Continued skills shortages constrain hiring in March

Posted 7th April 2017 in For Businesses For Workers

The pace of growth in the jobs market slowed during March 2017, as continued skills shortages once again created problems for businesses seeking to hire.

Data from the new Report on Jobs from Markit and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has indicated that March’s rise in permanent placements eased from February’s high level, though it remained solid overall. The picture for temporary billings was more positive, jumping up from the four-month low seen in February to exceed the overall average level for 2016.

Appetite for hiring remains strong among British businesses, with a steep increase in job vacancies seen across the UK. Indeed, the growth in demand for staff was close to an 18-month record. In terms of permanent roles, this was most prominently seen in the IT and computing sector, closely followed by nursing, medical and care, while for temp positions the greatest demand was recorded for healthcare staff and blue collar workers.

This high demand is coming at a time when firms are struggling to fill the roles they have open, with the supply of permanent candidates falling sharply once again in March. As such, starting salaries for many permanent roles are rising rapidly.

Although these trends are likely to prove troublesome for businesses, they represent good news for candidates, who will find themselves in unusually high demand.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said: “This shrinking talent pool of available candidates means that businesses are boosting the starting salaries and hourly rates they are prepared to offer to the right candidate. So for job hunters willing to move roles at the moment, there are financial rewards on offer – especially, it seems, in finance, IT and other management and office-based professional roles.”

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