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“The demand for talent is showing no sign of slowing”

Responding to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which shows that vacancies reached new highs of 1,300,000 between March and May 2022 while the unemployment rate continued to fall, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has warned that the UK’s economic stability is at risk unless swift action is taken.

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo said, “The rise in job numbers and decline in available talent has been a topic of conversation with limited action for far too long. There can be no doubt that there simply aren’t enough people to fill the skills gaps in the country and economic forecasts are already beginning to be hit as a result of this.

“Despite the Government’s commitment to Levelling Up the UK’s skills, action has been limited – even the much-awaited Employment Bill has seemingly been shelved for now.

“The skills agenda has fallen down the priority list for the Government but this needs to be rectified with some urgency. It may not be a simple problem to address but there’s a lot that can be implemented to alleviate some of the pressure on the labour market at this critical time.

“Ensuring global trade discussions maximise the opportunity to agree appropriate services trade deals to allow the UK to efficiently access international labour markets is one such issue that, as of yet, hasn’t been adequately resolved.

“Agreeing standards as part of the Data Reform Bill to build frictionless, cyber-secure transfer of data between countries will also speed up global hiring processes that are currently hindering our access to global resources.”

“The demand for talent is showing no sign of slowing. Indeed, APSCo’s own Recruitment Trends research report showed an uptick in vacancies in May.

The data, provided by Bullhorn, revealed that contractor jobs spiked 34% between May 2021 and May 2022, while permanent roles increased 25% year-on-year. Month-on-month comparisons also showed an uptick in job numbers between April and May 2022, up 16% for permanent and 19% for contract roles.

“The UK’s post-Brexit, Covid recovery will continue to be in jeopardy if these numbers continue on this trajectory unless change happens swiftly.”

Jennifer Gaster, Founder and Managing Director of HR Heads, said, “The HR recruitment market has shown no signs of abating in the last 12 months.

“In fact, the demand for HR talent has ramped up month-on-month, with organisations across all of the sectors we serve looking to recruit.

“In the last three months, the team at HR Heads has seen specific demands for HR professionals with extensive experience in talent acquisition and talent management (particularly in the high-tech sectors), transformation and OD experience across the board enabling businesses to pivot agilely to ensure they are embedding the new ways of working effectively and HR Business Partners with multi-site and European experience who can manage stakeholders across Europe as companies seek to gain economies of scale.

“As APSCo’s research highlights, the recruitment market isn’t going to slow – and I can see that being especially true in the HR space, with human resources specialists playing an integral role in organisations’ deciding what hybrid and workplace policies, talent attraction and retention and benefits packages look like.”