Demand for professionals increased by 24% between 2017 and 2018, according to a new report from Vacancysoft on behalf of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
The researchers found that quarter one and two of 2018 saw the strongest growth, with vacancies rising by 35% and 41% respectively. In contrast, demand for talent grew by just six per cent in quarter four, which they suggest is unsurprising given the increasing political turmoil and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which has resulted in many employers taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to hiring.
The figures also reveal the companies that advertised the most vacancies throughout 2018. Barclays Bank topped the list with 3,902 roles, representing an increase of 16% year-on-year, followed closely by HSBC which advertised 3,497 positions, up 11% from 2017.
“It is clear that the upsurge in vacancies recorded throughout the past twelve months is a real indicator of the robust nature of the professional staffing sector,” said Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo.
“The latter months of 2018 saw many companies put the brakes on hiring due to Brexit uncertainty."
"However, our conversations with members reveal that while caution is the order of the day, most are optimistic that the professional recruitment market will remain as resilient as ever throughout 2019.”
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APSCo’s data also looks at professional vacancies by region across England and Wales. While it is unsurprising that vacancy numbers in London were the highest of all regions, other areas outperformed the capital in terms of year-on-year growth.
The North West and the East Midlands both performed well with advertised positions rising by 25% and 18% respectively.
“Our data certainly paints an optimistic picture of the professional jobs market with impressive growth across not only several sectors but also regions outside of the Capital,” said James Chaplin, CEO of Vacancysoft.
“While it would be remiss to suggest that Brexit won’t impact vacancy levels in some areas over the next few months, I have no doubt that several sectors will continue to perform exceptionally well. The increased use of technology to combat cybercrime will no doubt mean that professionals with niche skills sets in this area will be in acute demand, for example.”