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Employment in Oxfordshire is buoyant, but specialist skills hard to find

PUBLISHED: 13:35 15 October 2013 | UPDATED: 13:35 15 October 2013

Oxfordshire’s labour market is buoyant with 99 per cent of businesses surveyed over the summer having recruited this year.

Over half have employed more than 10 staff, while and 52% have taken on more permanent staff than they did last year to fill a mixture of newly created roles and replacement positions. Almost one-third of these roles were specialist or skilled, 19% administration, 10% senior management and 10% marketing.

The first Oxfordshire Employment Trends Survey was carried out by Oxfordshire independent recruitment consultancy, Allen Associates. Its findings echo those of the summer 2013 Labour Market Outlook survey published last month (August) by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which revealed that employers are expecting to see jobs growth for the sixth consecutive quarter.

“Our own experiences of the Oxfordshire recruitment market have been borne out by our local employment trends survey which in turn seems to reflect the wider national picture,” said Kate Allen, who established Allen Associates in Oxford 15 years ago. “The fact that local employers are recruiting full-time, part-time and temporary workers for a wide range of roles is great news for job-seekers but may signal increased competition amongst companies looking to attract and retain good quality people – particularly those looking to fill skilled or technical roles.

“We know some find it difficult to attract the right calibre of employees to specialist roles but overall, the majority of those who responded to our survey said Oxfordshire meets their employment needs ‘most’ or ‘some’ of the time and 87 per cent described the market as ‘good’ or ‘fair’. As recruiters, it is our job to understand every client company’s culture and team dynamics to ensure candidates not only have the skills and experience required to do the job, but also the right blend of softer skills to ensure the best long-term fit.”

Oxfordshire’s temporary recruitment market is also strong with 71% of employers having taken on temporary staff this year, according to the Allen Associates’ survey. All 82 HR professionals and employers who took part in Allen Associates’ Oxfordshire Employment Trends Survey said salaries had remained the same or risen in 2013.

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