The April Markit/Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) reports for the UK and for Scotland were published today. Although across the UK as a whole we saw the slowest growth in permanent placement for seven months, on the temp side the increase in recruitment consultants' billings was the best so far this calendar year. These trends came alongside a steep decline in candidate availability, particularly for perm roles.
In Scotland, the Temp and Perm IT market has experienced a massive increase in demand, much larger than the UK average (see table below). This means we need to work even harder for clients and candidates, ensuring that we thoroughly research and then match each party's expectations and that both the new employee and new employer are right for each other.
There is no doubt that good recruiters do need to step up to the mark now. The latest data show that the decline in temp candidate numbers across Scotland has got worse for three successive months, with the April figure being the steepest decrease since June 2015.
As we've written here many times before, there are lots of factors that can help redress these shortages, especially a growth in number studying computing in the secondary and tertiary education sectors, but in the short-medium term it's going to be difficult. However, there is a feeling that at least part of this decline in candidate availability is due to concerns about Brexit, with people feeling less inclined to move jobs in case the economy does decline and as a result they are subject to the "last-in, first-out rule". With an election looming and different views on the necessary numbers of immigrants and the best way to allow them into the UK post Brexit, we are in a period of uncertainty that we really need whichever government is elected to remove as quickly as possible. As Kevin Green, CEO of REC, said in his comments on last month's report, "It is vital that the future immigration system is agile enough to reflect and adapt to evolving labour market needs." We couldn't agree more.
Stuart Alexander, Operations Manager, Be-IT Resourcing