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Hiring in the UK, hardest since 2011

The number of vacancies in the UK has “fallen off a cliff” according to the latest research from Morgan McKinley, which found 2018 closed with the fewest jobs available since 2011.

Researchers found that a lacklustre year for City jobs and jobseekers closed with a 52% decrease in jobs available, month-on-month, and a 39% decrease year-on-year.

“In 2018 we saw job numbers fall off a cliff”, said Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UK.

Recruitment difficulties force employers to push salaries up.

He added that the outlook for jobseekers was only mildly less grim, with those seeking new opportunities down by 40% month-on-month and by 29% year-on-year. “We haven’t seen this few applicants to market in December since 2012.”

He attributes the reduction in the number of vacancies to the Christmas holidays and the ongoing political uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

“We’ve seen January get off to a sluggish start on this front,” he added. “After over two years of navigating the impossible task of preparing for an unknown Brexit scenario, people are fatigued.”

The report highlights that recruitment has been particularly poor in London – describing the hiring environment in the Square Mile as “timid”.

“There was a sense over the summer that the tables might be turning, as candidates demonstrated increased confidence in the jobs market”, said Enver.

“But the weight of Brexit proved too much to just shake off, given its immense implications for individual livelihoods and business viability”.

Most frighteningly of all, the report warned that the ever-present fear of a disorderly Brexit has many worried that 2019 will be the tipping point for the economy. The Bank of England’s forecast for a worst-case scenario Brexit is an eight per cent economic slump.

“For two years everyone’s been screaming from the rooftops that we need clarity about the terms of Brexit in order to succeed economically, to no avail. So now it’s time to assume the brace position and hope we survive the impact of what’s coming,” said Enver.

So what does this mean for RedHolt? It means that our market becomes even more competitive and that there are fewer candidates who will be active in the market.

However, most of the candidates we place are passive, so , in theory, if 100% of people in the UK were employed we would maintain the same talent identification and attraction strategy. We Headhunt our candidates.

Moments like this make the market a tough place to survive for those who are very transactional and fail to form long term relationships with clients. It means that we need to be fighting, on our toes, good at pitching, fast and compelling. But these attributes are the hallmarks of how RedHolt has been since day 1.

Our advice for those seeking to hire now is that you must find agencies who are great at pitching. Who can represent your brand in a strong and authentic way and who will orchestrate selection processes so that you reach the end result without compromising quality. Internal recruiters are going to have to work harder than ever to beat agencies who have very compelling commission plans that fuel their consultants energetic approach to the market.

The battle for talent just got tougher.

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