Today’s labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), based on data from September-November 2017, show that the number of vacancies has reached a record high for the fourth month in a row whilst real wage growth is still falling. Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) chief executive Kevin Green comments:


“Businesses are still planning to hire and there was a record number of vacancies at the end of last year. However, it’s becoming even tougher to find people with the right skills to fill the jobs available, so employers across a range of sectors are desperately searching for candidates – from nurses to baristas to engineers.


“Employers who want an edge over the competition have to design new ways to attract people, like flexible work patterns. Some may need to go to specialist recruiters to get help sourcing talent in areas where there are very few candidates.


“Our data shows employers are increasing starting salaries in a bid to get applicants. However, this isn’t translating into broader pay rise for current staff and workers are facing hard times as inflation continues to outstrip pay growth. Employers need to think about salaries and benefits for all of their staff – otherwise employees could be tempted by better offers from rival companies.