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Q3 Recruitment Market Overview, by Lewis Goody

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​​As Q3 draws to a close and we look to the New Year, we are seeing two key standouts in the recruitment market at this moment in time:

  • Candidate availability increasing

  • Job vacancies reducing slightly for the second time in the last 3 months

Senior Recruitment Consultant in our Permanent team, Lewis Goody, provides an overview of the current recruitment market during this quarter and shares his insights on what he expects to see in 2024.

Key takeaways for Q3:


  • Decline in permanent placements

  • Temporary billings increase for second straight month

  • Candidate availability increases at a rapid pace


  • Permanent placements and temporary billings both decline

  • Candidate pool surges at fastest rate since December 2020

  • Starting salary inflation dips to 32-month low

  • Job vacancies decrease slightly

Summary of Q3:

The October findings from the KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs show that economic uncertainty is still making it tough to find jobs. While there was a small drop in permanent job placements, it was the smallest in four months as employers are unsure about hiring new permanent staff. On the flip side, temporary job billings increased slightly, which suggests some companies are looking for more flexibility in their workforce, according to recruiters.

Overall job vacancies stayed steady in October after a marginal drop in September. There's also been a big increase in candidates looking for jobs, likely because of redundancies and company restructuring. At the same time, the increase in starting salaries is the slowest it's been in 31 months, and temporary wage growth is also remaining slow.

In November, an uncertain economic outlook and increased caution among employers had a negative impact on hiring. Job vacancies slightly decreased for the second time in the last three months. At the same time, there was a notable decline in permanent placements and a renewed drop in temporary billings, indicating a widespread reduction in hiring. On a positive note, the overall number of job seekers increased rapidly, the fastest growth since December 2020. Additionally, in November, pay pressures lessened, with starting salary and temporary pay inflation rates reaching their lowest points in 32 and 33 months, respectively.

My predictions for 2024:

For the new year, I am predicting a rise in the number of vacancies in Energy & Sustainability sectors. I believe salaries will stay steady until the 9.8% rise in minimum wage, where we'll see an increase as businesses aim to retain their staff amid continued cost of living concerns. Various clients have taken on internal feedback salary wise and increased this in retrospect.

Information sourced from the KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs survey, compiled by S&P Global, for October and November. The reports are compiled by S&P Global from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.