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.



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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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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Market update: Salary inflation hits 31 month record!

Key Points

  • Strong rise in recruitment
  • Starting salary inflation hits 31-month record alongside lack of candidate availability;
  • Growth of demand for candidates declines slightly but still remains high.

Sharp Increase in Permanent Placements

Permanent placements have continued to rise each month for the past year-and-a-half. This growth has been linked to a greater demand for staff, although some panellists suggest that improved decision-making has also been a factor.

Increase in vacancies:

Overall demand has continued to rise in January.

Availability of Permanent Staff:

The number of available permanent candidates has continued to deteriorate in 2018. Key permanent staff skills reported in short supply includes paraplanners.

Higher Starting Salary Inflation:

Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates has increased at the fastest pace for over two-and-a-half years.

UK Unemployment Rate in Context:

The UK employment rate is at a four-decade low of 4.3% which is below the EU jobless rate of 7.3%. The jobless rates are higher in Austria (5.4%) and the Netherlands (4.4%), but lower in the US (4.1%), Germany (3.6%) and Japan (2.7%) in comparison to the UK.

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Recruitment news Jan 2018 – Permanent recruitment continues to rise at an increasing pace

Key Points from the December Survey:

  • Permanent placements continue to rise at an increasing pace;
  • Pay inflation remains high alongside a further decrease in candidate availability;
  • Demand for staff softens but remains historically strong.

Permanent Placements

Permanent staff placements have increased at the quickest pace since August. This has resulted in a higher number of people placed in permanent job roles for the seventeenth month running in December.  Key permanent staff skills reported to be in short supply esp paraplanners but also in construction and engineering.

Staff Availability

There has been an accelerated and steep drop in permanent candidate numbers. The rate of deterioration is the fastest recorded over the past two years.

Permanent Salaries

The trend of higher starting salaries for permanent jobs has continued into December. Although the pace of inflation softened for the third month in a row, growth remained sharp overall.

Demand for Staff

Although there has been an easing in the rate of expansion of demand for staff, the rate of growth has remained sharp and above the series average.


Latest statistics reveal that 32.08 million people were in work in the three months to October. Although this was 56,000 fewer than in the prior three months, this showed an increase of 325,000 compared to the same period in 2016.

Commentary: The number of people finding jobs via recruiters is growing, even while the overall employment rate is plateauing. This suggests that more employers are turning to recruiters to help them fill vacancies as candidate availability continues to fall and recruiting good people becomes that much harder. As a response to these candidate shortages are offering increased starting salaries to attract staff but while this has been the case for some time it isn’t translating into significant wage growth across the economy yet.

Early in the New Year, people often think about changing jobs, so employers are going to have to think carefully about how they can both retain existing capabilities and find the new hires they need as competition for people intensifies. Bosses should consider going to wider talent pools and to be inventive about how to improve their employer brand and make themselves an even more attractive place to work.


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FCA Announces that IFAs are to Disclose Esoteric Investment Recommendations


The FCA has recently announced that IFAs are to disclose more risky investment strategies which they have recommended to their clients

The FCA’s reforms follows its review of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS); from 2013-2016 around a third of FSCS claims were linked to the sale of esoteric investment plans by Advisers.

During the consultation The FCA did not address the proposal that Advisers selling higher-risk products were to pay more towards the money pooled in the Scheme.

However, The FCA has agreed to such reforms as adding a new section to their online reporting system, GABRIEL, for calculating risky future levies. This will come into force on 1 April 2018. Other confirmed reforms include ordering Llyod’s of London to contribute to the funding that comes from retail firms.

A full list of the reforms will be accessible when The FCA publishes its papers….

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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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The Week in Numbers – 13th January 2016

The Week in Numbers

225 – Number of Investment Advisers Santander expects to employ by the end of Marchblue news

7% – Fall in China’s CSI 300 index on Monday, triggering newly-introduced “Circuit-Breakers” that halted trading for the day

21% – Rise in mortgage approvals year-on-year in November, according to Bank of England Figures

13k – Number of new affordable homes the Government plans to build this year through directly commissioning “small and up-and-coming” building companies

£50k – Amount raised by two landlords seeking to fight Government plans to raise taxes on buy-to-let investments

105,153 – Signatures backing a campaign to ease the transition for women affected by increases in the women’s state pension age (figure correct at time of original writing)

£615m – Amount by which Government has undershot its tax avoidance revenue raising target, according to the Office for Budge Responsibility.

