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Demand for quality staff reaches five year high

PUBLISHED: 16:30 24 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:30 24 March 2014

Kate Allen, Managing Director Allen Associates

Kate Allen, Managing Director Allen Associates


One of Oxfordshire’s leading independent recruitment agencies, Allen Associates, has signalled a rapid rise in demand for permanent and temporary staff across the county.

Managing Director Kate Allen, who founded the agency which her husband Rob in 1998 and is supported by a team of 12, has the following information and advice for HRs and employers as they consider their recruitment needs in 2014:

Market information for HRs and Employers

• Allen Associates saw a 33 per cent increase in job vacancies in the second half of 2013 – and this trend is likely to continue

• Demand for temporary workers is at an all-time high, but not at the expense of permanent roles.

• Recruitment has almost returned to pre-recession levels and demand for quality candidates is at the highest Allen Associates has seen in five years.

• The HR sector is particularly buoyant as many of the roles which were made redundant during the recession are now being reinstated. These include in-house recruitment, training and development roles at all levels

• Marketing roles continue to do well, particularly in design and digital media where Allen Associates is seeing rapid expansion. Candidates with agency experience are proving hard to come by though

• Demand for PAs and Administrators has risen across the board, but particularly in the property sector reflecting renewed activity in the housing market

• It’s becoming a candidate’s market. Employers are no longer able to pick and choose to the same extent as before

• Business have to work harder to recruit the best people – and for many, recruitment is becoming a lot more challenging

Advice for HR’s and Employers

• Try to be as flexible and open-minded as possible when it comes to recruitment

• If your list of requirements is too stringent, there is a risk that quality candidates with complementary skills and experience may be overlooked

• Most people respond well to training and you may be surprised at how well bright, motivated candidates with complementary skills and experience can adapt. In some instances, softer skills such as the ability to communicate well, build relationships, lead teams or think strategically, prove to be more important as they are arguably far more difficult to teach than other aspects of the role

• Create a positive first impression. Clean and tidy offices, welcoming staff and an enthusiastic description of your business and the role on offer, all help to make your business desirable We all know how important it is for candidates to present themselves well at interview – it’s even more important now that employers do the same

• A flexible approach to interview dates and times is also helpful

• Candidates may have more than one job offer on the table so it’s worth reviewing salaries and employment benefits to ensure they are in line with what competitors are offering. Being able to demonstrate clear paths for career progression as well as a commitment to training, are also considered valuable.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised here or would like advice on any recruitment matter, please contact Kate Allen at Allen Associates on 01865 335600 or email kate@allen-associates.co.uk

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