REC Jobs Outlook March 2015

In the recent March REC report on job outlook, the war for talent within both the temporary and the permanent areas of technology appears to continue.

  • More than 9 in 10 employers plan to retain or increase the number of their permanent workers: 92% in the short term and 97% in the medium term.
  • Employers forecast an acute shortage in the availability of technical permanent and agency workers: 19% of employers forecast shortages for permanent technical workers and 24% predict shortages for temporary workers.

Permanent Recruitment

  • SHORT-TERM OUTLOOK In the next 3 months, a net balance of 71% of employers state that they will add permanent headcount over the next quarter. Just under eight in ten employers (79%) state that they will increase the number of permanent employees, which will result in some pressure to find suitable candidates in the short term.
  • MEDIUM-TERM OUTLOOK In the next 4–12 months a net balance of over three quarters of employers (77%) intend to increase permanent employee numbers in the medium term. Just 3% of employers plan to release employees into the candidate market. This could create some churn as passive candidates are more aggressively sought after.

Temporary Recruitment

  • SHORT-TERM OUTLOOK In the next 3 months, nearly all employers (98%) state that they will hold or increase current levels of agency workers in the next three months (a two percentage point increase from last month). This will create some pressure on supply for employers seeking to increase their number of temporary workers.
  • The anticipated shortfall of agency workers matches the shortage areas of their permanent counterparts. Nearly one in four employers (24%) identified technical and engineering sectors.


  • The use of agency workers to gain short–term access to key strategic skills is now established as the primary reason for use in the UK, 73% of employers state this as the case. The fall in ‘managing peaks in demand’ and ‘covering leave’ reinforces a change in strategic intent.


  • The use of agency’s ‘scale’ to choose a recruitment agency is still a key determining factor. Three quarters of employers (74%) now use this as a criterion when deciding who to work with. ‘Scale’ encapsulates the size of the organization, skill and/or geographical specialism. Quality of service and the cost of workers remain the primary determinants.

Overall the view is one of a healthy and fast recovering economy. Certainly from Vertex and Humilis perspective, we are finding that the market is demonstrating a strong demand for our brand of talented consultant or permanent staff member. The consensus is that we have returned to pre-recessionary levels of skills shortage and in some cases gone beyond.

Within the technology and digital areas the scarcity of skills has been accentuated with a number of “new” job titles and skill sets. Thus specialist technologists have had to migrate their traditional skills in areas such as Systems Administration or Software Engineering to areas such as “DevOpps” or “Full stack engineer”.

Thus we are finding that our skills for generating and managing talent are in high demand. We are working most successfully with clients who are prepared to trust us to be an extension of their businesses, furnish us with information and brand education and trust our selection and presentation processes. In this, we find that we are able to provide a service that reduces time to hire and increases the quality of the hiring process.

For further information on our service, contact Mark Beard or Jay Gohil