Navigating the UK Recruitment Landscape in 2023: Insights for HR and Talent Professionals

Date posted: December 12, 2023 | 11:33 am
  • Hiring |
  • Levelling up / hire better

As we reach the end of a roller coaster year, it’s time to reflect on what 2023 has meant for those in HR and Talent. In this post we summarise the year, before our January blog deep dive into predictions on what 2024 will have in store for us all.

The latest Monetary Policy Report (November 2023) by the Bank of England has just landed on our desks, and it’s brimming with insights. At 104 pages there’s a lot to get through, we’ve taken the time to pull out the key findings for our industry.


Key Point 1: Employment Intentions and Recruitment Difficulties

First up, employment intentions across the UK have softened but are still holding steady. This indicates a stable headcount on the whole in 2023. There was an ease in recruitment difficulties, particularly for lower-skilled roles, however challenges still lurked in the finance, accountancy, IT, and engineering sectors.. On the brighter side, sectors like audit, insurance, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace were on a hiring spree due to growth. 

Key Point 2: Wage Trends

The salary figures for new hires, which have historically been a solid hint of what’s happening with overall private sector pay, have hit the reset button this year. They’ve nudged back to what we’d call their ‘usual’ levels and even dipped a bit more in September (see chart below). This could be a sneaky peek into the future, suggesting that overall pay growth might just sync up with our inflation targets next year. Keep an eye on this space!

Key Point 3: Embracing agility the rise in interim placements

2023 has been the year of the temp.  As highlighted by the REC report on jobs, permanent recruitment has slowed consistently throughout 2023. In contrast there has been a rise in interim placements. 

So, what’s the story behind this trend? It seems like businesses hit the pause button on full-time hiring – call it a hiring freeze or a cautious approach in uncertain times. Instead, they opted for a more flexible strategy. By bringing in temps, companies were able to stay agile, and able to tackle specific projects or fill gaps without committing to permanent hires. Join us in January to find out if we think this trend will continue in 2024.

Navigating the recruitment landscape in 2023 was tough. As HR and talent professionals, we had to be agile, informed, and ready to adapt. Whether it was rethinking our recruitment strategies for hard-to-fill roles or adjusting wage structures in line with economic trends, staying one step ahead was key.

At Data Idols we reflect with pride on continued growth in a difficult climate, our systems, processes and people have all improved in 2023.  As our clients continue to explore AI use cases, we look forward to sourcing exceptional talent to meet their needs in 2024 and beyond.

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