iso 9000

IT & HR Recruitment Market Review: April 2016

May 10, 2016 . 9:48 am

Stressful people waiting for job interview

Key points:

  • Permanent placements increase at slowest pace since September 2015
  • Contract billings growth at 13-month high
  • National Living Wage drives sharpest rise in contract pay since mid-2007

Permanent placements growth eases…

Recruitment consultancies indicated a further rise in the number of people placed in permanent jobs during April. However, the rate of growth eased to a seven-month low amid reports of increased client uncertainty. Correspondingly, growth of permanent staff vacancies was the slowest since May 2013.

…but contract billings rise at faster rate

Agencies’ contract staff billings increased at the strongest rate in just over a year. Contract vacancy levels also showed a firmer trend, rising at a slightly faster pace than in March

Slower fall in candidate availability

The availability of staff to fill job vacancies continued to deteriorate in April. That said, rates of decline eased on the month. The latest fall in permanent staff availability was the slowest since January 2014, while contract availability decreased at the least marked pace in 31 months.

Further rise in permanent salaries; contract pay boosted by National Living Wage

Average starting salaries for people placed in permanent jobs increased further in April. The rate of pay growth remained marked, despite easing to a three-month low. Contract pay meanwhile rose at the fastest pace since July 2007, with panellists frequently citing the inflationary impact of the new National Living Wage.

Staff appointments

Permanent placements growth slows further:
The number of people placed in permanent jobs continued to rise in April. That said, the rate of expansion eased to a seven-month low and was below the survey’s historical average. Some panellists reported greater client uncertainty, in some cases linked to the upcoming EU referendum. Permanent placements rose across all four monitored English regions, with consultancies based in the North reporting the strongest expansion.

Stronger rise in contract billings:
Agencies’ billings from the employment of contract staff increased further in April. Moreover, the rate of growth accelerated to a 13-month high. Panel members commonly cited rising client activity levels. Some also indicated that the new National Living Wage had boosted the value of their agency billings. London led a broad-based rise in short-term appointments during the latest survey period.


Slowest growth of demand for staff in almost three years:
The Report on Jobs Vacancy Index slipped to 59.4 in April from 60.0 in March. The latest reading signalled the least marked expansion of demand for staff in 35 months. Whereas permanent job vacancies increased at the slowest rate since May 2013, demand for contract staff rose at a slightly sharper pace than in March.

Public & private sector vacancies:
Demand for staff remained stronger in the private than the public sector, with permanent workers in the private sector seeing the strongest growth. Public sector permanent staff were the only category to see a decline in demand for their services.

Staff availability

Availability of permanent staff:
The availability of permanent candidates fell again in April, marking three years of continuous decline. Although remaining marked, the rate of deterioration eased to the slowest since January 2014. Permanent candidate availability fell across all four monitored English regions, with the sharpest decline registered in the Midlands.

Availability of contract staff:
contract staff availability continued to deteriorate in April. However, the latest reduction was the slowest in 31 months. The Midlands posted the sharpest fall in contract availability, while the slowest reduction was signalled in London.


Permanent salaries:
Average starting salaries for successful permanent candidates increased further in April. The rate of growth eased to a three-month low, although remained above the survey’s historical average. The North posted the fastest growth of permanent salaries, closely followed by the South.

Contract pay rates:
Hourly rates of pay for staff in contract employment continued to rise in April. Moreover, the rate of increase accelerated to the strongest since July 2007. Panellists widely cited the new National Living Wage as having driven contract pay higher. Midlands-based agencies reported the sharpest rise in contract pay, followed by those in the North.