Hays recruiter predicts stronger job market since Lehman collapse

Recruiting group Hays forecast wages for skilled workers would rise at the fastest rate since the collapse of Lehman Brothers as the “Great Quit” leads to the strongest job market in more than a decade.

A surge in the number of workers seeking new roles has led to an unprecedented battle for talent and a rise in wages for top earners.

“Most companies know that the level of wage growth this year will undoubtedly be the highest since . . . before Lehmans,” said Hays CFO Paul Venables. “For a skilled white-collar profession, we are in a very active market.”

Venables said the skills shortage had started before the pandemic and with the start of the Covid-19 lockdowns “the job market pretty much freezes for a period of time”.

Since then there have been some “pretty unique factors driving what is the hottest permanent recruiting market” since he took over at Hays 16 years ago, he added.

Hays said group rates rose 32 percent in the three months through March, with “excellent growth across all regions” and 19 countries posting record rate increases.

“If I were to take the three months to December 2021, our UK business was up 33% compared to the previous year and, more importantly, was 7% above where we were before the pandemic” Venables said.

Hiring activity was particularly fierce in the technology sector, with UK and Ireland job placement rates up 52% ​​in the third quarter of Hays’ fiscal 2022.

“Certainly in things like cybersecurity engineers, which is quite a big role that we play, if you take the UK, we’ve seen a 9 per cent increase in the average salary given to those candidates over the last year,” he said. . Venable.

“In the specialized market and in the areas of the specialized market that are in technology or in decision support. . . With salaries of £50,000, £100,000 and more, it looks like this is going to continue. . . in [the] calendar year,” he said.

One factor driving the increase in hiring activity was the “Great Resignation: a higher proportion of people in jobs looking for a new job.”

Craig Freedberg, regional director of recruitment consultancy Robert Half, said wages “will continue to rise this year and next as long as business confidence remains buoyant.”

“Within the technology sector, candidates will always be able to command higher salaries, even if the market cools down,” he added. “The shortage and constant evolution of in-demand skills mean that individual candidates can get salary increases of up to 25 per cent.”

Chris Poole, UK managing director at recruitment group Robert Walters, said “the true level of wage inflation is not reflected in take-home pay, but rather in-kind benefits.”

“We are seeing benefit packages worth more than £10,000 provided to senior professionals,” he added.

Salaries for senior professionals have risen by as much as 20 percent, according to Robert Walters, and workers in specialized areas such as “cloud and software engineering” have seen salary packages increase by 25 to 40 percent.

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