UK labour market March 22

ended 14. March 2022

At 07:00 tomorrow morning, the Office for National Statistics is publishing the latest jobs data, an analysis of the health of the employment market, e.g. is unemployment rising, what's happening to wage growth and how many people are on payroll? We want your thoughts, e.g.

  • Are employers still actively recruiting or is there a drop-off in confidence with energy bills and the price of seemingly everything else soaring (not to mention the war in Ukraine)?
  • Is The Great Resignation still the main theme of the jobs market?
  • Are employers who fail to adapt to the new flexible/remote working culture destined for the dustbin of history?
  • Are would-be job movers less inclined to move now that there is such economic uncertainty?
  • Is the balance of power in the jobs market favouring candidates or recruiters?
  • What other trends are you seeing right now?

As ever, please keep your responses short and punchy. No need for an essay. A couple of paragraphs max will do.

4 responses from the Newspage community

"We specialise in recruitment for the insurance and financial services sectors, and have seen no let-up in the amount of new vacancies coming to market. There is still a huge skills gap in the labour market, so recruitment is showing no signs of slowing down, in the sectors we work in anyway. The fight for talent is being won by the companies who have embraced flexible working, as people now want this as a rule. The firms who have stuck to wanting everyone in the office five days a week are really starting to struggle to attract the best talent, not to mention retain it. Post-pandemic lifestyle changes have seen the amount of people already in a job looking elsewhere go through the roof. This is easily the most candidate-driven market we have ever experienced."
"These days, candidates want the moon on a stick. Demand remains obscenely high while supply is exceptionally low, so a humdrum job description posted randomly on a faceless job board just isn't going to cut it. In the current market, recruiters have to put in some serious legwork and really 'sell' the role and the company, highlighting the unique employee value proposition. Put simply, why should candidates bring their talents to you? "With this in mind, be prepared to be flexible but know when to say no, if it will massively skew your internal consistency and team dynamic. If you can, always ensure you put flexibility front and centre, as this is rapidly becoming a deal- breaker for many candidates."
"Employers’ restrictive approaches to job creation are effectively precluding thousands of brilliantly talented people from applying for vacancies. Now that we are moving post-pandemic, companies are less inclined to offer flexible working, cutting out huge swathes of potential candidates such as those with caring responsibilities, disabled people, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, part-timers, and many more. It’s about time businesses recognised the value of attracting a diverse workforce as there are so many people who are willing and able to work, who want to contribute to the economy but don’t have the option to do so because far too many companies have legacy mindsets."
"It is still very much a job seekers’ market. The continued tight labour market means it's tough to hire talent, particularly for lower-paid employees who have seen some of the biggest gains in wages. The twin blows of the pandemic and Brexit have greatly reduced labour supply in face-to-face, low wage jobs such as retail, administrative and domestic work. Left with little other choice, employers have raised pay to attract the workforce they need. But sky-high inflation and the continued impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on direct supply chains and energy prices means that wages will struggle to keep up. In fact, real wage growth has been negative in the past few months directly from this high inflation, and this is really hurting those on the lower end of the pay scale. "Job seekers are prioritising flexibility. Mentions of hybrid work increased by over 1000% in 2021 on Glassdoor. But not all employers have been successful in their attempts to create a more remote workplace. Our anonymous employee reviews indicate that workers are struggling with a lack of office culture and onboarding in a remote environment is still problematic. To keep employees engaged, companies with in-person workforces should focus on ways to give employees control over their own schedules, while those in a remote environment need to work on creating a community feel while ensuring strong management and successful onboarding, both facets that often suffer with a transition away from face-to-face work."