Category: Recruitment Agencies

Recession concerns mount up 

Despite the US adding 528,000 jobs in July, The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index saw a drop, showing signs of slower job gains ahead. The organization also showed concern about a possible recession.

July’s Employment Trends Index level of 117.63 dropped from June’s downwardly revised reading of 118.71.

It is thought that slower job gains are likely to bring the labour market in line with the rest of the economy, which Is already seeing a slowdown in activity. The Conference Board, however, expects the US unemployment rate to remain below 4.5% in 2023. It was 3.5% in July.

Frank Steemers, Senior Economist at The Conference Board, said: The Employment Trends Index declined in July and has now been on a downward trend since March 202. While the US labour market is currently still robust, the recent behaviour of the index signals that slower job gains should be expected over the next several months.”

“It is increasingly likely that the US economy will fall into recession by year end or early 2023, with the Fed expected to continue raising interest rates rapidly over the coming months.”

“While businesses are currently still struggling with severe labour shortages, they may soon see some reduced pressure in recruitment and retention difficulties as economic activity cools.”

Share this article on social media

Concerns that new bill could lead to increased litigation 

The New Jersey Senate has approved bill S. 511, increasing regulations on the staffing industry. This is according to a tweet by the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Joe Cryan, D-Union.

Amongst other aspects, the bill provides for equal pay between contingent and directly employed workers. However, some believe that the new bill could lead to increased litigation.

The bill was previously approved in June, but the New Jersey Senate had to vote again due to a procedural issue.

Toby Malara, VP government relations at the American Staffing Association, confirmed that no changes were made to the bill in the new vote. With assistance from the ASA, the New Jersey Staffing Alliance led efforts to amend the bill.

Within the next 45 days, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy must either sign the bill, veto it or put forward a conditional veto by offering the bill with amendments back to the legislature for consideration. The ASA’s next avenue will be to urge the governor to issue a conditional veto with various changes to the bill.

The bill was opposed by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

Alexis Bailey, NJBIA director of government affairs, commented: “While the intent of the bill is to create additional protections for temporary workers, the provisions in it range from concerning to completely unworkable for businesses which are often challenged enough to maintain their workforces.”

Share this article on social media

CPI remains static

Although the previous week’s level was revised downward by 12,000, jobless claims increased by 14,000 last week. With this increase, the jobless claims level is now 262,000, according to the latest US Department of Labor reports.

According to a Reuters poll, economists forecast 263,000 applications for the latest week.

Other stats show that the four-week moving average of claims increased by 4,500 in the week ended Aug. 6 to 252,000. The previous week’s average, however, was revised downward by 7,250.

In related news, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index for urban consumers was unchanged in July compared to the previous month. However, year on year, the index increased by 8.5% in July, this number down from 9.1% in June.

While the cooling of headline inflation is welcome at the Federal Reserve, economists warn that the Fed wants to see more months like this and that officials are also focusing on core prices, according to Market Watch.

Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist at BMO Capital Markets, commented: “The July CPI report might be the first clear indication that consumers are pushing back against high inflation in response to tighter monetary policy. It’s a sign that inflation is close to peaking, though the climb down the mountain will be slow due to rising wages and rents.”

Share this article on social media

Over 35 new emergency call handlers recruited with the help of disruptive tech  

The Hertfordshire constabulary is celebrating after recruiting more than 35 emergency call handlers with the help of disruptive technology-led recruitment firm, Crooton.

The firm ran three job campaigns for the Hertfordshire Constabulary, which attracted many more applications than expected. Its custom-developed candidate geotargeting system allows organisations to pinpoint the staff they want to reach anywhere in the world, allowing them to recruit high-quality employees despite the current international labour shortage.

The campaigns for the regional police force have led to 10 new staff hires, 28 more job offers, and further candidates in the pipeline.

The disruptive tech firm is planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign, allowing it to expand internationally and offer the benefits of its unique approach to more organisations.

