Industry update: UK job market

How’s the year so far for you?

We are nearly 1/3 or the way through the year now and heading toward summer. The question I get asked the most is ‘ How is the job market? ‘

For our business we are seeing a clear upturn in interest by both prospective clients and prospective candidates. But its still a long way from being buoyant.

There is still a lot of hesitation, uncertainty and doubt. ‘Is it the right time to take on people?’ or ‘ Is it the right time to make a move?’

The most common response I am getting about companies recruiting is that they plan to in second half of the year, there is an expectation of growth, there is optimism, but I think many people have had their fingers burnt in previous years and are now waiting to see.

The most common response from potential candidates is, they will certainly consider the right opportunity, but are not actively looking.

I have seen a number of surveys recently, all showing increased activity in the jobs market, but in many areas there is still a shortage of candidates applying for advertised roles, especially at middle levels.

My business specialises in ICT sector. We have had almost no response to job ads for junior to mid level sales and account management and limited response to more technical roles at the same level.

In contrast there has been a large interest in more senior level openings, especially sales and sales management.

We have an increased number of openings but our clients are still very slow to progress and are holding out for as close a match to the requirement as possible. There is also a big increase in speculative opening (ie not real just seeing whats out there) and this is creating some hostility and reluctance from potential candidates.

So far then, a definitely improving market, but still a long way to go I think!