September Job Market Review

Recruiter Advice - September Job Market Review’s monthly Job Market Review gives recruiters and businesses fresh insights into what happened in the jobs market in the last month – including candidate insights and regional and sector labour market performance.





September 2021 Snapshot


  • Record number of vacancies posted on continues to rise at over 354,000
  • Transport & Logistics vacancies remain high amid fuel and supply chain crisis
  • Applications up across the board with the most uplift in IT, Legal and Hospitality
  • Salaries have stayed steady with the £0>£25,000 bracket seeing the biggest year-on-year increase (+3%)
  • Employers should prepare for the run-up to Christmas amidst an uncertain winter ahead


Jobs posted


Transport & Logistics vacancies continue to flood in amid fuel and food supply crisis continues to see record numbers of jobs posted each month, with vacancies up close to 25,000 from last month. This increase can be seen in sectors across the board. Transport and Logistics remains on top for jobs posted, in part to cater for the fuel and supply crisis that escalated throughout September.


Financial Services (11%), Legal (9%), and Marketing (13%) vacancies all increased in September, aligning with reports of white-collar, professional services skills and labour shortages emerging and continuing the candidate-driven market trend across all sectors*.


HR is up over 20% from August, suggesting a potential correlation between the end of the furlough scheme and the need for more HR professionals to deal with the aftermath – be that resignations, redundancies or simply increased hiring efforts.


For balance, it is also important to recognise the new legislation of flexible working from day one requests, that may impact recruitment strategies as sectors manage the desire for flexible and dynamic working from their employees differently**.


Candidate registration


Furlough finish sparks registration spike


While down on September 2020, registrations increased month-on-month and stayed consistently high throughout the month. On Monday 27th September there was a significant spike, with close to 6,000 new candidate registrations made, following a consistent hover around the 4,000 mark of the previous week. With the government Job Retention Scheme finally closing on 30th September, this could be seen as a Monday rush to register and make plans for voluntarily changing jobs or responding to anticipated redundancies.




Professional Services applications are up, despite shortage in the market for talent


Applications are up across the board both regionally and by sector. As previously mentioned, the professional services or white-collar sector are experiencing talent shortages and yet it’s here that we see the most uplift in applications. IT (10%) and Legal (9%) saw the most significant number of applications in line with the increase of jobs posted for those sectors, followed closely by Financial Services (6%) and Sales (6%). With reports in the news of a boom in banking roles***, and as more workers request flexible and remote working options, and the IT infrastructure needed to go with them, it seems natural for these areas of employment to take a step up.


There is, of course, the new intake of postgraduates to consider too, who took the summer to reflect and recompose before heading into the professional services workforce. With months of a candidate-driven market on their side, those skilled workers looking to head into HR, IT, Technology and Marketing will be able to take their pick.


Looking ahead: It’s not ALL about HGV drivers, and Covid-19 is still here


With the crisis around transport and supply chain taking over the news of late, it can be easy to sidestep the other sectors and the different roles affected by the knock-on impact of these issues. As issues in pay, holiday and hours emerge within transport and supply chain in particular, so too does an increased need for skills in HR roles, payroll and other professional service roles, as demonstrated in the figures of Septembers’ report. There is a need to look both short-term and long-term in the recruitment cycle across all sectors.


In the short term, as the Christmas quarter begins, there will likely be a significant increase again in Hospitality, Retail and Sales vacancies, so employers and recruiters in these areas would benefit from quality talent-pooling sooner rather than later to catch the demand. And, of course, with Christmas, the focus comes back to HGV drivers again. As Rishi Sunak predicts further challenges with fuel and food supply and delivery****, there will naturally be a snowball effect which will circle back to Transport & Logistics and the various services that support the industry.


In the long-term, filling vacancies across the board with quality talent will be the challenge moving into 2022. With an unpredictable short-term future regarding the pandemic, it will be difficult to predict how successful recruitment will be for employers as they wait to weather the first winter out of lockdown, while still living with Covid-19.


What we do know is that the jobseeker and candidate experience is as important as ever. With the widespread skills shortage not looking like it’s going to be resolved anytime soon, businesses must focus on delivering the very best candidate experience to attract the workers that they want.