Staff appointments continue to rise strongly in February - Latest REC Report on Jobs

Carl Wright
by Carl Wright

Staff appointments continue to rise strongly - latest REC Report on Jobs

Summary, key points and Technical Moves comment on the latest REC Report on Jobs for February 2018 published this week  

Key points: 

  • Softer rise in permanent placements as temp billings growth accelerates
  • Starting salary inflation holds close to 31-month high amid candidate shortages
  • Growth in staff vacancies edges down to 14- month low 

Permanent placements expand at softer, but still marked, pace

Permanent staff placements continued to rise across the UK in February. Though sharp, the rate of expansion moderated slightly since the start of the year. Temp billings meanwhile rose at a faster pace midway through the first quarter.

Staff vacancies rise to weakest extent for 14 months

Although demand for staff remained robust in February, overall growth of demand softened to its slowest in over a year. Slower increases in staff vacancies were seen for both permanent and temporary positions.

Candidate supply drops at slower rate

Recruitment consultants reported continued difficulties regarding the availability of suitable staff for permanent and temporary roles in February. That said, rates of deterioration weakened since January and were the least marked for 11-and 13-months, respectively.

Pay growth remains sharp

The rate of starting salary inflation eased from January’s 31-month peak but remained sharp in February. Temporary / contract staff hourly pay rates also rose further, and at a faster pace than recorded in January.

Permanent staff and Salaries

The strongest growth of demand for permanent staff was signalled within the IT & Computing sector during February. Engineering workers also registered a marked rise in demand for their services. Nonetheless, vacancies also rose across all of the remaining job categories. 

Salaries awarded to permanent starters increased further in February. The rate of inflation softened slightly from the start of the year, but remained among the steepest recorded over the past two-and-a-half years. Higher salaries were frequently attributed by panellists to candidate and skill shortages.

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive says:

“Even with employer uncertainty, demand for staff continues to rise. At the same time candidate availability is still dropping, which means that employers in all sectors are struggling to recruit for the roles they desperately need to fill. 

“Employers need to make their jobs attractive to candidates to attract talent and skills to their organisation. Increasing starting pay is a good step, but it isn’t enough. Businesses need to focus on creating a great culture and investing in their people. The opportunity for development and the ability to progress are key for people looking to move job.

Carl Wright, Technical Moves Director says:

“With candidate shortages continuing to be a key driver, we are advising our clients to have a flexible approach to skills in such a competitive market. We also echo the comments from the REC regarding employer approach to staff retention and culture.

We are currently in the process of updating our local salary guides across all key disciplines for 2018, with more news to follow shortly: