SMEs express recruitment confidence

How SMEs perceive their recruitment abilities – and how they’re looking to attract new employees. Plus what the rest of the employment market stats are saying…

SME stands for ‘small and medium-sized enterprises.’ This refers to any business with fewer than 250 employees. Together, these companies employ more than 16 million people, which accounts for half of the UK’s working population.

The findings show:

  • SMEs are confident in their abilities to recruit over the coming year; regardless of the wider business climate. 61% of these companies express this sentiment, versus 53% of global businesses.
  • Business owners are looking to increase their investments in training and development, alongside ‘demonstrating a commitment to ethical and social values’ in order to attract more employees.
  • Salary remains the most regarded employee attraction tool among business leaders, with the aforementioned training and development in second place.
  • Employers are no longer placing the same level of focus on ‘long-term service’, however, a ‘competitive salary’ is also deemed the most effective tool for promoting staff retention.

Each of these stats come from this Onrec report. The research itself was conducted by Oxford Economics in association with American Express.

What about the latest ONS labour stats?

Over on the REC website, it’s stated that the national unemployment rate is now the lowest it’s been since November 1974 to January 1975, at just 3.9%.

  • 32.72 million people of working age are now in employment. 475,0000 more people than over the previous year.
  • The number of job vacancies has also increased by 32,000 to a total of 852,0000 for January to March 2019.
  • As positive as these figures appear, this poses a continued challenge for employers looking to recruit new team members. The REC describes this as a ‘big risk’ to future economic growth.

How do these findings compare to the current KPMG and REC Report on Jobs?

  • These figures also reveal a ‘steep decline in staff availability.’ This is partially attributed to a ‘Brexit-related uncertainty’.
  • The Report on Jobs also suggests the ‘fastest decline’ in permanent employee placements since the middle of 2016.
  • However, these figures additionally show employee demand has increased at its ‘softest pace’ since August 2916 – both across temporary and permanent recruitment.

What does this all mean for you as a job-seeker or employer?

For job-seekers:

There are some fantastic opportunities out there for you. When you consider that 85% of local businesses are SMEs, their confidence becomes all the more newsworthy.

What’s more, these businesses are competing for people with the relevant skills, attributes and experience for their companies.

Low unemployment means you may experience reduced job-seeker competition in your field. However, you cannot rely on this! Appealing roles have a habit of attracting greater numbers. You must still ensure your CV and applications are doing all that they can to demonstrate your suitability for a job.

Take a look at the latest local openings and/or email your CV to our Consultants. Here’s what to include in your cover email.

For employers and managers:

The challenge of standing out from your competitors continues.

As per the SME discussions, employee attraction strategies are now of the utmost priority. The following posts share some useful considerations:

Work closely with your Recruitment Consultant to ensure they’re aware of your individual recruitment needs as well as your complete employee offering. Get the most out of the agency’s staff attraction tools, honed through years of recruitment expertise.

You can call an Appoint Consultant today on 01225 313130 or reach a Consultant directly via email.



Low candidate availability + workplace happiness

National candidate availability has fallen again. How does this affect job placement numbers and how does it relate to workplace happiness?

Low candidate availability

The latest REC and KPMG UK Report on Jobs (compiled by IHS Markit) reveals that…

  • The number of job-seekers reaching out to UK recruitment agencies and/or making applications for permanent roles fell at a ‘marked’ rate towards the end of 2018.
  • There were also fewer temps available for agency work. This decline is ‘softer but still marked’.
  • This affected UK permanent job placement figures in December – causing the most gradual growth levels observed in 20 months.
  • Conversely, temporary placements grew at a faster rate; managing to beat November’s ’25-month low’.
  • Demand for both temporary and permanent employees remains high and sits well above the average figures recorded throughout all surveys to date. There have been 21 years of surveys conducted in total.

There are also some variable factors:

  • The South of England has experienced the greatest number of permanent placements throughout this period.
  • Generally, England saw better placement levels than the rest of the UK. This was particularly true for temporary appointments.
  • There was most demand for private sector employees, both temporary and permanent, in December.
  • As for recruiting sectors, the Accounting & Financial and Engineering industries represented the highest demand for permanent employees.
  • On the temp side, executive and professional roles saw the slowest growth in demand.

Does low candidate availability spell high happiness at work?

Not if other studies are anything to go by! It appears that continued economic and political uncertainties are at the root of many of these findings.

In fact, 69% of individuals may currently be unhappy at work. Furthermore, 88% of employees are frequently undertaking personal or other non-work tasks in order to hurry the day along!

Popular distraction activities include:

  1. Gossiping with colleagues (61%)
  2. Facebook (45%)
  3. Personal email (44%)
  4. Drinks making/kitchen time (29%)
  5. Shopping and banking via apps (25%)
  6. Looking for a new job (19%)
  7. And unnecessary toilet trips (17%)

A number of more serious distractions are also discussed in the original post.

Advice for candidates & employers

Are these findings the motivation you need to finally take advantage of the skills shortage? Employers looking to do so will need to ensure they’re doing everything they can to enhance their staff attraction offering. Call the office on 01225 313130 to discuss your recruitment needs.

Candidates can also visit our jobs page to see the types of openings we’re currently recruiting for (you’ll see this is regularly updated!).