Vacancies rise again but fewer qualified candidates, finds REC

Recruitment agencies signalled further increases in both permanent and temporary placements in October, but skills shortages have been exacerbated, the KPMG/REC Report on Jobs finds.

The survey of 400 UK recruitment consultancies from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and professional services firm KPMG sees another rise in hiring – although this has eased slightly since historic increases seen in August.

Meanwhile, the survey finds the sharpest fall in six years in the availability of permanent and temporary staff.

REC chief executive officer Kevin Green comments: “The skills shortage shows no signs of abating and, although it is starting to drive wages up, there is a real danger that it could cause serious damage to future economic growth in the UK.”

KPMG partner Bernard Brown adds: “Employers cannot rely on wages alone as a hook to attract top talent. The time has come for them to develop a raft of offers as part of the overall remuneration package. If they fail to do so, they will struggle to recruit and bring their organisation back to pre-downturn levels.”

Engineering remained the sector with most staff demand on both the permanent and temp side, although all nine sectors showed increased hiring demand in both categories for the third month running.

This time last year, nursing, medical & care had shown the greatest demand, but while demand in this sector has increased, it has been overtaken by other industries on both fronts.

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