£4m – MAS marketing budget for 2016/17

£30.1m – Budget for “money guidance” in 2016/17, down from £34.1m in 2015/16


“I would be worried if we went back to the bad old days” – Independent pensions expert Alan Higham on the prospect of a return of commission-like charging structures.


Originally published in Money Marketing Magazine 7th January 2016

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The Week in Numbers – 21st December

The Week in Numbers

£6m – Size of FCA fine imposed on Threadneedle Asset Management for allowing a fund manager to book a trade that could have caused a £72m lose to client funds

5 – Number of firms the FCA is considering taking enforcement action against following the findings of a thematic review into wealth managersblue news

0.44% – Charge for the eVestor robo-advice service to be launched next year by Paradigm founding partner Anthony Morrow and co-founder Duncan Cameron

£87k – Size of fine FCXA is seeking to impose on ex-Financial Ltd boss Charlie Palmer for failing to ensure network members gave suitable advice. Palmer has appealed the decision.

20bps – Typical cut to AMCs after Standard Life Investments stopped paying trail on mutual funds. Trail was paid at either 25 or 50 basis points.

3 Months – Period ex-Openwork chief executive Mary-Anne McIntyre spend as Chief distribution officer at Old Mutual Wealth

£50m – Government estimate on the level of increased costs faced by employers and pension schemes due to the lifetime allowance cut from £1.25m to £1m in April.


We could have taken Commission upfront and filled our boots” – Almary Green managing director Carl Lamb hits out at firms considering stopping trail commission on a non-platform basis.

Originally Published in Money Marketing Magazine 17th December 2015
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The Week in Numbers – 10th December

The Week in Numbers

£5m – Potential annual increase in advisers’ FSCS levies if the FCA pushes aheadblue news with plans to expand the scheme

13% – Fall in assets under management at Aberdeen following outflows from the group’s flagship emerging markets equity funds

£16m – Paper loss made by Neil Woodford on investment in Northwest Biotherapeutics. Woodford has called for an ex-FBI agent to be appointed as non-executive director

3% – Amount more in stamp duty buy-to-let landlords will have to pay compared to residential buyers following Autumn Statement

£840m – Amount the Government will save following delays to two planned rises in minimum contribution rates under auto-enrolment

£150k – Current compensation limit for FOS claims. The FCA last week suggested the limit may need to be raised

£72m – Fine handed out to Barclays by the FCA for failing to minimise the risk the bank could be used to facilitate crime


“We need more advisers and something will have to be done to look at where those people are coming from” – Apfa director general Chris Hannant on the first significant upward trend in adviser numbers since the RDR.


Originally published in Money Marketing Magazine 3rd December 2015
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The Week in Numbers – 30th Nov

The Week in Numbersadmin chart

5 – Number of organisations that should merge to become a single trade body, according to a review chaired by former Ofcom chief Ed Richards. The list includes the CML and the BBA

£3.7m – Amount in Hargreaves Lansdown shares sold by investment marketing director Ian Hunter

99 – Number of companies that have defaulted on their debt this year, according to Standard & Poor’s. Global defaults are at their second-highest level in a decade

£4tn – Amount the Government plans to spend over the course of this Parliament

3 mins – Average time spent by consumers on the Pension Wise website

7 years – Length of time but-to-let lender CHL Mortgages has been out of the market. It is understood it will start lending again early next year

20,000 – Number of RBS branch staff who will have their cash bonuses scrapped under plans to reduce misspelling risks

£119.30 – New weekly state pension following a 2.9% increase


Quote of the week: “Issuing new staging dates to people who have already had them would cause mayhem” – Former pensions minister Steve Webb on the risks of delaying auto-enrolment for small firms.


Originally Published in Money Marketing Magazine 26th Nov 2015
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