Recruitment Outlook 2019

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Moving further into Q1, 2019 is set to be an exciting year for recruitment. There’s no escaping the Brexit impact. Looking at the figures released at the end of 2018 and early this year, recruitment agencies in London are embracing this unusual year with confidence. With change comes opportunities, and that’s what many of the statistics show. In this summary, we discuss the current state of the recruitment market, including how it affects temporary jobs in London, as well as what employers need to be doing to meet 2019 employment trends.

Recruitment in 2019: Facts and Stats

Let’s take a look at the most important data concerning current UK recruitment:

·       The number of job vacancies is high: The number of job vacancies in the UK was at its joint-highest level leading up to December 2018 with a total of 853,000 vacancies, representing a 4.8% increase from the year before. Now, the Report of Jobs Vacancies reports a slight drop. Nonetheless, the report continues to indicate that the total job vacancies continue to rise.

·       It’s harder to fill permanent positions: There was a drop in permanent appointments for the first time in 2.5 years in January.  In the South, we are seeing the slowest rise in permanent placements for 14 months.

·       The number of candidates available is decreasing: The number of candidates available declined sharply in January 2019. Permanent candidate availability has seen the sharpest fall since May 2017, continuing the decline we’ve seen for the last 69 months. This is being pinned on the high employment rates as well as the uncertainty regarding Brexit. 

·       All workers are in high demand: Demand is high for both temporary and permanent workers. However, in the South, growth of demand for permanent staff outstripped the UK average whilst short-term vacancies are weaker than the national trend.

·       Artificial intelligence threatens jobs but also is an opportunity: PwC has reported on the predicted impact of AI on UK jobs stating that between now and 2037 AI could, in fact, create 7.2 million new jobs which even with the loss of jobs through AI would signal a growth.

·       The nature of the workforce continues to change: 15.1% of UK workers are now self-employed and the rates are rising rapidly.

·       Unemployment levels are predicted to remain low: UK GDP growth is predicted to stay quite stagnant due to Brexit uncertainty. However, the unemployment rate is still expected to stay close to its lowest levels since the mid-70s with wage growth remaining modest.

As a result of all this data – what are the trends we will see in the recruitment market in 2019? Importantly, what should employers be doing to ensure they attract vital talent?

Recruitment market trends and predictions 2019

·       Brexit is inescapable: This year will be dominated by Brexit and its continued uncertainty. Many believe that the decline in candidates looking to make permanent job moves is largely due to this.

This impacts employers too. James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG said:
“With Brexit just days away now, it’s definitely a nervous time for recruiters.”

·       This is the year of the candidate: All the data points to this year being a positive opportunity for candidates – even or partly because of Brexit. Combining with skills shortages employers are going to have to work extra hard to secure the talent they need. Employer branding is going to become increasingly important as employers seek to attract talent which could easily choose to go elsewhere.

This doesn’t mean candidates can be complacent. They need to be wary of the Brexit climate and make moves based on their defined career goals. It’s vital that they use recruitment agencies in London which don’t simply use them to fill any vacancy on the books. They need to realise they have a choice and this can work in their favour.

For candidates 2019 also signals a time for perhaps doing things a little differently. With the abundance of temporary jobs in London, available because of Brexit, candidates can take their time, gain experience, and consider which options are best for them.

As a result of it being a candidate-driven market, employers and recruitments agencies need to really focus on the candidate experience. Taking steps to elevate the entire candidate experience is going to be vital not only for securing the talent you need, but also building your employer brand. For PA jobs in London, this is notably important. The talent can easily go elsewhere, so employers need to take steps to entice candidates to come to you.

·       Recruitment analytics and artificial intelligence (AI): We’re seeing greater use of AI to simplify admin tasks. This affects recruitment and HR analytics where these technologies are now in real-world use, not futuristic thinking.

Employers need to consider how they can use technology to simplify and streamline the recruitment process, whilst ensuring a human approach.

It’s also worth understanding the application of advanced technologies for roles such as PA jobs in London. With AI driven price differentiation and increased use of chatbots in sectors such as travel, PAs need a good understanding of their changing and developing role.

·       Flexible recruitment strategies: We cannot deny that 2019 could signal a difficult year for employers when it comes to recruitment. However, what we need to do is develop some broader thinking on how we can meet our talent problems.

With the rise of the gig economy, one way employers can navigate their skills shortages is to use a greater mix of temporary and flexible working. Showing that you understand that diversity in recruitment means accessing skills, not faces, and the talent you need will want to work for you.

It’s an exciting year for recruitment agencies in London

2019 is already shaping up to be unlike any other. There are winners, for example, those looking for temporary jobs in London. Candidates are in an exceptional position due to talent shortages and uncertainty over Brexit. However, this doesn’t mean it is bad news for employers. 2019 also signals the year of opportunity for building your employer brand, encompassing recruitment technology, and adopting flexible working strategies to entice the best talent.

For PA jobs in London, office support roles and more, get in touch with us on 020 7870 7177 and let’s navigate 2019 together.