The campaign will be run on the crowdfunding investment site Crowdcube, and everyone that invests will become a registered shareholder in the business with full ownership and voting rights.

Stephen Anderson, Managing Director of Crooton, said: “The time is now right for us to accelerate the growth of the business and build on the incredible success we have already achieved.

“We have secured many high-profile clients, including the NHS, Ocado, Five Guys, and Wagamama, in addition to a number of police forces, and we are seeing increasing demand for our innovative technology and approach overseas.

“The crowdfunding campaign we are launching will be the first time we have sought any external funding for the business, so it is a great opportunity for individuals anywhere to come onboard as we continue to disrupt the traditional recruitment market.”

A spokesman at Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Recently in order to address ongoing recruitment challenges we employed a different tactic and brought in Crooton to increase our candidate pool.

“We have been very happy with the results so far and have built a positive relationship with them. They tailored the campaigns to meet our specific needs and provided valuable advice on the current candidate market.

“We look forward to working with Crooton for future campaigns.”

Share this article on social media

London remains a hiring hotspot

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest Labour Market Tracker has revealed that in the last week of July, the number of active job adverts in the UK hit a new record high for this year at 1.85 million

The number of new job adverts posted each week has been relatively stable during late June and July, at between 180,000 and 200,000 per week. However, in the last week of July, 182,000 new postings were recorded. This is 22% below this year’s highest figure of 234,000 new postings recorded at the beginning of March.

The increase in active postings indicated that job adverts are being left open for longer as employers across the country still struggle to attract candidates for their vacancies. Clearly, despite labour shortages, rising inflation, and energy costs, there is no sign that the jobs market is shrinking.

In terms of the types of jobs advertised, there was an increase in adverts in the last week in July for:

  • actors and entertainers (+13.0%)
  • driving instructors (+12.4%)
  • dancers (+11.1%)
  • water and waste (+9.5%)

Probation officers saw the biggest weekly decline in active job adverts at -10.4%). The health and social care sector also showed notable decreases:

  • hospital porters (-8.3%)
  • childminders (-6.6%)
  • paramedics (-5.3%)

London saw an increase in job postings in the week of 25-31 July –  three of the top ten hiring hotspots in the capital city. The local area with the highest increase in job adverts was Newry, Mourne, and Down in Northern Ireland (+8.3%), followed by Haringey and Islington (+7.1%) and Chorley and West Lancashire (+7.0%).

At the bottom end of the scale, five out of the bottom ten local areas for growth in active job postings were in Scotland. Moray (-9.8%), Orkney Islands (-6.6%), and Highland (-5.1%) saw the biggest drops.

Kate Shoesmith, Deputy CEO of the REC, said: “This new data shows the continued strength of the jobs market, despite any wider economic uncertainty. The number of job adverts being posted each week is stable. It’s a great time to be looking for work as a jobseeker, as employers are having to think more about the pay, benefits, conditions and development opportunities they offer both new starters and current staff as they compete for talent.

“There is a danger that with costs soaring, employers will have to reprioritise – as there is still no viable support package for businesses to meet these rising costs. We know that employers’ confidence in the broader economy has started to drop. Government must play its role, both in supporting people and businesses through the current crisis, and also by working with industry to create a sustainable labour market. We need a long-term workforce strategy that encompasses skills, immigration and makes childcare and local transport part of the infrastructure of our labour market.”

John Gray, Vice President, UK Operations at Lightcast, said: “Whilst the economic headlines appear to be very gloomy at the moment, with the Bank of England forecasting inflation of more than 13% and a contraction in GDP until the end of 2023, this bleak picture does not appear to have dented employer hiring activity as yet. Not only have we just seen another 180,000 new job postings being placed in the last week of July, but the total number of active job postings is now at a record high of more than 1.8 million.

“This situation of a contracting economy, high inflation, yet employer hiring activity hitting record highs, is highly unusual. Whilst we are likely to see a slowdown in hiring activity, the big questions hovering over the labour market in the coming months are how significant this slowdown will be, and whether we will also start to see employers laying off staff. So far we are not seeing any signs of either, and the labour market remains surprisingly tight given the adverse economic circumstances we are hearing about.”

