KEY POINTS FROM SURVEY
Slower rises in permanent placements and temp billings
Availability of staff falls at sharper rate, pay pressure intensify
Vacancy growth accelerates
CANDIDATE SHORTAGES DRIVE SOFTER INCREASE IN RECRUITMENT ACTIVITY IN FEBRUARY
Commenting on the latest survey results, Claire Warnes, Partner and Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK, said:
“While recruitment activity has slowed slightly, employers across all sectors continued to hire energetically during February, as their workloads increased and vacancy growth accelerated for the first time since last summer. But the lack of suitable candidates continued and fuelled yet further increases in starting salaries. The IT sector led the increase in demand for permanent staff, with hotel and catering close behind, possibly reflecting the reduction in pandemic measures across society. A sustained focus on skills shortages is required if all sectors of the economy are to leave winter behind and head into spring with confidence in the jobs market.”
Commenting on the latest survey results, Euan West, office senior partner for KPMG in Leeds, said:
"Employers in the North continued to hire energetically during February, but the lack of suitable candidates continued and fuelled yet further increases in starting salaries. A sustained focus on skills shortages is required if all sectors of the economy are to leave winter behind and head into spring with confidence in the jobs market."
Neil Carberry, Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive, said:
"Candidate availability has now been dropping for a year, which shows the scale of the labour shortage the UK faces. Recruiters are filling record numbers of posts, but demand is still rising. Those firms that are meeting their needs are working more collaboratively with their recruiters to get their offer to candidate’s right. Meanwhile, government can help by working with business to support people back into the labour market and address skills gaps. At a time when firms and workers are hard-pressed by inflation, making sure businesses can invest in wages and training matters. Ramping up National Insurance is not the right way to go."
DEMAND FOR STAFF BY SECTOR
The number of people placed into permanent job roles increased during February, as has been the case throughout the past 12 months. Though rapid and well above the series average, the rate of expansion softened for the third month in a row and was the slowest since March 2021.
Recruitment consultancies frequently cited strong demand for staff amid rising activity levels at clients. However, there were also reports that shortages of candidates continued to limit recruiters' abilities to fill roles.
Data broken down by region showed that permanent staff appointments expanded at softer rates across all four English areas except the North of England, which also saw the sharpest overall increase.
Sharp increases in permanent staff demand were seen across all ten monitored job categories midway through the first quarter. IT & Computing led the upturn, followed closely by Hotel & Catering. Secretarial/Clerical saw the softest increase.
Adjusted for seasonality, the Temporary Billings Index signalled an increase in temp billings received by UK recruiters for the nineteenth consecutive month in February. The rate of growth softened for the first time since last October, but remained sharp by historical standards. Higher billings were often attributed to increased market confidence and activity, and in some cases a preference for flexible workers due to lingering pandemic uncertainty.
The steepest increase in temp billings was recorded in London, followed closely by the North of England. That said, all four monitored English regions noted slower expansions that at the start of the year.
Hotel & Catering topped the rankings in terms of temporary staff demand in February, followed by Blue Collar. Nonetheless, historically sharp rises in vacancies were also seen across the remaining eight categories monitored by the survey.
Hotel & Catering
SKILLS IN SHORT SUPPLY
Key Permanent Staff Skills
Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Auditors, Book-keepers, Credit Controllers, Estimators, Finance, Finance Controllers, Payroll and Taxation.
Blue Collar: Drivers, Factory, HVAC, Manufacturing, Mechanics. Production Refrigeration, Security Guards and Warehouse.
Construction: Architectural Technicians and Quantity Surveyors.
Engineering: Electrical Engineers, Engineers, Industrial Engineers, Senior Electronic Engineers and Technicians.
Executive/ Professional: B2B, Corporate Affairs, HR, Legal, Management,
Marketing, PR, Project Managers and Recruitment Consultants.
Hotel/Catering: Chefs, and Hospitality.
IT/Computing: Analysts, Automation Testers, CAD, Digital, Infrastructure Analysts, IT, Software Engineers, Technical Sales and Technology.
Nursing/Medical /Care: Carers, Health Care Assistants and Nurses.
Secretarial/ Clerical: Administration, Office Staff, Personal Assistants and Secretaries.
Other: Commercial, Customer Service, Dutch Speakers, German Speakers, Operations, Sales, Scandinavian Speakers. Skilled, Supply Chain, Telesales and Unskilled.
Key Temp Skills
Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Auditors, Book Keepers, Credit Controllers, Finance and Payroll.
Blue Collar: Drivers, Factory, FLT, HGV, Industrials, Machine Operators, Manufacturing, Production, Security Guards and Warehouse.
Construction: Architectural Technicians, Bricklayers and Labourers.
Engineering: Industrial Engineers.
Executive/Professional: HR, Legal, Marketing, PR and Project Managers.
Hotels/Catering: Chefs and Hospitality.
IT/Computing: Analysts, Automation Testers, Developers, Digital, IT, Software Engineers, Technical Sales and Technology.
Nursing/Medical/Care: Carers, Health Care Assistants, Nurses and Social Workers.
Retail: None recorded.
Secretarial/Clerical: Administration, Office Staff, Receptionists and Secretaries.
Other: Call Centre, Customer Service, Dutch Speakers, German Speakers, Logistics, Sales, Scandinavian Speakers, Skilled, Supervisors, Supply Chain and unskilled.
We are working harder than ever to keep a good supply of quality candidates to offer you!
KINGSTON RECRUITMENT LTD Call – 01482 228891 or contact us via email at email@example.com