New figures show
Professional recruitment firms reported that overall vacancy numbers for permanent roles increased by two per cent year-on-year in June 2017, while placements increased by four per cent during the same period, according to new survey data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
APSCo’s data, which focuses on professional recruitment, reveals notable variations between the trade association’s core sector groups in terms of hiring activity. While permanent vacancies across both finance and engineering, for example, have increased permanent vacancies within IT slipped.
Vacancies for professional contractors decreased by 13 per cent across the board year-on-year, with demand falling across every core sector group.
While demand for non-permanent staff dipped by 13 per cent year-on-year in June, the number of contractors on assignment increased by four per cent during the same period. This suggests that while the market is currently strong, there may be a slowdown on the horizon.
An increase in permanent placements in June (up four per cent year-on-year) also outpaced new vacancies (up two per cent year-on-year), further indicating future uncertainty.
Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo comments: “Our data shows that permanent and flexible placements for professional talent continued to strengthen in June, however the forward trajectory is much less certain. This is unsurprising when you consider that the UK is currently going through an unprecedented level of unpredictability, with both employers and candidates becoming more hesitant to make big employment decisions against the current landscape.”
“Looking at activity in the contractor market specifically, it seems that although organisations are currently making full use of flexible workforces, many have put the brakes on bringing on board additional interims as summer approaches. However, as heightened levels of activity in the engineering sector demonstrates, the strength of the contractor market lies in its ability to flex with rapid changes in demand and, as such, the market can change in an instant.”