UK Appointments up 13% as economic confidence continues to increase

Published: 14 July 2015

According to new data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), UK appointments are up 13% on this time last year.

This annual increase is in line with reports from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR), which show that UK economic growth picked up in the three months to May. APSCo’s data also coincides with the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures; data which shows that the number of professionals in work has increased by 114,000 in the three months to April, driving UK employment to a record 31.05 million.

The latest data from APSCo revealed that year-on-year growth in the professional staffing market continues to climb across many of the trade association’s core sector groups. Permanent vacancies across Finance, IT, and Engineering & Operations are all up, year-on-year; by 10%, 14%, and 12%, respectively. Equally as significant, APSCo’s figures also revealed that median salaries across all professional sectors have risen by 5.7% year-on-year.

John Nurthen, Executive Director, Global Research for Staffing Industry Analysts, which compiles the report for APSCo, stated: “To see such solid growth in demand across all three of the main professional segments suggests that the lift in salaries reported of 5.7% might be only the beginning of a period of wage inflation. This will come as a shock to many businesses where wages have been subdued since the global financial crisis.”

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo, commented: “The fact that wages have jumped so significantly across the professional sectors is a sure sign that market confidence is soaring. Organisations are scrambling to get their hands on the brightest talent, and those that can offer attractive remuneration packages stand a fighting chance. The CBI’s latest growth indicator found that economic expansion in the three months to May reached its strongest rate since the same month last year, and against this backdrop it is unsurprising that vacancies are up 13% during the same period.” Ms Swain continued: “This data is in line with widespread reports of skills shortages within many sectors.”

Ultimately therefore employers and organisations who want to successfully appoint the required talent to drive growth and take advantage of the current economic up-turn and rising confidence, will need to be pro-active and imaginative in their future recruitment campaigns. Plus they will also need to have a strong, transparent and candid relationships with a leading recruiter in the specific functional area and/or sector.

Berwick Partners leads the way in recruiting senior leadership positions across both the Private and Public sectors; supporting organisations to make key appointments, which have a critical impact upon their business, future and success.

Simon Walton is a Partner and Head of the Retail and Consumer Practice at Berwick Partners

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