Recruitment to full time positions in Scotland may be in the midst of a “substantial decline”, according to one new survey of industry experts, it was revealed this week.
Research carried out by industry analysts Markit points to a mixed picture for recruiters in Scotland, with demand for full time workers increasing in several key industries, but overall numbers of full time placements falling for the fourth month in a row.
The study, as reported by The BBC discovered a rapid decline in both the number of full time vacancies available north of the border, as well as the number of workers available to fill them.
The findings will be seen as a counter-point to the recent forecasts which have returned a largely positive picture of health for recruitment in the United Kingdom, post-Brexit referendum. The process of exiting the European Union is increasingly being seen as one that may not produce an equal outcome for all – and that regional differences in recruitment, employment, and wages may become more pronounced as the uncoupling process begins.
Strong Foundations Remain
However, it has not all been bad news north of the border. A report released on Wednesday by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has suggested an increasing demand for personnel in the building and construction industries. The CITB forecast predicts a one to two per cent (1%-2%) growth in house building and services in Scotland – a figure that could require up to 12,000 construction recruits to fill new and existing roles within the industry.
Take-home pay was another area to strike a positive note in the Markit report, with recruitment data showing an overall rise in the starting salaries of both permanent staff and temporary workers. Demand for temporary staff also continued to rise – reaching its highest level for more than a year.
There is also the wider employment context to consider. Coming less than twelve months after a Office for National Statistics (ONS) report which recorded employment in Scotland at a record high, these latest figures may perhaps suggest a mere readjustment and slow down to recent growth, as opposed to an employment market on the verge of slipping into reverse. The total number of vacancies in Scotland have remained in growth, even though recruitment rates fell slightly. Some industry experts have therefore theorised that the current climate of caution can be attributed directly to the current period of political uncertainty. As Britain’s role in the future of the single market becomes clearer, renewed confidence may see a bounce back in the recruitment market.
The data may also illustrate a more permanent change in the recruitment and employment landscape: a leaner industry where both vacancies, and available workers, are an increasingly finite resource. Recruitment database software is helping businesses to retain data and gain a clearer picture of the health of the recruitment landscape – both locally, and on a wider, national level. At the same time, other recruitment software tools, such as CV parser technology and semantic search software are making it easier for recruiters to discover personnel in possession of the appropriate skills, before their competitors.