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Leading reports highlight increased demand for candidates in key sectors

The latest Professional Recruitment Trends analysis conducted by APSCo shows a 10% increase in permanent roles alongside rising demand for contractors in a number of professional services markets.

August 2018’s report, a joint venture between professional body APSCo, candidate sourcing tech Broadbean, global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions Staffing Industry Analysts and job market analytics firm Innovantage, compass monthly trends in both placement and demand across multiple sectors.

Key points from survey of August activity:

  • Demand for finance contractors up 6%
  • IT perm placements increase 46%
  • Average salaries remain stable



The largest growth in demand for contractors has been seen in the finance market with a 6% increase compared to July and a 16% increase from the same period in 2017. The heightened demand is linked to Brexit uncertainty surrounding permanent hires coupled with demand for expert knowledge into legal and regulatory matters.

Avoiding the annual ‘summer slowdown’, demand for IT contractors grew 1.1% month on month and is 3.2% up on the previous month The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) reports shortages for contract talent in CAD; Digital, Gaming, Java, Oracle Fusion and Revit.

The demand for contractors is only going to grow, and if your agency isn’t already placing contractors, now would be the time to extend your offering.

If you would like to know more about contract recruitment we produced a guide that covers everything you need to know.



Survey responses from professional recruitment firms indicate the number of candidates securing permanent roles in August 2018 increased by 10% year-on-year. According to IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs, permanent staff placements rose for the twenty-fifth month running across the UK, with the rate of growth quickening since July. Of the four English regions monitored by the survey, London registered the quickest increase, but rates of expansion remained strong elsewhere.



Salaries remain flat at 0% with only accountancy and engineering recording increases of 2.4% and 1.3% respectively. APSCo’s findings differ from the IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs, which reported “average starting salaries awarded to newly-placed permanent staff rose at the second-sharpest pace for over three years in August. At the same time, short-term pay rates also increased strongly.”

Overall, UK earnings outstripped inflation for four consecutive months according to the BBC in September. Excluding bonuses, wages grew by 2.9%, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), well above the inflation rate.

“With the number of people in work little changed, employment growth has weakened. Meanwhile, earnings have grown faster than prices for several months, especially looking at pay excluding bonuses.”
David Freeman, ONS, Head of Labour Market Statistic


Regional Variation:

Sharp rises in permanent staff hires were recorded across all four monitored English regions north, south, east, west) in August, led by London. However, permanent staff supply in London declined during August, continuing a trend which has been apparent since June 2013. Skills were reported as having been in short supply, including Accounting & Financial and IT. Across all four monitored English regions, the Midlands posted the quickest rise in contract billings, while the slowest growth was in the South of England.



“ONS estimates there are 261,000 more people in work than a year ago. There is little doubt that employers are going to have to work harder to attract talent in months to come but right now, the jobs market is thriving with salaries increasing in five out of the six core sectors.”
Ann Swain, APSCo, Chief Executive

“The biggest long-term question on jobs is how they will be affected by new technology and stiff price competition driven by value-conscious consumers. For recruiters, helping people find pathways from sectors like retail into growing sectors will both boost opportunity and address candidate shortages in key sectors.”
Neil Carberry, REC, Chief Executive



How to grow your contract recruitment agency

Discover everything you need to know about entering, scaling and thriving in the UK contract recruitment market.

In this ebook

  • State of the contract market
  • Why enter the contract market?
  • Outsourcing to grow
  • Setting your growth strategy in motion
  • How to find the clients hiring contractors
  • How to work compliantly
  • How to build a network of contractors
  • 5 Sectors primed for growth in 2020

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