Tag Archives: Labour economics

Permanent Recruitment rising at its highest rate in 6 months

The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation / KPMG Labour Market survey is published today.  It evidences the number of people securing permanent employment rising at its fastest rate in 6 months.  Permanent hiring grew to 57.4 on January’s index (anything above 50 represents growth), up from 54.9 in December (no surprises here, December has always been a slow month for permanent hires).  The previous high had been 56.3 in August 2010.

The number of people securing permanent employment has been rising for 18 months.  What this report doesn’t tell us is what percentage of these hires are full-time versus part-time.  However the number is growing.  Sure, if you are out of work it is not growing fast enough, but it is growing.  Sure we have yet to feel the impact of the Governments Austerity measures on public sector employment, but the number of people gaining permanent jobs is growing and has been for 18 months.

So who is hiring?  IT, Accounting, Engineering and Construction were highlighted as those sectors growing permanent hires at the fastest rate and in the highest numbers.  Boardroom Hiring was also evidenced as on the increase.  So business is hiring.

The more we hear about a jobless recovery, the more we are likely to have one.  The more people hear the economy is weak, the less confidence they have to hire.  I am not suggesting that the media should lie ( heaven forbid! ) I just think more attention, column inches and air time needs to be given to the positives when they appear.

On the strength of this survey, there is good news to be found in the employment market.  Lets not hide our light under a bushel.  We don’t know for how long it may last but for now, shout it loud, permanent employment is rising at its fastest rate in 6 months.  Long may this trend continue.

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Filed under Hiring, Job Creation, Recruitment

Change your life in two pages…(or, how long should my CV be?)

I had an email from an old friend last week asking for my help in resolving a debate taking place amongst his peers at work. How long should a CV be? As the hiring Managers, they wanted 2 pages but recruiters and job seekers alike were sending CV’s ranging anywhere upwards from 3 pages.

As a Recruiter, knowledge is power (yes, I know, I suffer from delusions of grandeur!) The more in depth, detailed information I have about you the better placed I am to introduce you the job you want. However that information should come when I interview you. It is up to me as the external recruiter to ask the right questions of you to ensure you give me all I need. I suspect I may be one of a dying breed in this respect.

Many recruiters (both internal and external) don’t read CV’s. The CV arrives through some form of online portal and is dropped automatically in to a database where keyword searches throw up the pre – requisite skills the hiring manager needs to fill the job order. Therefore from a candidate perspective you need to ensure your CV is content, keyword rich, highly visible to search engines.

You can’t afford to leave anything out fear of the search engines missing you and the opportunity passing you by. So you err on the side of caution, work on the principle of more is better.

Culture has a part to play. Over the years I have interviewed lots of South Africans. Their CV’s would make Tolstoy proud. They appear to work on the principle the longer the CV, the more you will have achieved. On the other end of the spectrum I have only today seen the issue of the one page CV come up. As labour markets become ever more transient and global war for talent hots up, cross border issues will arise when it comes to CV’s. So what’s the global view?

My last search returned 3.6 million results. It’s all a matter of opinion, clearly there are many. So for the record, here’s mine.

Two pages.

Your CV is simply a catalyst for conversation. You have to grab my attention and you have a short time in which to do it. Jaguar Land Rover recently announced 14000 + applications for 1500 vacancies. The competition is fierce. Every word must count.

I need to know fast who you are, how to contact you, what you are qualified to do, who you worked for, what you did for them, what you achieved whilst you were there and what impact those achievements had on the business. 60% duties and responsibilities, 40% achievements. Make sure you can quantify those achievements, put some numbers to them, evidence the contribution to the top or bottom line. Then you’ve got my attention. I want at most your last 10 years and will really focus on the last five in detail. The rest is history.

I want to know a little bit about you outside the work place, what your hobbies and interests are, just enough to want to know more. I don’t need to know it all, just the bits of which you are most proud that you consider wholly relevant to the post.

If you don’t get shortlisted for interview, it is not you that is being rejected, it is your CV. You need to work on it. It should be a living, breathing, up to the minute document of which you are intensely proud. There can be no sense of that’ll do. It should be fine tuned, fine tuned and fine tuned again.

Give it the attention it deserves. Its two pages that lead to a conversation that could change your life.

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On the road to recovery – the outlook for the jobs market.

