Well, the latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs for the North of England is here for March and we’ve seen the first increase in permanent staff appointments of 2019 (after a softer than historical average start to the year). This of course is encouraging news for the UK economy and a clear sign that businesses are putting their feelers out in the market and making key appointments. It would also appear that Northern employers are the only English region to see an increase in permanent placements at all this month. That’s either forward thinking or an urgent requirement for business. Either way, what does this continually rising demand for new staff mean for those businesses still hesitating or reluctant to get involved in recruiting at this moment in time?
Businesses need to be firing on all cylinders if they’re going to effectively respond to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
As has been the case in each month since February 2013, permanent staff availability in the North of England deteriorated in March. Moreover, the rate of decline was sharp and slightly faster than in February. The number of permanent staff vacancies grew at the quickest pace for four months in the North too and was faster than the UK average.
This continued contraction of the region’s labour market could threaten business growth plans, so management teams must consider how best to attract talent in a competitive skills market where permanent staff availability continues to decline.
There is an increase in those taking on Executive personnel on short term contracts and we are already seeing an increase in this at Board and Senior Management level.
Brexit uncertainty has for many, put the brakes on recruitment. With business investment rates poor and little certainty about the path ahead, today’s data shows that the time for political game-playing needs to be over. As a Nation we are ‘keeping calm and carrying on’ but we still have hires that have to be made and we still need to build our empires and get ahead of the curve where we can. Otherwise, in the end both employers and the best talent will lose out in these unchartered waters and nobody rarely wants to just tread water.
Sharon Seville is a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals, a highly experienced Senior Appointments Recruiter and a regular contributor to the KPMG/REC UK Jobs outlook report.