KPMG & REC Report on Jobs August 2023

"It's August.

"This time last year we saw the slowest increase in permanent placements for 17 months. In August 2023 permanent placements fall at the fastest rate for three months.

"It's August.

"It's the time of year for recruiters to take a holiday, with things bouncing back in the autumn.

"However we have a general election looming, no fixed date at the time of posting, but no later than 24 January 2025.

"Political parties are beginning to set out their stalls during a skills shortage, high interest rates and a cost of living crisis.

"I predict that this autumn will be slower than usual, 2024 will be more challenging still until the general election, but we can expect a busy Q1 2025 when we expect that the cost of living will have eased, interest rates stabilised, even coming down with businesses having more confidence post general election.

"If we can get inflation under control, job seekers will be less motivated by money and starting salaries will be more realistic. Currently, we have the challenge of individuals trapped in jobs they hate but can't afford to leave.

"What employers can influence positively when looking for new staff is their process. The complaints from distressed (yes, distressed) jobseekers are that they are applying for jobs almost certainly never to hear back. That the whole process is alien to them - lots of hoops to jump through, slow, rude, inconclusive.

"If you're a business looking to hire in the coming months, my advice is 'do better'. Attracting job seekers into a process and then ignoring their calls and emails is totally unacceptable and you risk losing a great person through frustration.

"If you're a job seeker, be careful demanding a generous pay rise to move jobs - whilst it's a tempting short-term fix, that company will want their pound of flesh and moving away when you're unhappy will be difficult. If a business makes the application process difficult, abandon it and invest your time and energy elsewhere. A business that puts barriers in the way at the outset doesn't value people."

I'm always happy to be a source of help and advice, for free, whether it be around reviewing hiring processes or putting together a compelling offering to job seekers.

Contact us now for a free, no-obligation chat. Contact Clare here.

Clare Wight is the founder and Managing Director of Clarity Appointments, an independent recruitment specialist. She served as a Regional Director for The Employment Agents Movement, supporting other independent recruiters.

She remains an active member of Recconnect (formerly Members Only), a recruitment leadership network promoting high ethical standards, collaboration, diversity, equity and inclusion.

She believes business owners are more fulfilled and higher-performing when they provide emotional and professional business support to other business owners, even those they deem to be competitors. She does this actively, whilst challenging and updating her skills and knowledge of the recruitment sector, enabling her to offer the best advice to firms looking to make their next hire.

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