Will contractor drought trigger assignment rate boost?

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Businesses are facing an uphill struggle to secure the contractor talent they need, as temp availability continues to fall.

The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)/KPMG Report on Jobs survey reveals that the number of contractors ready to take on new assignments has deteriorated at its fastest pace since October 2014. The drought is particularly affecting the healthcare sector, with demand for nurses dominating proceedings.

This drop in availability could see assignment rates soar as businesses compete against each other to attract the talent they need. Indeed, REC’s report showed that hourly rates of pay for temporary workers rose at a robust pace in March – albeit slightly slower than the previous month.

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, said: “The tightening labour market is forcing up wage inflation as businesses bid for the best talent. Such a trend could cause a two tier pay market, creating a significant divide between highly paid new starters and current employees.”

He added that recruiters in all sectors are struggling with skills shortages, a situation that could “put the brakes on economic growth” if it is allowed to continue.

This sentiment was echoed by REC’s chief executive, Kevin Green. He said: “As politicians debate skills, education and immigration in the run up to the election, we hope they recognise the potential impact of the skills crisis, because a lack of workers to meet demand threatens the sustainability of our economic growth.”

Have your say

Are you a contractor? Have you noticed an increase in assignment rates? What would you do to solve the skills crisis? Join in the discussion on Twitter, or leave a comment below.