CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Oxfordshire Employment Trends: Upturn in jobs market boosts demand for quality candidates

PUBLISHED: 17:47 04 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:47 04 September 2014

James Frost Finance Director Newton Europe 2

James Frost Finance Director Newton Europe 2


Job vacancies are taking longer to fill and many employers are finding it harder to recruit quality staff, according to a survey of 122 Oxfordshire businesses

The latest Oxfordshire Employment Trends Survey carried out by recruitment consultancy, Allen Associates, reveals that over one third found it harder to recruit the right people while 40% took longer to fill vacancies in the first half of this year when compared to the same period last year.

Almost half said they had increased salaries to secure their first choice of candidate while 60% had been more flexible when recruiting.

Growth is fuelling 60% of new hires in the businesses surveyed. Oxford-based operational improvement specialists, Newton Europe, have set themselves a growth target of 25% annum which translates into approximately 60 new employees a year.

James Frost, Finance Director at Newton Europe, said: “I think it’s always been difficult to find the best people. During the recession, quality staff weren’t moving.

Now they are starting to consider their options, but a rapid rise in demand has squeezed the market, so it’s still difficult.

“We only appoint the best people and although it may take longer now to fill vacancies than it did previously, we are still attracting quality consultants and support staff. This is partly due to our culture which is inclusive and rewards success. When it comes to making career choices, I don’t think candidates are all that motivated by salary on its own, but rather by the whole package – and it’s in this area that companies can get innovative and gain advantage.”

Justine Pavey, HR Manager at Newton Europe, agreed. “People join us because of the potential for career development and other opportunities. Fit with our culture and team is crucial and a key recruitment criteria for us.”

Almost half the survey respondents rated ‘fit’ with existing culture and teams as more important when recruiting than skills, qualifications and experience.

Kate Allen, Managing Director at Allen Associates, is not surprised. “We have built our business and reputation over the last 15 years on carefully matching the right candidate to the right role within the right organisation. Every candidate is different and every vacancy has its own special set of circumstances which is why we interview every candidate and client in person.

“Competition for quality candidates is definitely getting hotter which can unfortunately translate into speed of response assuming a greater priority than attention to detail and suitability in the recruitment process,” continued Kate.

“Employers have every right to expect a timely response but they should satisfy themselves that potential candidates introduced to them by third parties have been properly sourced and assessed.

“The CV is clearly an important recruitment tool but used on its own, is not even half of the picture. It must be coupled with in-depth, professional interviews and assessment by skilled and experienced staff,” said Kate.

The survey shows a steep rise in permanent placements with 79% of employers recruiting more permanent staff in the first half of this year than the same period last year – up from 52% surveyed in July 2013.

How many new, permanent employees did you recruit in the first half of 2014?

More than 20 RECRUITS









Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Thursday, October 11, 2018

It’s that wonderful time of year again when we warm ourselves by roaring bonfires and enjoy dazzling firework displays that light up the skies. Gather your loved ones, wrap up warm and enjoy an evening of Guy Fawkes celebrations in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

After something to entertain the kids during half-term? Or are you counting down the days to enjoy the thrills and spills of Halloween? Here are 20 ways to celebrate the spookiest time of year in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

Visitors to the village of Bourton-on-the-Water can now escape the well-trodden tourist trail at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s beautiful Greystones nature reserve and its newly opened visitor centre

Read more
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Thursday, September 27, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

No pain, no gain? Walking, cycling and horse riding make getting fit a lot more enjoyable than that

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

On a crisp, autumnal day, there is nothing better than gathering the family for a stroll amongst some of the most colourful woodland and countryside the Cotswolds has to offer. We’ve accumulated a list of our favourite places to catch the majority of this season’s golden hues

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

‘For me, Wick Court is a special place because it marks the beginning of the Henson family journey in rare breeds conservation’

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tracy Spiers takes Emily, daughter number two, who shares her love for anything historical, to this vibrant place and get lost in a heady mix of wild bears, Middle Age punishing devices, timber-framed buildings and live bees

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search