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Dan Barfoot of CMD Recruitment

Hiring activity slows in May as candidate supply shrinks – report

Hiring activity in the UK saw an increase in May, but there were signs of a further slowdown in overall jobs growth according to the latest Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and accounting giant KPMG.

The report, which was published last week based on data collected from recruiters between May 12 and 25, permanent staff appointments expanded at the softest rate since March 2021, while temp billings increased at the weakest pace in 15 months.

At the same time, overall candidate availability continued to fall sharply, albeit at the weakest rate since January.

And there was a further steep increase in demand for staff, though growth of total vacancies edged down to a three-month low.

A shrinking pool of candidates and strong vacancy growth meant that rates of starting pay continued to rise sharply, particularly for those taking up permanent positions.

Meanwhile, recruiters noted sustained upward pressure on rates of starting pay in May due to the supply of workers falling further and demand for staff remaining robust.

Permanent starters’ salaries rose at a rapid pace that was among the quickest since the survey began in October 1997.

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Dan Barfoot operations manager at CMD Recruitment, which has offices in Devizes, Melksham, Calne and Bath, said: “Locally, the candidate shortage and high numbers of jobs doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.

“Starting salaries don’t seem to be moving much even with inflation on the rise, and perhaps the next main review point for some people with be the next energy price increase in September.

“We are still also seeing a demand in Work From Home roles, but more so from candidates rather than employers. As a result, we might start to see salaries on offer for WFH roles dropping – only time will tell.”

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