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19th April, 2018

Recruitment Trends 2018

Is it a good time to be looking for a job? Or is it best to stay put? We take a look at the latest recruitment trends in the UK, focusing in on the North West and looking at recruitment for the Office Support and Industrial sectors.

General UK Trends

Against a landscape of political and economic uncertainty, the recruitment challenges are well documented. Shortage of skills, lack of suitable candidates and resulting lack of productivity are all cited in the current challenges of recruitment for employers. However, an overwhelming 95% of employers expect their organisations recruitment activity will increase or stay the same over the next 12 months.

Interestingly, over half of employees plan on moving jobs in the next 12 months – perhaps candidates are aware of the shortage and are looking to make the most of the trend? General dissatisfaction within the UK workforce is also likely to be a factor, with 44% of employees rating their work-life balance as very poor to average and 43% dissatisfied with their salaries.

So what does the picture look like in our sectors?

business-trendsOffice Support Trends

Most companies are still projecting growth in the Office Support sector over the next 12 months, with the Customer Services/Contact Centre leading the field. 80% of the Contact Centre/Customer Service sector are looking to hire in 2018, with the North West seeing particular growth.

However, there is still a skills shortage in the Office Support sector, with increased demand for specialist administration roles such as HR and Finance. As there is a shortage, these specialisms may command a higher salary or encourage companies to upskill staff.

Average salaries – North West

  • Office Managers £24,000
  • Administrators £18,000 (Senior/Specialist up to £25,000)
  • Receptionists £16,500
  • PA £26,000 to £35,000
  • Secretarial £19,500
  • Sales/Customer Services – Outbound £18,500
  • Sales/Customer Services – Inbound £17,500

trendsIndustrial Trends

There is a lot of cautious optimism in the Industrial sector, especially within Construction. The North West is leading the country with regional investment ongoing across the region. However, skills shortages is a factor here too – not only because of the specialist skills required but due to nervousness amongst employees who are staying put due to the uncertain feeling in the UK.

Average salaries – North West

  • Foreman £29,000
  • Engineer £39,000
  • Senior Engineer £50,000
  • Warehouse Operative £16,000
  • Cleaner £13,000

Looking for a new opportunity or new staff? Give COS Recruitment a call – number 1 in Cheshire since 1982!


*All data from Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 and

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