Eighty-six percent of employers in Scotland expect to encounter a shortage of suitable candidates in the next 12 months as business confidence continues to grow. This is the highest percentage across all UK regions, and just one of the findings from the UK Salary and Recruiting Trends Guide 2015, published by recruiting experts Hays.
The survey of over 10,000 employers and employees indicates that employers are confident their business activity will increase over the next 12 months, with 71% of employers in Scotland planning to increase headcount over the next 12 months.
The report also shows that 77% of employers in Scotland increased salaries over the past 12 months, 5% higher than the UK overall figure, with salaries for some roles, such as architects, increasing by up to 14%. The average salary increase across Scotland was 1.7%.
“Although salary increases aren’t yet widespread, there are definite pockets of very significant rises, which have been fuelled by skill shortages,” said Akash Marwaha, managing director of Hays in Scotland.
“To date, the greatest salary increases have been in sectors where there simply aren’t enough people to fill the gaps. IT, finance, engineering and construction are all prime areas where jobseekers often have the pick of two or three jobs. They get snapped up quickly by employers and they often receive a counter offer from their current employer, which can push their salary up even further.”
Projects such as the Queensferry Crossing, the M8 project and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route are increasing demand for construction and engineering professionals. The public sector is also actively recruiting across Scotland, due to a large number of public sector organisations restructuring, centralising their procurement departments or undergoing major transformations.
Not only is confidence returning to businesses, Hays is also seeing that confidence has significantly increased among jobseekers. Fifty-eight percent of employees in Scotland anticipate that they’ll move jobs in the next year, with 50% of these feeling that they don’t have enough scope for career progression in their current organisation.
“The business outlook is good. But this does mean that employers need to widen their approach to attracting and retaining the staff they’ll need to grow,” said Marwaha.
“Many employers have increased salaries but only a small number have received above inflationary increases. The survey also shows that employers in Scotland are investing in training (22%) to address shortages, with many providing study leave for external training. This is very positive, but employers will still be competing with each other, so it’s important to ensure they‘re offering the right mix of salary and benefits to retain and attract the best talent.”
Other salary and recruiting trends for Scotland include:
• 77% of employers increased salaries in the last 12 months, compared to a UK average of 72%
• 59% of employers are planning to increase pay levels in the year ahead
• 59% plan to hire more permanent staff
• 53% of employers say that management/leadership skills are most needed by their organisation
• 38% of employers have recruited apprentices, compared to a UK average of 31%
• 58% of employees are dissatisfied with their salary
• 58% of employees plan to move jobs in the next 12 months
• 29% of employees cited a lack of future opportunities and 29% cited salary and benefits as a reason for leaving their current role