Share this article on social media

Infinity Consulting Solutions has vast experience with interim professional placement offerings and expertise 

Korn Ferry has announced that it has acquired Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS).

Headquartered in New York, with nine offices throughout the United States, ICS offers substantial interim professional solutions expertise which will further enhance Korn Ferry’s industry-leading portfolio.

ICS is a widely regarded provider of senior-level IT interim professional solutions with additional expertise in the areas of compliance and legal, accounting and finance, and human resources.

The firm brings to Korn Ferry a vast network of senior IT professionals, a rigorous data-driven recruitment process, and deep relationships with a diverse mix of clients across multiple industries. ICS has also been recognised with the Best of Staffing Diamond award for 10 consecutive years.

Korn Ferry’s brand, vast intellectual property and five decades of organisational consulting expertise are a firm foundation for growing scale in today’s highly segmented executive and professional interim solutions market.

Gary D. Burnison, CEO, Korn Ferry commented: “Infinity Consulting Solutions will be a great fit, with interim professional placement offerings and expertise that are highly relevant for the new world of work. Today, Boomers are retiring and career nomads are looking for change – early and often. Our clients have entered a new reality where shortages of skilled labour are projected to persist, particularly in high-demand areas such as IT. Korn Ferry’s acquisition of ICS echoes our commitment to scale our solutions and further increase our focus at the intersection of talent and strategy – wherever and however the needs of organizations evolve.”

Doug Klares, CEO, Infinity Consulting Solutions said: “Now, with Korn Ferry, we will have a world-class global network of colleagues, vast IP and client connections at every turn. Our track record of success and deep interim professional solutions expertise, combined with Korn Ferry’s expansive organisational consulting credentials, will give us even greater opportunities to deliver client and colleague impact. We’re excited to be joining Korn Ferry and look forward to what the future holds.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to Korn Ferry’s adjusted earnings.

Share this article on social media

Decline causes GDP growth to take a tumble

According to research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), job numbers in Northern Ireland were down by over 50% compared to March. This drop reflected a marked fall in GDP growth.

The data provided by Broadbean Technology showed that vacancy numbers decreased across all major industry sectors. The top five sectors, however, continued to generate the largest number of jobs in June, meaning that the ratios remained relatively stable month-on-month.

Across the different sectors, IT accounted for 20% of vacancies across Northern Ireland, followed by accountancy (14%), engineering (9%), admin & secretarial (8%), and building & construction (7%).

Application per vacancy (APV) rates remained stable in the IT sectors but decreased in manufacturing and production. The APV rate for contact centre & customer service professionals showed the biggest jump, increasing to 61 (compared to 35 in March). Logistics, distribution & supply chain showed the second-highest figure (20), but this was down on the 25 reported for March. Manufacturing & production (13) and admin & secretarial (10) increased to double digits, showing how critical Northern Ireland’s skills shortages have become.

The biggest job creator was County Antrim, with almost 13,000 vacancies in June, accounting for almost 7 in 10 Northern Ireland jobs. In this region, the largest numbers recorded were for IT and accountancy roles, even though the latest numbers for these specialisms were down by 53% and 42% compared to March.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented: “Having initially experienced an impressive bounce back in 2021, in which output reached a 13-year high, the economy of Northern Ireland has started to cool with output likely to fall in the early part of 2023. In a post-Brexit and Covid-hit economy, the strength of Northern Ireland’s labour market will be paramount to the country’s economic recovery, and with this latest data indicating a fall in jobs, the country’s economic activity could soon feel the impact. If Northern Ireland’s economy hopes to bounce back stronger, greater support from the Government is needed to help make its employment market globally competitive and fit for purpose in the current economic landscape.”

Share this article on social media

Three out of four companies struggling to hire

The British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Recruitment Outlook has revealed that three out of four companies struggle to hire staff.

