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UK Report on Jobs: Greater competition for candidates, and vacancy growth accelerating

Key Findings

  • Quickest competition for workers leads to record increase in starting salaries
  • Greater competition for workers leads to record increase in starting
  • Vacancy growth accelerates across the UK back to a 23-year high.
  • Fresh fall in candidate availability, largely due to fears over job security, furlough and Brexit

UK recruitment consultancies registered a further marked increase in hiring activity during February, according to the latest KPMG and REC, UK Report job Jobs Survey.  That said, permanent staff appointments expanded at their quickest rate since October 1997.  The survey data indicates that the labour market recovery is well underway as businesses ramp up operations for a planned full reopening of the economy this summer.  The easing of lockdown measures, and rapid rollout of vaccinations, have made UK firms much more confident about prospects for the year ahead, with optimism around the 12-month outlook hitting its highest since at least 2012.

Two Rivers Viewpoint

With the vacancy surge and unprecedented labour shortages across the UK, employers will need to ensure their total reward package is genuinely competitive.  There is a myriad of cost-effective benefits, which companies can offer that provide staff with a reason to join and stay with a business.  These include private gym membership, medical insurance, and additional leave.  Flexible working is still highly sought after amongst candidates, yet we still see a large portion of employers wandering back to pre-pandemic practices of inflexibility and office working.  Employers need to understand that the employment landscape has changed and they need to up their game if they are to attract and retain the best candidates.


UK Report on Jobs

The KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment employment consultancies.  Two Rivers Recruitment has been an active participant in the survey for the past three years’.