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Despite Brexit uncertainty, the recruitment market continues to grow

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Despite the announcement last week that we are now able to proceed to the trade negotiations stage of Brexit, the business community still remains wary as the UK continues to try to extricate itself from the EU.  However, in one area – our area of recruitment - businesses are forging ahead.

As the November Markit Survey shows, recruitment in Scotland is in a very healthy state, with perm staff recruitment increasing to the highest level seen since October 2014. Scotland is actually outperforming the rest of the country in perm recruitment, but even across the UK as a whole, the rate of growth accelerated to the best figure seen since August 2017.

In the contractor/temp market, the recruitment consultancies that provide the data for Markit, reported a quickening pace compared to October and, perhaps more significantly, November was the twelfth consecutive month to show an increase in temp billings.

As you would expect at this time of year, construction recruitment slows slightly, but although the rate of growth (for both perm and temp vacancies) in our sector in November has declined compared to October, it’s still growing nicely thank you very much.  That’s certainly something we’re seeing at Peace, as is one of the other key findings of the Markit report, namely that “The availability of permanent staff in Scotland continued to worsen in November. The rate of deterioration remained sharp, despite easing to the weakest since April. Candidate availability has now worsened for 69 successive months.”

When it comes to temp candidate availability, the Markit report says, The number of candidates available for temporary job roles across Scotland declined for the tenth successive month in November. That said, the rate of deterioration was modest and the weakest in the current contractionary sequence.”

The other good news - for candidates at least – is that permanent starting salaries in Scotland continued to rise sharply in November, although temp wage inflation was relatively modest in comparison.

What all this means is that for quality candidates who are looking to move on to a new, permanent role, this is a very good time to do so.  And for contractors, the market remains in good shape and I am confident that this will continue as we move into 2018.

Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment

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