According to the report, 61% of firms were recruiting in the second quarter. This number is slightly higher than the 60% recruiting in the first quarter. However, of these companies, 76% reported difficulties in finding staff.

The report canvassed 5,700 businesses and found that the construction sector struggled the most (83%). The production (79%), manufacturing (79%), and hospitality industries (78%) followed.

With rising business costs, only 28% of firms have increased their investment in the last three months, with smaller firms being even less likely to report an increase, at just 19%.

Jane Gratton, BCC Head of Policy, said: “Businesses remain under huge pressure to fill jobs, but record levels of recruitment difficulty are showing no signs of improvement.

“Solutions are urgently needed so that firms can keep their doors open throughout these tough times.

“We have written to the government outlining a three-point plan on how they can work with businesses to solve this.

“Firms must be encouraged to find new ways of unlocking pools of talent – by investing more in training their workforce, adopting more flexible working practices, and expanding use of apprenticeships.”

Marcus Beaver, UKI Country Leader at Alight Solutions, commented: “In today’s work environment, the employee experience is critical. If organisations want to hire more people, they must prioritise it during the recruitment process. Attract employees by offering a good work culture with a clear line for career progression. Employees hold the power to make or break companies, and employers must remember this if recruitment issues are to be overcome.”

Share this article on social media

A recession should not have any impact on staff turnover or retention

Predictions of a spiralling economic crisis will be another blow to businesses’ hiring headway but according to Steven Jagger, founder of tech recruitment firm Maxwell Bond business leaders should “revamp” their culture in order to weather the looming recession and avoid a Great Resignation 2.0.

The arrival of the so-called Great Resignation this year hit the headlines and saw UK businesses’ staff turnover and attrition rates hitting record levels. But experts are forecasting another blow once the impacts of inflation, the cost-of-living crisis, and the recession come into full force.

Steven Jagger, Founder, Maxwell Bond commented: “An economic crisis shouldn’t leave you clutching at straws and panicking. Staff will always be loyal – if you give them reason to be. Employees don’t leave workplaces and colleagues – they leave bad leadership, toxic culture, or a lack of vision for your team and business. Ask yourself, when was the last time you looked at these and revamped your vision?”

Jagger was quoted saying that while a recession would be another blow to businesses when they’re already down, it shouldn’t have any impact on staff turnover or retention if your business’s culture is right.

The founder of the award-winning tech and digital recruiter whose clients include the BBC, Reckitt Benckiser, Barclays, TalkTalk, and Mastercard, believes talent retention “is a skill in itself” and that many leaders “fail to see the importance of it in times of adversity”.

Jagger continued: “By industry standards, we should have experienced higher attrition rates than we have to get to these numbers, but we founded the company on the values of prioritising people, especially our staff, above anything else.

“A recent Deloitte report shows only 56 per cent of employees think their company’s leadership cares about their wellbeing – contrasted to 91 per cent of leadership believing their employees think they care. This disconnect is a big player in staff turnover.

“Companies need to go the extra mile to attract and retain candidates if they want to hit their hiring aspirations, stay ahead of their competitors, and weather the incoming storm. In times of adversity, it’s understandable that survival instincts are to slash headcount and starve spending – but this short-term logic leaves firms bare once the turmoil is over.

With that being said, he understands employers can be afraid of the “T word” (turnover), wrongly perceiving that it reflects their leadership and values: “Some level of turnover, whether facing economic hardship or not, is part of any healthy organisation. If you train people up, they may leave to progress further and take on a higher role or they may be poached by another company for their skills and talents.

“Either of these scenarios means that as their employer, you did your job properly. Remember: running water never goes stale.”

But Jagger says to take heed: “Retaining someone who doesn’t fit the company values can easily make the whole infrastructure fail,” he says. “Put a bad apple amongst good apples, the good ones will eventually turn bad and leave.”

