Recruitment Grapevine - Uncertain hiring is hampering permanent staff roles

An extract from another interesting article from the team at "Recruitment Grapevine". Click on the link to find our more or register for their regular updates:

The latest report from the REC has evidenced a period of instability within the recruitment industry, due to economic uncertainty and hiring fluctuations in April.

The report, which is compiled for REC by HIS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK-based recruitment consultancies, outlined a key fall in permanent placement for the third time in 2019 so far – although the rate of reduction softened from March’s 32-month record and was only slight.

Recruitment consultants widely agreed that Brexit-related uncertainty was the driving factor in the change in behaviour, whilst temporary work contracts have risen at a quicker pace.

The index measuring overall vacancies edged down further in April, to signal the weakest increase in demand for staff since August of 2012. The softer expansion in total vacancies was predominantly driven by a slower rise in permanent staff demand.

However, the drop rate has different implications for different parts of the UK; London recorded the quickest drop in permanent staff appointments of all the four English regions. In fact, the North of England was the only area to see an active increase in permanent placements in the month of April.

On a regional basis, Northern companies noted the quickest expansion in temp billings, closely followed by the South. The Midlands, meanwhile, noted the first reduction for over seven years.

“Today’s report shows the continued strength, agility and flexibility of the UK labour market,” commented Neil Carberry, Recruitment & Employment Confederation Chief Executive. "In uncertain times, employers are turning to temporary work to support their business and offer people opportunity while the long-term economic picture is unclear.

“There are signs that the jobs market is gently weakening for permanent roles, despite ongoing issues of skills and candidate shortages."

"This too is likely to be associated with uncertainty about the future path of our economy. We should be proud of how our jobs market has adapted to challenging circumstances.

"Resolving Brexit will bring some certainty, but we must also take bold steps to fix the underlying problems suggested by these figures, including reforming the apprenticeship levy to allow training for agency workers so that they can fill shortage roles,” he concluded.