The ONS labour market data released last week continues to demonstrate the UK’s gradual recovery post-lockdown. The number of job vacancies posted between March and May now stands at 758,000 – only 27,000 below pre-pandemic levels, with most industries actually showing vacancies above pre-pandemic levels. This indicates companies’ growing confidence as they look to the future and growth.

The number of temporary employees in the UK also increased by 3.7% to a total of approximately 1.57 million for the three-month period from February 2021 to April 2021, when compared with the same period a year ago. This is a trend that we at Gi Group have witnessed across all the sectors we operate within.

Yet despite these positive figures, with rising demand for staff, falling unemployment and 3 million people still on furlough, companies looking to hire will undoubtedly be faced with challenges in the current climate.

In response to the latest figures, Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation said: “With labour shortages across the economy, any delays in hiring could have serious consequences for the recovery.”

Any organisation looking to recruit now needs to elevate its employee value proposition if it is to win the current race for talent. With a surge in demand and a decline in the availability of quality candidates, focus needs to shift onto employer brand, and more urgently, employee retention strategies – in order to win and maintain the best talent.

Additionally, and as we have seen within certain sectors, recruiting companies may need to re-evaluate the must haves versus the nice to haves in order to meet this demand for talent. Fundamentally, the companies need to ask is whether it is better to recruit someone with the right attitude and develop the required skills or hold out for that ideal candidate that may not be out there? In reality, by adjusting hiring criteria companies will open up a wider pool of available candidates who may just be the perfect fit – as well as supporting those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

To read more about the latest labour market data visit https://www.ons.gov.uk/.


About Gi Group

Gi Group is one of the world’s leading companies that provide the best services for the development of the labour market. Gi Group is active in the fields of temporary recruitment, permanent and professional staffing, search and selection, executive search, outsourcing, training, outplacement and HR consultancy. Thanks to our direct presence and strategic partnerships in the UK and in more than 57 countries across Europe, APAC, the Americas and Africa, we can guarantee efficiency and quick response.

We are able to assist all clients and candidates, and we have developed strong expertise in large and multinational organisations, for which we have implemented global solutions through specialist divisions and dedicated local and international teams. Gi group are ranked globally as one of the largest staffing firms by Staffing Industry Analysts, and we are also a global corporate member of the World Employment Confederation (formerly CIETT).

If you are currently looking to recruit or want to learn more about Gi Group’s Workforce Solutions, please email InfoUK@gigroup.com.