Uncertainty was the overriding sentiment in the UK business sector last year.
We saw the impact of that in reduced volumes of job vacancies in many industry segments, particularly permanent roles in the larger employers, for whom the political and economic backdrop meant an unprecedented level of scrutiny over headcount levels and hiring decisions. As a consequence the professional temp market inevitably saw better conditions. For the moment this balance is likely to continue.
Despite the market conditions, it is not necessarily a buyer's market. Hirers face challenges: not least they have to commit to making it happen, seeing beyond the context of low wage inflation to make a decisive and attractive financial offer. Jobseekers live in the same uncertain market conditions and at the end of the day may need an additional incentive to make the leap. Their current employer is more likely than ever before to fight to keep them, so the incumbent's current salary is sometimes less of relevant benchmark than the one they are soon to be counter-offered.
This is exacerbated for the must-have technical skill sets. Every year recruiters mark a new zenith in the rise of the specialist, and this report is once again full of examples of big wage increases being needed to attract the specialist skills that hirers seek. Of course the very fact these specialists exist is a reassurance to those concerned about the UK's future post Brexit - increasingly it is the assuredness of the supply of talent, above all else, that decides where an employer will base itself and the UK will always remain competitive in this area.
2017 will also be a new high water mark for diversity as a key topic on recruiters' agenda. Across the market there is an unprecedented focus on the need for diversity in the modern workforces, and hirers must reckon on this being another factor contributing to a fierce war for talent this year.
If you need any additional information on our Salary Guide please contact your local office