2024 February Recruitment Outlook: Employment Confidence

Monday, March 25, 2024

At the end of 2023, it was expected that economic and political uncertainty in the country would continue to impact jobs. The first quarter of 2024, reflects this expectation, however, there are signs that hiring managers are gaining more confidence. London typically leads the way when it comes to the jobs market, and that’s what we’ve seen in the latest data. There’s greater use of temps as employers bide their time, and for employers, there’s finally more choice over high-quality candidates. Read on to learn more.

Employers are cautious, so turn to temps
The number of candidates being placed into permanent jobs is subdued while employers feel more confident to use temps to manage their hiring. This is standard when there are uncertainties in the wider economy. It’s believed interest rates will start to come down later this spring, inflation is easing, and so it’s likely that things will balance out again soon. 

The number of vacancies is easing
Whilst we have experienced a drop in overall vacancy numbers, we need to look at the wider context to obtain a broader snapshot.  If we dig deeper into the data, we can see this does not apply to all sectors as there is still a significant number of vacancies in business and office support jobs in London, especially in roles such as accounting.  In addition, the number of temporary role vacancies in the private sector continues to grow. 

Starting salary inflation is easing
The good news for employers is that the growth in starting salaries and temporary wages, while still notable, is easing. This is expected considering that inflation is dropping and interest rates have stabilised with expectations of coming down later in the year. As such, it’s easier to predict the cost of talent and this will likely feed through to more confident hiring manager decisions. Nonetheless, competition for the best workers remains high, so candidates can expect good starting salaries and temporary wages. We can now record 35 solid months of increases in average pay rates for temporary staff.

Candidate pools offer employers more choice
While candidate numbers continue to grow, the rate of growth is down from where it was in December 2023, and indeed the rate of candidate growth is now the softest increase since September. 

 If you need to build your team for 2024, we have outstanding Business and Office Support candidates who are available to start with you now. So call us on 020 7870 7177 to discuss your recruitment requirements.