Maxwell Bond has grown by 4,000 per cent since its inception five years ago, despite weathering numerous economic crises, and has seen a further 45 per cent increase just in the last six months. The firm took no financial support from the government during the pandemic.

Share this article on social media

Temporary billings rise more than permanent placements

The latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs survey has found that permanent staff appointments and temp billings have grown at the lowest rate in 16 months in June. While recruitment activity continues to expand across the UK, temporary billings have risen more than permanent placements.

According to the report compiled by S&P Global, recruiters shared that candidate shortages were limiting hiring activity. In addition, with ever-increasing economic uncertainty, low growth was attributed to slower client decision-making. The report also found that overall demand for workers had increased at the slowest rate since March 2021.

Further findings include that the rate of decline for staff availability has been the quickest for three months. Efforts to attract and secure candidates have resulted in marked increases in starting pay; however, salary and wage inflation rates have lessened since May.

Recruitment consultancies attributed lower candidate numbers to:

  • a generally low unemployment rate;
  • fewer foreign workers;
  • robust demand for staff; and
  • hesitancy to switch roles in the increasingly uncertain economic climate.

While overall vacancies continue to increase dramatically, the latest upturn was also the lowest in 15 months. The results also showed lower demand for both permanent and temporary workers at the end of Q2; however, the quicker expansion rate was in demand for permanent workers.

Staff availability declined severely in June, with the deterioration going up to the sharpest for three months with both permanent and temporary labour supply dropping quickly.

Imbalances between the supply and demand for workers also resulted in steep increases in starting pay rates during June. However, as sharp and well above the series average as the starting salary rates are, the rates were the softest since August 2021. Furthermore, temp wage growth dropped to a 12-month low.

Regionally, softer rises in permanent placements were noted in all four monitored English regions. However, North of England saw the weakest increase overall.

London saw the sharpest increase in temp billings at the end of Q2, whereas the softest expansion was noted in the Midlands.

In terms of vacancies, the strongest increase was for permanent workers in the private sector, followed by permanent staff in the public sector. However, the former saw a notable drop in growth in June compared to May. The softest rise, although still marked, was in vacancies for temporary workers in the public sector.

When looking at the results by industry, the data signalled steep increases in permanent staff demand across all ten monitored employment categories. Hotel & Catering showed the sharpest upturn in vacancies overall, with IT & Computing and Nursing/Medical/Care following.

Higher temp vacancies were seen in nine of the ten monitored job categories at the end of the Q2, with Hotel & Catering at the top of the rankings. Retail was the only sector to show a drop in demand, even though the rate of contraction was modest.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, commented: “The labour market is still strong, with demand for new staff high. That said, today’s data show that we will likely be past the peak of the post-pandemic hiring spree. That pace of growth was always going to be temporary – the big question now is the effect that inflation has on pay and consumer demand over the course of the rest of the year. Whether we will see the market settle at close to normal levels, or see a slowdown, is unpredictable at this point.

“Part of the reason for unpredictability in the market is a slower economy accompanied by severe labour and skills shortages. These are already proving a constraint on growth in many firms. The government should be thinking about how to ensure all its departments enable greater labour market participation and encourage business investment funds to help address this.

“It is important to note that plenty of hiring is happening in this tight market – there are candidates out there for firms who get it right. Skilled recruitment professionals are at the heart of this, making a difference to opportunity and growth for companies and workers.”

Claire Warnes, Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK, said: “The apparent buoyancy of the jobs market overall continues to mask some increasingly concerning trends. Firstly, the fluctuations in demand for permanent and temporary workers in some sectors may be showing a sustained downward trend, as it becomes clear that current economic pressures are impacting employers’ confidence to grow. Secondly, the supply of candidates in all sectors continues to decline, with the rate of contraction accelerating to the quickest for three months in June. Added to that, competition for candidates pervades all sectors with employers offering financial incentives to retain talent, so increasing wage inflation. This latest data could be signalling that the UK jobs market may be more fragile than it seems.”

Share this article on social media