UK Recruitment Trends Report 2011

In this report, Broadbean (a provider of recruitment advert posting and candidate response tracking technology) have taken both a macro and industry-specific view of what they saw happen in the UK recruitment market during 2011. Looking back, it is clear that 2011 was the year in which the depth and […]

In this report, Broadbean (a provider of recruitment advert posting and candidate response tracking technology) have taken both a macro and industry-specific view of what they saw happen in the UK recruitment market during 2011. Looking back, it is clear that 2011 was the year in which the depth and breadth of the economic trough became more widely understood. That there is unlikely to be a swift and material change to this condition now goes relatively unchallenged.

VACANCIES

Despite the wider economic gloom, it has not been a consistently pessimistic picture in the UK recruitment market:

You can see that vacancy numbers were up compared to 2010, albeit at a significantly reduced rate as the year progressed. This translated into an increase in employment levels compared to the same month in the previous year, and only a small decrease in employment overall. This actually contrasts with the trends in unemployment during 2011 (which rose throughout the year), painting a picture of increased participation in employment across the population as a whole.

APPLICATIONS

As with vacancies we have set out below the three year trends in absolute applications, as well as the average number of applications received per vacancy:

Given the prevailing economic conditions and the rising unemployment levels, it’s not surprising we saw a sustained increase in the number of applications in the market. Each month in 2011 saw a substantially higher number of applications than in the equivalent month in the previous year. Most interestingly, we saw a major change in the APV ratios when compared with 2010. In the second half of 2010, the number of applications per vacancy (a strong indicator of unemployment) fell in each month, in line with falling unemployment whereas without exception, every month during 2011 saw higher APV levels than in the same month in 2010. This is consistent with the rising unemployment rate that we witnessed.

SECTORAL REVIEWS

Set out below is the headline change in vacancy numbers between 2010 and 2011 across each of these sectors:

As set out above, the economy as a whole has seen an increased number of vacancies during 2011. However, the chart above highlights that this has not been a consistent experience across all sectors. Interestingly the key high tech sectors of IT, Manufacturing, Electronics, Aerospace, Engineering and Pharma have all shown strong levels of growth. This is consistent with the government’s ambition to rebalance the economy in areas where the UK could boast a genuine competitive advantage. Unsurprisingly, the sectors that have performed least well have been the public sector and retail.

ACROSS INDUSTRY SUMMARY

It becomes clear just how differently each industry has been affected by the downturn, and also how well each is recovering. Looking at the economy only from a macro perspective hides a wide array of different trends. We are also able to make some interesting comparisons between the industries, which make for interesting analysis. By examining the differing levels of vacancy growth in each of these segments of the economy, and comparing that to the
average number of applications received by each job in each industry, we can see some interesting correlations:

Click to enlarge

It is perhaps no great surprise that the industry most out of balance in the supply of and demand for labour is the public sector. Cuts have meant an increasing number of people out of work in key parts of the public sector, whilst hiring continues to drop off further. Retail also shows an over supply of job seekers, which is entirely consistent with the tough time that the high street had been having during the course of this period of uncertainty.

We hope you have found this Recruitment Trends review useful, and we look forward to seeing how 2012 pans out in comparison (we’ll be issuing a follow-up to this report early in 2013). If you’d like any more information on anything covered in this report, or to find out more about Broadbean, please visit www.broadbean.com.

Source: Broadbean, with thanks to Liesbet de Rouck. Get the full report here.

About Jacco Valkenburg

Jacco Valkenburg is an international recruitment expert, trainer and author of two books about LinkedIn. He has more than 16 years experience in global recruitment strategies and execution spanning numerous countries for leading companies. As founder of Recruit2 and Recruiter University he provides companies with recruitment and talent management solutions and expertise. His mission is helping companies ‘from good to great staffing’.

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