Companies struggle to find the right staff, says report

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THE growth in the number of permanent jobs in the North of England eased last month, according to a new study, which suggests that some employers could be struggling to find the right staff.

KPMG’s Report on Jobs for May indicated that the number of staff placed in permanent positions in the North of England continued to increase, stretching the current period of expansion to 13 months. Despite softening further from March’s peak, and being below the UK average, the rate of growth was strong in the context of historical data.

The North of England’s recruitment consultants signalled a further sharp reduction of permanent staff availability in May.

The rate of contraction picked up pace, reaching its fastest since April 2005. However, the decrease in permanent candidate supply across the region was slightly less pronounced than that seen across the UK.

Chris Hearld, office senior partner for KPMG in Leeds, said: “The rate of new hires in the North is slowing to some degree, which could be interpreted as a warning for the regional economy.

“However, many of the management teams that we speak to are hungry for growth, so the pause is likely to reflect the ongoing difficulties that some companies are facing in finding the right talent within a dwindling pool of candidates.

“Meanwhile, temporary billings are reaching nearly two years of persistent growth as Northern human resource departments delve into the flexible labour market to plug short-term resource gaps. The long-term, sustainable solution will be in finding permanent staff to ensure continuity and foster the development of talent.”

The Report on Jobs: North is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to around 100 recruitment and employment consultancies across the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber regions.

Kevin Green, the chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said: “The UK’s jobs boom continues with vacancies increasing as employers look for new workers to meet increasing demand.”