I really can't improve on the good news contained in the headline in the Markit report on Scotland's recruitment market in October. Yes indeed, permanent job placements have risen at the fastest rate for nearly three years. And things are pretty rosy in the temp market too, with the growth in demand for contractors in Scotland higher than across the UK as a whole. However good this is (and it is good), we should also note that the report says, "the availability of permanent staff fell sharply, while the rate of deterioration in temporary staff supply weakened. Pay pressures eased, with temp wage inflation softening to a one-year low."
In other words, demand for new staff remains high, with the knock-on effect that it can be difficult to find the hidden gems amongst the passive candidate market. This applies to construction as much as any discipline, with the Markit report showing that growth in construction & engineering perm placements was higher than in September although in temp placements it was marginally down month on month. That said, the temp figures are still uniformly positive, showing healthy growth in employment across the economy as a whole.
At present, every month's Markit figures for the Scottish (and UK) recruitment market are positive. That's partly a reflection of the hard work that recruiters like us do, as well as an indication that many companies clearly still need to hire lots ot talented people. The obvious question is how do we square this with the overall economic and political doom and gloom that pervades the newspapers? The answer is, quite simply, we don't! Our job is to help people get jobs in construction and property. If we do that to the best of our ability then we are making our own small contribution to the country's economic prosperity - by making a very large contribution to each and every one of our candidates' prosperity. In turn, if they are good at their jobs they make a big contribution to their employers' businesses and we all win. If we all concentrate on that, the rest will, hopefully, take care of itself.
Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment