Starter salaries rising amid candidate shortages

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As the economy picks up, candidates are in high demand, resulting in job starting salaries rising at record rates, according to KPMG.

Rising demand for staff to fill vacancies has resulted in the sharpest salary inflation rate in almost 24 years of data collection, its jobs survey found.

Although the job market is excelling, there is reported to be an ongoing uncertainty over job security concerns which caused a drop in candidates in July, it said. Candidate numbers fell at the second-fastest rate in the survey’s history.

Kate Shoesmith, deputy chief executive of the REC, said the data confirmed that it was now a “good time to be looking for a new job”.

“Employers are desperate to find good candidates for the many jobs on offer and this is reflected in starting salaries rising at the sharpest rate since the survey began in 1997,” she said.

“This will likely motivate more people to be on the lookout for new opportunities. The same goes for those on temporary contracts which are also seeing increased pay.”

Several industries, including the hospitality and haulage sectors, are experiencing chronic shortages in workers.  Some of the many skilled jobs in short supply include chefs, software engineers, technicians and carers.

The report said the removal of Covid restrictions had led to a “sharp increase” in the number of people employed into permanent job roles, while the upturn in temporary vacancies was the steepest since November 1997.

Jobs in IT and computing, hotel and catering and engineering were in high demand for permanent roles, while retail vacancies were the least in demand.

In the private sector, demand for permanent staff expanded at a slightly quicker pace than for temporary workers. In contrast, short-term vacancies rose more quickly than permanent roles in the public sector.

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