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Shortages mean tricky time for engineering recruiters

Written by Kimberley Startup | July 21, 2014 | 0 Comments
Engineering RecruitmentHas your engineering recruitment drive stalled recently amid a lack of suitably skilled candidates? You are certainly not alone, if the latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)/KPMG Report on Jobs is anything to go by.
Indeed, across the sectors, the monthly study found declining levels of both permanent and temporary staff availability, alongside a steep rise in demand for staff and placements.

Average starting salaries looking strong…

Unsurprisingly, such a combination of circumstances also powered a heightening in average starting salaries unparalleled since the Report on Jobs began to be published in October 1997. The research draws on recruitment agencies’ original survey data to produce a comprehensive overview of the UK labour market.
In short, now is not the ideal time to be launching an IT or engineering recruitment campaign, although across the country, the availability of staff to fill permanent roles declined considerably in June. Never before in the history of the survey has there been such a steep fall. There was a similarly striking drop in availability for temporary/contract staff, the greatest since March 1998.

 …amid greater demand for permanent and temporary staff

With so few suitable candidates around, then, and demand for them only creeping ever-higher, it shouldn’t be a massive shock to read of a survey record increase in permanent staff salaries during June. It marked the twenty-sixth consecutive month of rising pay packets. Nor have rates for temporary/contract staff seen such a pronounced increase since November 2007.
Both permanent and temporary staff were in greater demand in June, the private sector predictably fuelling growth most. June also saw permanent placements continue to edge up as companies concentrated on efficiently filling vacancies. It may have been the lowest rate of growth since November, but it remained high by historical standards.
Staff placements on a temporary/contract basis certainly weren’t flagging either, increasing at their sharpest pace for five months. The statistics across the regions also made intriguing reading, with four broad English regions being covered. The Midlands saw the greatest increase in permanent placements, narrowly beating the South.

Variations between the sectors

There was no question of the sector where staff demand was at its highest during the month: engineering, although construction workers also remained sought-after. Engineering workers were also in greatest demand on a temporary basis during the month.
REC CEO Kevin Green commented: “June saw record growth in starting salaries and yet another monthly increase in the number of people securing a permanent job.
“However, this month sees the number of workers available to fill vacancies plummet to an all-time low, in particular across business development and sales roles that are vital to boosting bottom lines. There are also persistent shortages across IT and engineering, which are becoming a serious threat to economic growth.”
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