Companies offering higher starting salaries in bid to attract more staff

Starting salaries are rising “substantially” across the UK as companies struggle to attract new staff, a new report has found.

Demand for workers and increased competition has driven many firms to increase pay offers for permanent and temporary employees, according to a survey of 400 recruitment agencies.

According to professional services firm KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), hiring activity continued to surge at a “robust” pace in April, but the availability of candidates fell for the 14th month in a row, especially for permanent jobs.

Fewer foreign workers and hesitancy to seek new roles due to the pandemic and economic uncertainty were mentioned by some of those surveyed.

Demand for staff is especially strong in the hotel and catering and engineering sectors, according to the report.

REC chief executive Neil Carberry said: “The labour market has been tightening for months on end, driving near-record growth in starting salaries for new staff. Employers need to get their offer to candidates right if they are going to succeed in this market.”

Claire Warnes of KPMG added: “Yet again in April, recruitment challenges abound in every region and every sector of the economy.

“Employers continue to be relentlessly challenged by attracting and retaining talent, rising costs due to inflation, as well as supply chain pressures.”

Earlier this month, Britain’s best companies to work for based on employee feedback were revealed for 2022.

The list was compiled by Great Place to Work – a workplace culture organisation that evaluated hundreds of employee surveys to draw up the rankings.

The annual guide recognises the best small, medium, large and super large businesses in the country, with a total of 290 firms of varying sizes included for this year.

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