09 Oct, 2012

Temp workers in demand

Employers are ramping up their recruitment of temporary workers as Britain gets back to business after the Olympics, according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

  • But permanent recruitment  shrinks 15{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e}
  • Graduate starting salaries slump 13.2{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e} this year

Placements of temporary staff in the UK professional-level jobs market jumped 15{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e} last month (year on year).

However the on-going economic uncertainty means that employers remain reticent to invest too heavily in permanent employees, with permanent placements falling by the same margin (15{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e}) over the same period.

The latest jobs data from APSCo provides a snapshot of the UK’s professional recruitment market, with analysis across all professional-level sectors from accountancy and legal, to banking, engineering, IT and marketing (full results below).

APSCo explains that UK businesses are turning to temporary workers in order to kick start projects that were put on hold during the summer, as many business departments scaled back activity due to staff taking time off for holidays and the Olympics.

Sectors showing the biggest demand for temporary workers are engineering and IT, with placements up 17{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e} for both, year-on-year.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive for APSCo says: “From the Jubilee weekend, right through to the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games, this summer has been quite remarkable. However,  now that the party is finally over, the UK is well and truly back to business, gearing up for a busy quarter.   Businesses are hoping to make up for any lost productivity during a summer full of disruption.”

“Businesses are keen to finish the year with a flurry. Many will have been delaying the start of new projects until after the summer, which is creating a sudden jump in workload.”

“Temporary workers offer a flexible way for businesses to complete projects, while keeping a lid on permanent overheads. The economy is not out of the woods, so businesses are still under pressure to keep staff costs down.”

APSCo points out that the sectors at the centre of the financial crisis (finance and accountancy) continue to stutter, with permanent hiring on hold (19{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e} fall in placements, 18{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e} fall in vacancies) while temporary placements rose only modestly (4{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e}).

John Nurthen of Staffing Industry Analysis says: “The banking sector has been a really big source of new jobs for the last fifteen years.  But bank profitability is down due to new capital requirements introduced in response to the financial crisis, so management teams are scrutinizing headcount costs very closely and that’s feeding through to very few new hires.”

“Outside of banking, the picture in financial services is slightly less bleak.  A slight return in demand for temporary workers could signal a general pick-up in work levels in the accountancy and finance sectors.”

Graduates salaries hit by slowdown in permanent market

APSCo explains that the slowdown in the permanent professional-level recruitment market has fed through to salaries for graduates who started new jobs this summer, with the average salary down 13.2{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e} (ear-on-year) to £22,800.

Ann Swain explains: “The slowdown in the professional-recruitment market, combined with the huge number of graduates competing for jobs means that starting salaries have edged downwards markedly this year.”

John Nurthen comments: “It’s not all bad news for graduates, who can expect better pay once they qualify into their careers. Across all professional level jobs, starting salaries etched up 0.1{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e}, to £32,577. Graduates who move onto new roles this year can expect improved salaries, especially those working in banking, insurance and the legal sector.”

Credit: onrec.com

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