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CANDIDATE SKILL SHORTAGE ADDS TO SLOWDOWN WITHIN BUSINESS SERVICES SECTOR

CANDIDATE SKILL SHORTAGE ADDS TO SLOWDOWN WITHIN BUSINESS SERVICES SECTOR

Recruitment activity in the business services sector slowed during the final quarter of 2011 as the number of firms with a recruitment freeze in place increased from 10% in Q3 2011 to 17%, reversing a trend of continual improvement spanning the past five quarters.

Despite this, nearly three-quarters (71%) of firms say business is either good or reasonable but they have no need to recruit at present, according to a study by professional staffing recruitment consultancy Barclay Meade.

More than a third (36%) of businesses are recruiting at graduate/entry level, 36% are hiring administrative candidates and 24% are recruiting for senior management positions. Also, 37% of businesses have seen a rise in demand for skilled workers.

The report by professional staffing recruitment consultancy Barclay Meade – part of the AIM-listed recruitment business Matchtech Group PLC – found that fewer firms are recruiting at similar levels to before the recession, 50% compared with 56% in Q3 2011.

Nigel Lynn, managing director of Barclay Meade, says: “Recruitment in many industry sectors has stagnated in recent months and the business services sector is no exception, despite showing greater resilience to waning business confidence.

“Despite growing fears that the UK will fall back into recession next year, the proportion of businesses acting under a recruitment freeze has fallen for the fifth consecutive quarter, and remains the lowest of all UK industries. The most enthused job seekers will be graduate and entry level candidates as demand has increased significantly at this level.

“Looking forward, the wider UK economy will rely heavily on sectors demonstrating growth and resilience, and businesses services may be one of those bright spots, driving economic revival and growth. Either way, more still needs to be done to ensure the recruitment industry is catering for the specific needs of the business services sector and doing everything it can to support managers by delivering the right candidates for the right positions at the right time.”

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