April Employment Survey News

Key points from the April survey:office seating

  • Strongest increase in permanent staff appointments in eight months
  • Acceleration of pay growth for permanent and temporary staff
  • Candidate availability deteriorated further


The main findings for April are:

Permanent placements growth accelerates…

The number of people placed in permanent jobs by recruitment consultants continued to rise in April. In fact, the rate of expansion quickened to an eight-month high. This reflected a stronger increase in demand for staff, with permanent vacancies rising at the fastest pace since October 2014. This made it the strongest growth of demand for permanent staff in 6 months.

Pay growth strengthens…

Growth of permanent staff salaries accelerated to a nine-month high in April, with panellists highlighting a combination of strong demand and skill shortages. Hourly rates of pay for temporary/contract staff meanwhile increased at the fastest pace since July 2007.

…amid tight candidate availability

The availability of staff to fill permanent roles deteriorated further in April, with the rate of contraction accelerating to the sharpest in five months. As much as around 41% of panellists reported lower permanent candidate availability versus 9% noting an improvement. Temporary/contract staff availability meanwhile declined at a marked pace that was similar to that seen in March.

Public & private sector vacancies…

Private sector demand for staff continued to rise at a stronger pace than that for public sector workers in April. The fastest rate of growth overall was signalled for private sector permanent employees.

Other vacancy indicators…

Latest official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) signalled that vacancies rose 19.8% on an annual basis in the three months to March. That was the slowest growth since January 2014.

Meanwhile, internet-based recruitment spending was up 4.5% on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2014. This was the weakest rise since the first quarter of 2013.

Top Permanent Staff Sectors for Recruitment…

Good news for candidates in the financial services job market as Executive/Professional was the most in-demand category for permanent staff in April, with Accounting/Financial in second place.

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Research Section: A Candidate’s Experience

How a candidate’s experience of your recruitment process can have long lasting consequences.

 Why is this so important?

Getting the candidate experience right is so important. Mystery Applicant research shows 48% of candidates said they had a poor or very poor time when seeking a new role.

Where is it going wrong?

The two main areas where businesses seem to get it wrong are in keeping candidates informed during the process, mentioned by 58% of applicants, and how the candidate was meant to feel during the whole journey. Just over half of respondents said they didn’t feel that they were treated as an individual.

Stats and Facts:

  1. Recent data from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) shows that candidates who have a positive experience put in more effort in the job, to the tune of 15%.
  2. Those who have a positive experience are also 38% more likely to stay with that employer than those who didn’t.
  3. Candidates share their poor experiences with others. An amazing 83% tell friends and family while 64% take to social media.


So we know it’s important, but what are the main steps we can take to resolve the problem?

  • Be Explicit: if you explain what the recruitment process will be like before they apply, candidates are far more likely to feel more relaxed about the steps needed to be taken.
  • Early Self-Screening: when a job specification is clear, it helps prevent candidates applying for a job they know wouldn’t be right for them. Make the requirements obvious and easy to understand and you’ll see the dual benefits of cost saving with fewer applications that wouldn’t fit but you but also fewer candidates barking up the wrong tree.
  • Keeping on top of it: especially challenging when recruiting large numbers, but nothing is more disheartening for a candidate than simply never hearing back. Even generic feedback like missing qualifications or the wrong experience is far better than nothing. So ensure your application tracking technology or systems can help you keep an eye on your responses.
  • Be on the same page: make sure line managers are fully aware of how long a recruitment process is likely to take, let the candidate know from the start and set deadlines.
  • Communicate throughout: make it clear internally, whose role it is to meet the candidate, when? As a rule of thumb, there should be a follow up email or phone call after every significant contact, but who in your firm will make sure that happens?
  • Feedback: why not consider asking candidates for their view on your recruitment process? Whether they received the job or not, their opinions can help encourage a continuous improvement mentality, which in the long run could save you time and money.

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Original article by the Institute of Recruitment Professionals first published by Kevin Green, Chief Executive on HR Magazine’s Website.
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Job Market Report For Dec 14

Key Points in Summary

  • Growth of permanent placements eases to 18-month lowopen notebook
  • Strong Salary Growth
  • Further marked drop in staff availability
  • Average earnings and Inflation, any improvement?

In the world of staff appointments for November, the rate at which permanent roles are placed, rose at its slowest rate in 18 months. Several sources found they experienced a shortage of skilled candidates and slower client decision-making with this appearing worst in London. Although in the Midlands a stronger growth was experienced.

The demand for staff from employers is rising at its lowest rate in 13 months. The latest official data from the Office for National Statistics shows that vacancies rose by 24.7% on an annual basis in the three months to October. Furthermore, internet-based recruitment spending continued to increase at a strong annual pace. Latest data showed an 8.8% rise in Q2 2014 from the corresponding period one year earlier.

Good news in terms of salaries with the average starting salaries for permanent jobs continuing to rise in November although this is after October’s 8 month low. This has largely been attributed to stronger competition between employers for quality candidates. This increase was sharpest in the Midlands and slowest in London.

Adding on to this, averaging earnings growth has caught up with inflation for the first time in five years. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that average earnings, excluding bonuses, rose 1.3% on an annual basis in September. Consumer price inflation in September was 1.2%, rising to 1.3% in October. However, earnings including bonuses were up just 1.0%. Pay growth has remained sluggish in spite of the recent recovery in employment. In a recent speech (“Twin Peaks”, 17 October), Bank of England Chief Economist Andrew Haldane drew attention to ongoing structural changes in the labour market which he argues have led to “polarising patterns” at the upper and lower ends, in turn resulting in a marked rise in wage dispersion.


On the one hand, high-skilled professions such as IT, engineering and construction continue to see skill shortages, leading to increased rates of pay for new hires, as signalled by the Report on Jobs in recent months. On the other hand, lesser-skilled jobs have seen a rise in the supply of labour which has more than offset rising demand, thus depressing wages.

Haldane identifies three key drivers of this. First, the ‘hollowing out’ of mid-skill jobs, a longer-term trend reinforced by the financial crisis, has led to displaced workers seeking jobs for which they are overqualified. Second, labour force participation has risen significantly, particularly among women and older age cohorts, reflecting changes to the default retirement age and benefits regime, plus concerns over the adequacy of pensions and savings. Third, immigration over the last 20 years has boosted the supply of labour.

As Haldane puts it: “This paints a picture of a widening distribution of fortunes across the labour market – a tale of two workers” … “This has been a jobs-rich, but pay-poor, recovery.”

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