The South East continued to follow a similar pattern to the third quarter of 2016 where support roles remained at the forefront of firm’s recruitment demands.

Something that became apparent in the final quarter of 2016 has been the skills shortage which ensured that firms were willing to bide their time in order to find the right candidate.

This naturally slowed down the pace of any movement across the region which reiterates how conscious firms are in finding candidates that are totally suitable for a prospective role.

Skill Set Demand

The recurring theme across the South East in the final quarter of 2016 was the demand for support staff with relevant experience and a great skill set in the desired role.

Even with relevant experience, firms in the South East have tended to be more focused on the candidate also being of the right personality.

During this final quarter, experienced support staff are more comfortable remaining in their current positions as move into the less structured Christmas and New Year period.

Influential Benefits

A key feature during the final quarter of 2016 has been discussing the benefits packages with clients in order to attract the right candidates.

Having been in discussions with several firms, something which has become more prominent in this last quarter has been the need to place more emphasis on the benefits packages available to prospective candidates.

Some of the benefits added to competitive salaries include:

  • Pension scheme
  • Generous holiday allowance
  • Life assurance
  • Maternity and paternity pay
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Paid professional subscriptions
  • Free city centre parking
  • Discounted/free gym memberships

Without firms realising, my experience in the final quarter of 2016 revealed that quite often it was these benefits that were the deciding factor in a candidate’s final decision.

Discussions were started with firms and will continue into 2017 as to how they can showcase these influential benefits more openly with prospective candidates in order to really provide them with a much more convincing and exciting job offer.

My feeling is that this will combat some candidate’s decisions to turn down roles or spend an ample amount of time deliberating on whether or not to make a career change.

It’s then down to the consultant’s to ensure that these benefits match the needs of the candidate so it becomes more of a win win for all parties concerned.

A Prosperous January

If 2016 is anything to go by, I expect January to be extremely busy.

Candidates are often in a more career-focused mood going into the New Year with goals, aspirations and a new career move potentially on the cards.

The real focus from a client perspective is going to be the need to place more emphasis on the all round benefits packages offered to candidates in order to attract those with the relevant skill sets, who are currently more comfortable where they are.