Increases in jobs available and professionals seeking work indicate a strong performance to start the year from Office Support & Secretarial recruitment.
The start of this year has been positive for Office Support. A good indication of this is not only the volume of jobs being generated, which is up 55% compared to Q4 2017, but also the volume of people coming to the market. The fact that a large proportion of those are currently employed demonstrates a confidence to change roles and seek new opportunities.
We have seen a 25% increase in candidate registrations in Q1 2018 compared to Q4 2017. To some extent, this is a natural trend as people reflect after the Christmas break and look to move on once they’ve received their bonuses, but this year’s figures are over what we would expect.
The only trend that, frustratingly, seems to be continuing is the length of time that recruitment processes are taking. Clients seem keen to hire, and the market is full of new opportunities, but it is taking longer to close them, with candidates and clients ‘dragging their heels’ to ensure the decision is the right one. This has resulted in some processes breaking down at the final stage interview, but positively, this has seen a huge decrease in dropouts.
Support roles within companies will always have a salary cap, and within reason, there are always multiple applications for relatively straightforward roles. It is difficult to imply that certain traditional support positions such as executive assistant jobs are able to drive salaries beyond expectations as many of these roles do have a shelf life. However, within the HR sector, and specifically at BP level, we have seen a flex on salary for the right person, with increases of £5,000 over budget in some instances.
As has been seen in recent years, customer service skills are still high priority within the support market as the consumer holds the power. We are continuing to see more and more of these skills emerge in various forms.
There are plenty of candidates entering the market with the sole intention of increasing their salary. As previously mentioned, there is a cap and shelf life to many support roles, but this buoyancy indicates a confidence and positivity within Office Support and Secretarial.
As ever, there is demand due to replacements. Only in really tough times are leavers not replaced, but we are also seeing substantial growth in certain areas, most notably for service based roles.
We ran a well attended GDPR event for our Sussex and Surrey clients, and it was interesting to see how many people still feel they have unanswered questions despite the looming deadline.
Due to demand, we are running and Employment Law Seminar in May where we will cover how to approach tricky HR issues.