Recovery sees unprecedented increase in permanent staff appointments

27 July 2021

The latest UK Report on Jobs survey from the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) and KPMG showed recruitment activity surging again in June amid reports of greater demand for staff and the return to more normal business conditions as lockdown measures eased.

Growth in both vacancies and permanent appointments were at the highest since the survey began in October 1997, while the rise in demand for temporary workers was among the fastest since that date.

The report, which is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies, also showed the availability of workers declining at an unprecedented rate.

For the fourth consecutive month there was a decline in the availability of candidates to fill all these new roles, marking the most severe deterioration for 24 years.

As a result, rates of starting pay rose rapidly at the end of the second quarter (Q2) of the year.

REC Chief Executive Neil Carberry said: “The jobs market is improving at the fastest pace we have ever seen, but it is still an unpredictable time. We can’t yet tell how much the ending of furlough and greater candidate confidence will help to meet this rising demand for staff.”

In some key shortage sectors, such as hospitality, food, driving and IT, more support is likely to be needed to avoid slowing the recovery, he highlighted.

Claire Warnes, Partner and Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK, warned that action is needed now from businesses and the Government to reskill and upskill furloughed and prospective workers, as the increasing skills gap in the workforce has the potential to slow the UK’s economic recovery.

Comment from Kate Palmer, Director of HR Advice at Peninsula

This report shows great promise for employers who are currently still in the thick of their pandemic woes. However, not every employer will be positioned to move quickly into recruiting new staff even as vaccines are rolled out on schedule.

Such plans, for a lot of employers, will likely come as more restrictions are lifted across the UK.