Recruitment in London: The future is bright

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Recruitment Outlook for 2016/2017

As a top recruitment agency in London, we’ve obviously been more focused on the lay of the land and our client needs following the historic Brexit vote in June. But how has it really affected companies during the immediate aftermath? And what is the longer term outlook for those businesses looking to take on new staff?

There’s no doubt the last few months have been turbulent with the shock Brexit decision in July, the turmoil it sent government into with a quick change of prime minister, not to mention the prospect of a good deal of uncertainty over the next few years as we seek to untangle ourselves from Europe. 

Many businesses, and workers across the capital, are quite naturally worried about what is to come. The pound was the first indication that we were entering a new and historic phase in the UK. Many held their breath in the days after the vote came through and a good few expressed their pessimism over the future.

The good news is that, so far, the doom mongers have been proved largely wrong. The economy hasn’t crashed and the job market hasn’t plunged into chaos. Recruitment has remained pretty solid since June and the labour market is benefiting from companies continuing to invest in their workforce and source top talent.

The Aftermath of Brexit

We carried out a survey recently on the impact of the EU referendum on recruitment in the London area. Some of our results might surprise you. Despite stories in the media of some voters changing their minds, 85% of those we quizzed (including senior and middle managers) were still happy with their personal decision over Brexit. The biggest concern by far that most have is the period of uncertainty over the Brexit decision and where we go from here.

Key to how confident businesses in London are feeling is whether they are spending money on recruitment or not. 81% said that their permanent recruitment hadn’t been affected and 65% noted that their temporary jobs recruitment had remained about the same. In fact, only 15% of the companies we approached had experienced staff uncertainty or redundancies as a direct result of the Brexit decision.

Yes, there are concerns about our relationship with the EU with nearly half of businesses worried about the potential increase in the cost of travel across Europe and what kind of access they are going to have. But overall, things appear stable and businesses are continuing to invest in growth and their workforce.

London and Recruitment

As a London recruitment agency, we like to keep an eye on the statistics when it comes to the job market. Across the UK there has been a slight increase in both permanent and temporary posts being advertised. That includes everything from PA recruitment and office support jobs in London to executive posts.

  • Over August and September there was a significant increase in full-time appointments and the rise in temporary jobs was steeper in the South of England than the rest of the UK as a whole.
  • There was a small fall in recruitment (permanent and temporary) around the time of the Brexit decision in July but this has begun to recover in the following months.
  • The supply of permanent staff is on the decline but this trend has slowed in the last three years. There has been less of a slowdown for temporary staff recruitment.
  • Skill shortages are seen in areas such as nursing and medical care and in the IT and computing sectors, particularly for technical specialists, as well as accounting and scientific circles.
  • The number of businesses noting an improvement of the availability of permanent staff increased from 9.2% to 15.3% between August and September, with just over half saying things had stayed about the same.
  • The good news for workers is that pay levels are continuing to rise for both temporary and permanent workers. Average weekly earnings rose about 2.4% in the second quarter of 2016, higher in London which saw a 4.4% increase.

There’s no doubt that Brexit has had an impact on recruitment in areas such as London but it hasn’t been as catastrophic as some predicted. Businesses are still posting PA and admin jobs, looking for executive assistants and taking on permanent as well as temporary staff.

The key for many businesses, whether they have been affected by Brexit or not, is still finding the right, high quality staff for the position they are advertising.

Choosing the Right Recruitment Agency

Finding high quality, top performing employees requires a smart and robust selection process. It also needs access to the kind of candidates that are likely to make a difference. In short it requires a recruitment agency that knows where to look and how to attract the best people.

At Love Success plc we’re obviously happy to see that Brexit so far has had less of an impact on recruitment across the London area than at first thought. While some may be tightening their belts and playing a wait and see game, many other businesses are continuing to forge forward, planning for growth and success.

One of the big challenges all recruitment agencies in London face is the availability of the talent pool. Over recent years, a shortage in this area has been an issue for businesses across the UK and it’s something we work hard to help our clients overcome.

Attracting these high quality individuals involves creating a platform where their potential is fully realised. We have a proven track record, whether that’s in placing office staff, PA recruitment or executive assistant positions, of finding these rare individuals for both temporary and permanent posts. That means working closely with businesses to find out what they need, becoming their partners, and developing a pool of talent that fits those requirements. It also means getting to know our potential candidates so that we can provide a perfect fit.

Of course, we are still in the early days of Brexit. As a London recruitment agency, we remain positive that the future is going to be bright. And we will stay committed, as you might expect, to finding the best talent that London has to offer, hopefully as the businesses we deal with continue to grow, thrive and prosper.