A number of good signs for job seekers and recruiters alike this week.  On Monday Michael Page, the UK’s second largest recruiter, announced gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2010 of £119.8 million, up 32% on 2009.  When you dig in to the numbers, there is yet more encouragement to be found.  Permanent job vacancies were up 40%, with temporary vacancies up 10% in the same period.

Further investigation suggests confidence slowly returning to the jobs market.  Interesting to note comments from Steve Ingham, CEO at Michael Page, talk of the increase in permanent job vacancies being driven by “churn” in the employment market place, that is employees moving jobs, as opposed to new jobs being created.

Why should this be cause for optimism?  This points to people being less concerned about moving jobs.  Taking the leap to a new employer and the “last in first out” fear that can engender in tough times appears to be on the wane.  That’s a good sign.  Confidence has a huge part to play in the employment market just as it does in all areas of the economy.

This morning we had the results of the KPMG and Recruitment and Employment Confederation Jobs Market Survey for December.  Demand for permanent staff rose at the fastest rate for four months.  Demand for temporary staff rose at its fastest rate for six months.

The greatest demand for permanent staffing was in IT, professional services, engineering and accounting.  One of the areas to evidence skills shortages, sales, offers yet further encouragement.  Demand for Executive Talent amongst Transcend customers has been greatest for Sales and Marketing Directors.  Typically these have been newly created appointments in circumstances where employers, having cut back on sales and marketing during the recession, now feel they have opportunities to grow but realise they lack the talent to fulfil them.

Other areas where talent is in increasing demand but skills are short include project management and engineering.   Both evidence good signs.  So many projects over the last 3 years, unless under the auspices of “business critical”, have been shelved.  Companies are starting to re – invest, slowly but surely, to spend money again, having horded cash in tough times.  Projects are being kicked off and once again talent is needed to fulfil requirements.  An increased demand for Engineering talent endorses the positive results being enjoyed by the manufacturing sector.  Long may it continue.

We have yet to understand the full impact of the austerity measures on the employment market.  Public Sector job losses we know are inevitable.  More needs to be done in to encourage jobs creation in the private sector if the impact on overall unemployment is to be minimised.  At least the rhetoric from government supports this, we now need to see the evidence.  More needs to be done from a legislative viewpoint to encourage employers to hire staff, indeed to make it easier and cheaper to hire staff.  A reduction in the rate of Employers NI would be a good start.

I am encouraged by what I see, what I read, what I hear from customers.  There is real cause for optimism, cautious optimism maybe, but optimism nonetheless.

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Half full or half empty?

This morning the latest UK Recruitment and Employment Confederation / KPMG UK Labour Market Survey is out.  Good news is to be found amongst the headlines.  Firstly the number of job vacancies grew.  There are more jobs available in September 2010 than September 2009.  More people were appointed to permanent jobs in September 2010 than 2009.  These are positive signs and should give cause for optimism.  They don’t.  Why is that?  Good news doesn’t sell newspapers, it doesn’t work on air.   The 24 hour media world in which we now live is not interested in painting a positive picture.

Take the BBC (those purveyors of doom and gloom for us Brits).  The headline for the above report reads as follows;

“Jobs market growth slows again”

Talk about how to turn a positive in to a negative!  We have jobs market growth.  However virtually every media outlet reporting this story focuses on slowing jobs market growth.

Why is jobs growth slowing?  Nothing here that we weren’t expecting, nothing that we all know needs to happen.  Jobs market growth is slowing is because public sector hiring activity has slowed dramatically.  It had to.  At one point we had 52% of the UK workforce working in the public sector.  Simple economics dictate that is impossible to sustain.  We just can’t afford it.

Back to the good news.  There is continued strong demand for engineering, construction and executive staff, reflecting the recovery in the private sector.  We need it.  Services (public or private) cannot sustain an economy, we need to make stuff.  Growth in manufacturing is vital to the long-term sustainable success of the UK economy.  Job creation in the private sector is great news for all.  It is job creation in the private sector that feeds the great public sector services we have in the UK.

Back to the headlines?  If your glass is half full, you have jobs growth.  That gives people, business and employers confidence.  It encourages people to think positively about investment intentions, hiring intentions.  Confidence is fragile but it is crucial to so many elements of the economy.   If your glass is half empty and jobs growth is slowing, you are nervous.  You are not going to hire, invest, grow your business, create jobs.  The talk is of a double dip in the jobs market in much the same way as it is talked about incessantly about the economy.

I wonder if journalists ever stop to consider the wider implications of what they report?

Self fulfilling prophesy?  Be careful what you wish for.

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