More jobs than ever - but don’t expect a big salary hike

Published on: 18 Dec 2014

Employers plan to hire more people in 2015 but skills and salary obstacles remain, according to an ICE survey.


Last month, ICE Recruit’s annual survey was sent to recruitment professionals in civil engineering firms across the UK to find trends over the past year, and intentions for 2015.


Responses showed a marked increase in recruitment volumes in 2014 compared to 2013, with 69% declaring a rise of between 10% and 25%. The good news for jobseekers is that 2015 levels are expected to build on this growth, with companies predicting a further increase in recruitment volumes.


Skills and salary

More employers than ever are predicting to fill over 500 roles next year, while others predict to fill between 51-100 vacancies, up on 2014 figures.


It’s not all good news, though, as companies report a labour supply that lack essential skills. When asked “What has been your biggest recruitment challenge in the past 12 months?” 52% pointed to a lack of skilled/quality candidates.


With a similar question of “What do you think are the main challenges to recruiting professionally qualified staff?” 27.5% of respondents highlighted salary level offered as their main challenge; while recruitment levels may be rising, wages remain stubbornly resistant to growth.


Competition among employers

A positive to take regarding salary, however, can be seen in the second highest response to the same question: 17% said “high competition for talent from other employers” was their main challenge. Employers are fighting one another for skilled candidates, so if you have the right skills; you have leverage.


Graduates have reason to be happy too, as recruiters repeatedly report fewest problems in this sector of the job market. Only 16.5% of replies (the lowest) declared graduates as the level they have most difficulty recruiting for.