“The number of people finding jobs via recruiters is growing, even while the overall employment rate is plateauing. This suggests that more employers are turning to recruiters to help them fill vacancies as candidate availability continues to fall and recruiting good people becomes that much harder.” – Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive.

At the end of 2017, the rate of candidate availability had declined at the steepest and fastest rate in 2 years. Despite this drop in the market, staff vacancies and demand for candidates continued to rise. This resulted in a widespread change in attitude to the hiring process, employees and their organisations were and still are having to compete with one another for the best candidates available; using more recruitment agencies, increasing starting salary rates and offering better work benefits.

The most in-demand industry

The Accounting and Finance sector has maintained its top spot for most in-demand professionals. In fact, according to the REC/IHS Market’s Report on Jobs, the industry ‘led a broad-based expansion of demand for permanent workers in December’. Consequently, KHP’s recruitment consultants are working vigorously to match the skilled candidates and clients most suited to one another in this sector.

The key permanent staff skills reported in short supply for Accounting and Finance are:

  • Accountants
  • Audit
  • Estimators
  • Finance, FP & A
  • Paraplanners
  • Payroll
  • Risk
  • Tax
  • Treasury 

Placement success by recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies surveyed for Report on Jobs noted a 29% increase in permanent placements by them. Many of the consultants attributed this growth to the strong demand for staff combined with a shortage of experienced professionals leading to a greater eagerness to hire permanent workers. Agencies also commented that the rate of placements was likely restricted due to the deterioration of the talent pool. Regardless, for employees, this is positive news to start the New Year, as businesses are keener than ever to hire and retain skilled staff.

“It’s been a challenging yet successful year for consultancies. Skill shortages in the job market have not deterred but rather spurred us on to help find high-quality professionals the right roles at the right companies.” – Sanna Jawad, Managing Director of KHP.

Salaries continue to soar  

21% of recruitment agencies registered a sharp rise in starting salaries throughout December. These pay rate inflations were noted across the UK with workers in the South of England enjoying the highest salary increase. In addition, the Office for National Statistics informed that the annual growth of earnings (including bonuses) rose by 2.5%. Average weekly earnings increased by 2.7% in the private sector while in the public sector, they were boosted by 1.8%.


New Year, New Job? Was your new year’s resolution to advance your career? Kingsley Hamilton People can help. We are a boutique recruitment agency, specialising in placing candidates for permanent and temporary roles across Accountancy & Finance, Legal, and Business Support. Talk to one of our expert recruitment consultants today on 020 7078 0213 or fill out the short form here, and someone will get in touch with you very soon.

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