Brexit uncertaintyThe latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs for the North of England is out and it isn’t pretty reading for those looking to recruit.

In the first quarter of 2019 Brexit uncertainty is having an opposite and chilling effect on the jobs market, with firms reassessing their level of risk. Companies are freezing or slowing the pace of new hires, whilst at the same time the number of people looking to enter the jobs market has declined even further. Vacancy growth is now back to the levels we saw around two and a half years ago.

Back to 1975

With unemployment at its lowest level since 1975, widespread skills shortages are also cooling the jobs market. The most acute issues are to be found in sectors such as IT, Engineering, Senior Management and Nursing. This means candidates with the right skills are very much in demand. They are also commanding ever higher premiums from companies competing for the best talent and, with pay growth in this sector now at a 10-year high and pay outstripping living costs, prospective candidates feel better off and are more likely to be offered incentives to stay where they are. This means recruitment will get that bit tougher for some employers.

Employers – On your marks, get set………..

Right now many employers are holding off investment in their business and this includes the recruitment of key talent. It is anticipated that once a political decision has been made on Brexit a wave of pent-up investment will be released creating new job opportunities together with a renewed focus on cost reduction. This should result in a busy time for the jobs market. The race will be on. Will you be ready?

With pay growth higher and an anticipated increase in the jobs market, employers have to be ready to get off the starting blocks to recruit for their business and compete for the best talent. Particularly within the high in demand roles.

Surveys amongst the business community suggest businesses are ready to create jobs when the investment environment is right. In today’s market the difficulty will be convincing talent that you are their right move.

With permanent staff supply continuing to fall amid this uncertainty, and a reluctance of people to seek new roles amongst key sectors like Engineering and Executive and Professional, people need encouragement and confidence to move jobs.  As specialist recruiters we are playing a crucial role in helping clients fill these seemingly ever widening gaps.

In a recent quote from IBM, they stated that in era of growing popularity around AI (artificial intelligence) “the biggest barrier to business growth is not technology, its skills and culture”. We wholeheartedly agree. Relationship building has become a much more critical part in this ‘match making process’ and we anticipate those businesses that have a proactive approach to focusing on skills, culture and business partnerships with specialist recruiters in their respective sectors will be the ones that will win the best talent.

As we draw closer to Brexit day, it is clear uncertainty and concern has grown, putting the sustainability of positive jobs news for Employers and the talent they seek, at risk. As for our role; whilst business looks to politicians to confirm a solution, we as specialist recruiters in a competitive environment, ensure we are ready to fill the growing gaps for employers that are ‘at the ready’ to invest and create jobs for the future.