Task – describe what you were required / decided to do. Be specific.

Action – explain what you actually did, and why.

Result – describe the positive effect of what happened as a result of your actions.


Common examples of questions might be ….

Describe a situation where you had to use your influencing / communication / team working skills?”

“Can you think of a time you had to deal with challenging / difficult people?”

“Describe when you had to change your approach to a task”

“Tell me about a time when your ideas were challenged, and how you dealt with this”

“Outline a situation where you had to make a difficult decision”


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Growing demand for quality candidates

Growth in permanent placements…..

The key points from the March 2017 survey:

  • The demand for staff holds close to its strongest for 18 months with sustained growth in permanent placements
  • Salaries continue to increase..
  • However, the number of candidates available for permanent vacancies has reduced

Growth of permanent placements increases at softer pace

Latest data points to sustained growth in permanent placements during March. Although the pace of expansion eased from February’s one-year record, it was solid overall. Higher placements were generally linked to greater demand for staff and improved confidence in the market.

Supply of candidates drops markedly

The supply of permanent candidates continued to fall sharply in March, although the rate of reduction weakened slightly since February’s 13-month peak.  Around one-third of recruitment agencies reported lower availability.

Salary growth remains sharp

Permanent starting salaries continued to increase sharply in March, despite the rate of pay growth edging down slightly from an 11-month high in the previous month.  Shortage of staff and greater efforts to secure quality staff has placed upwards pressure on salaries. This is a good time for individuals prepared to move jobs, with generous pay offers on the table to secure the talent available.

Demand for staff holds close to 18-month peak

March saw a further steep increase in job vacancies across the UK, with growth of demand for staff holding close an 18month record. Permanent staff vacancies increased at a rate only fractionally slower than the previous month. Although permanent placements have hit a 12 month high, businesses across the UK are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit for permanent roles. The big question still remains about how employers will fill their vacancies.

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Changing employers is becoming a more attractive option for those looking for more money…

Growth in placements reaches one-year high

Key points from the February survey:

  • Permanent placements increase at quickest pace in one year…
  • Demand for staff reaches 18-month peak

Although permanent placements have hit a 12 month high, businesses across the UK are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit for permanent roles. The big question still remains about how employers will fill their vacancies.

There are  acute staff shortages in a variety of sectors, from healthcare to engineering. This is likely to get worse, especially if the Government continues to refuse the rights of EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit.

On the flip-side, this is a good time for individuals prepared to move jobs, with bumper pay offers on the table as hirers compete to secure the talent available. In the context of rising inflation and stagnating pay growth, changing employers is becoming a more attractive option for those looking for more money.

Stronger growth of permanent staff placements

Growth in permanent placements picked up from January’s recent low to reach a one-year high in February.

Demand for staff reaches 18-month peak

Job vacancies continued to increase in February. Overall, demand for staff rose at the quickest rate in one-and-a-half years, with both permanent and temporary workers seeing faster increases.

Candidate availability declines at faster pace

The availability of staff to fill job vacancies declined sharply in February. Both permanent and short-term candidate supply deteriorated and to a greater extent than at the start of the year, with the former noting the steepest rate of reduction.

Sharper increase in salaries

Starting salaries for candidates placed into permanent roles increased at the quickest pace since March 2016 in February.


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Permanent placements increase at softest pace in four months

Key points from the January survey:

  • Slower increases in permanent placement

  • Demand for staff reaches 17-month high

  • Availability of permanent candidates drops at faster pace


Employers are crying out for people to fill vacancies. Fewer candidates are available in all regions, and this is dampening jobs growth.

If businesses can’t find the people they need they will outsource abroad, automate activity or shut up shop, resulting in fewer jobs available to UK nationals.

The NHS is already in turmoil because it doesn’t have enough staff and the government’s decision to prioritise immigration control over the economy in their EU negotiations means that finding candidates will become yet more difficult in the future.

We agree that more can be done to encourage under-represented groups into work, including disabled people, single parents and older workers. But the idea that this will resolve the talent shortage is pie in the sky…REC Chief Exec – Kevin Green


Permanent placements increase at softest pace in four months

January data signalled a further marked increase in permanent staff placements, despite the rate of growth easing to its slowest since September 2016.

Candidate availability continues to tighten…

There seems to be a drop in candidate availability at the start of 2017.

…contributing to further upward pressure on pay

Permanent staff starting salaries increased at a sharp and accelerated pace in January, with the rate of inflation the quickest in nine months. At the same time, growth in temp pay rates weakened from December’s seven-month record.


Thanks to HIS Markit

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Growth in permanent placements slows slightly in December

Key points from the December survey:


  • Slightly weaker rise in permanent placements…


  • Candidate availability declines at weakest pace for over three years


Growth in permanent staff placements softens slightly…

A further increase in permanent staff placements during December, though the rate of growth softened slightly from November’s nine-month peak.


Softer decline in candidate availability

The availability of candidates continued to decline at the end of the year, albeit at the weakest rate in over three years.


Sustained upward pressure on pay

Starting salaries for successful candidates placed in permanent jobs continued to increase in December. Though solid, the rate of growth was the slowest seen for five months.


The jobs market continues to beat expectations as we begin the New Year. More people are finding jobs each month, and demand for staff is growing. We’ve seen two months of growth in London, which is particularly encouraging following a difficult period between the EU referendum and October.


The big question for 2017 is about how employers will fill vacancies. The unemployment rate is at a record low and candidate availability for temporary jobs has been getting worse for the last three and a half years.

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