REC Jobs Report: Employers pay up to compete for candidates

The latest REC report has found that whilst demand for candidates is still high, there is a shortfall in supply, which is leading to market worries.

London remains the least optimistic city regarding the current economic conditions. From those surveyed, 33% claimed that they believed the economic conditions were improving whilst 29% said they were deteriorating.

In reaction to the shortfall of candidates, the majority of employers admit to re-advertising the role (80%), followed by increasing the salary (42%) and looking for candidates in different sectors (37%).

The report also found that 49% of UK employers were concerned over the availability of candidates, in relation to permanent vacancies. Despite this, one fifth of hirers planned to increase their permanent headcount in the short and medium term.

The total UK workforce grew by 39,000 in December 2016– February 2017 when compared to the previous rolling quarter.

146,000 more people are working full-time and 107,000 fewer are now engaged on a part-time basis. Similarly, the 312,000 year-on-year increase in the UK workforce was driven by 327,000 more people working full-time and 15,000 fewer part timers.

When it comes to employers selecting an agency, the quality of their service and their expertise continued to be the two most pressing factors in the game – at 94% and 88% respectively.

REC Chief Executive, and Recruitment Grapevine Advisory Board Member, Kevin Green, commented: “The good news is that while we have record employment, employers have no intention of halting hiring. If you’re ready and willing to move jobs, you could benefit from an increase in pay as many employers are increasing starting salaries to attract candidates with the qualities that they’re looking for.

“However, throwing money at the problem isn’t a long-term solution for employers, as they compete with each other for the available talent. We need to train people up by embedding employability skills in schools, providing effective careers guidance and promoting apprenticeships. Employers should take responsibility for investing in training – it will help them retain staff and grow their own talent.

“The short supply of skilled candidates is likely to get worse. Many sectors of the economy are dependent on EU workers. The government has got to design an immigration system which enables businesses to fill the roles they have available and keeps public services up and running. If it becomes harder for EU nationals to work here and employers can’t fill their jobs, they will have little choice but to outsource the work overseas or automate it.”

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General, Recruitment