Market Update October 2023

We canvassed the companies and candidates we work with to get an insight into the current market, as we enter the final quarter of the year – a traditionally buoyant period.

Also, now that most companies have settled upon their working pattern post-Covid, a number are turning their attention to their benefits packages, no doubt in part as a result of the ongoing cost of living crisis. We have therefore surveyed both our clients and candidates, in the hope of providing insight into what employers are offering, as well as what candidates actually value.

If you would like to discuss anything in this report with us further, please get in touch.


Hiring Plans


Percentage of companies looking to hire permanent staff in the next 3 months

July 2023 73%
October 2023 63%

Percentage of companies looking to hire contract staff in the next 3 months

July 2023 13%
October 2023 5%

What seniority levels are you looking to hire?


July 2023

Senior
Mid-Level
Junior/Graduate
All

October 2023

Senior
Mid-Level
Junior/Graduate
All

Market Uncertainty – Redundancy


Whilst the recent falls in inflation are welcome, persistently high levels of both inflation and interest rates continue to weigh heavily on the UK economy. Gaining funding/investment remains difficult and growth is sluggish at best. Whilst the clients we work with continue to display resilience, our survey shows a further small increase in the number of respondents answering either “Yes” or “Unsure” to the question “do you envisage making any redundancies in the next 3 months?”, up from just 1 in 10 in our last survey.

Do you envisage making any redundancies in the next 3 months?

Yes 7%
No 84%
Unsure 9%

Megan Robertson Corriculo Account Manager

Demand for both permanent and contract staff has fallen, which comes on the back of a slight reported fall when we conducted our last survey at the end of March. Typically at this time of year, after a quiet summer period, companies are often keen to make key hires before the end of the year, but this data, coupled with the small increase in the number of uncertain responses to the question around redundancies, suggests a further cooling of the market.

Megan Robertson, Manager, Account Management

Megan Robertson Corriculo Account Manager

Demand for both permanent and contract staff has fallen, which comes on the back of a slight reported fall when we conducted our last survey at the end of March. Typically at this time of year, after a quiet summer period, companies are often keen to make key hires before the end of the year, but this data, coupled with the small increase in the number of uncertain responses to the question around redundancies, suggests a further cooling of the market.

Megan Robertson, Manager, Account Management


Staff Benefits


Benefits packages seem to have become a hot topic again. Numerous clients told us that they were looking at reviewing their benefits, to ensure that they were still relevant and appropriate in the post-pandemic world. Attraction and retention of staff is still an issue, even as the market has cooled, so we decided to survey our clients and candidates with equivalent questions, to see which benefits are most important to candidates, and what employers are offering to try and meet their wishes. We started by asking our clients:

How do you decide upon which benefits to offer?

Aidan Snow Corriculo Account Manager

It’s nice to see that the majority of employers value tailoring benefits to their employees. This both makes the package more attractive to staff, and their opinions being heard helps them feel like a more valued part of the company. The 10.8% of companies using market analysis will likely also have well targeted benefits, whilst missing out on the positive of employee engagement, but we can still see a significant proportion of clients at risk of offering unattractive benefits by not consulting staff or outside data, which could lead to them missing out on the best talent.

Aidan Snow, Account Manager

Aidan Snow Account Manager

It’s nice to see that the majority of employers value tailoring benefits to their employees. This both makes the package more attractive to staff, and their opinions being heard helps them feel like a more valued part of the company. The 10.8% of companies using market analysis will likely also have well targeted benefits, whilst missing out on the positive of employee engagement, but we can still see a significant proportion of clients at risk of offering unattractive benefits by not consulting staff or outside data, which could lead to them missing out on the best talent.

Aidan Snow, Account Manager


Client VS Candidate Response


We asked our clients, “what do you think is the company benefit that candidates value most highly when considering a job offer?”

We then asked our candidates, “when considering a job offer, which of the company’s benefits is the most important to your decision?”

Next, we asked our clients, “what do you consider to be the best company benefit that you currently offer?”

We then asked our candidates, “what do you consider to be the best company benefit you have ever received?”

We also asked our candidates, “Which do you value more, benefits that promote workrelated skills and knowledge, such as training, tuition reimbursement and professional certifications, or monetary-based benefits such as a bonus, life insurance, gym membership, etc.?”

We then asked our clients which of the two they thought candidates valued more.

In the graphic below, the candidate response is in dark blue, the client response in light blue.

Monetary

Client Response
Candidates Reponse

Professional

Client Response
Candidates Reponse

Graham Bruce Corriculo Director

It’s always interesting to see how the thoughts of employers and employees differ, as well as where they align, and these survey results are a good example of that. It’s clear from the responses, that the importance of remote working to employees/jobseekers can’t be overstated, but importantly, employers do seem to be aware of this. It’s by far the benefit considered most by candidates when changing jobs, and over a third of both employers and employees consider it to be the best benefit that can be offered. A fifth of employers thought that holiday allowance would be the benefit that is most important to jobseekers, and yet, it didn’t feature at all in our candidates’ response. Perhaps the work/life balance that can be achieved though remote working, means that employees feel less need to take actual leave?

Our clients accurately predicted that “monetary” benefits are valued more highly by employees than formal training/tuition – perhaps no surprise during a time of significant cost-of-living pressure – and this can be seen again by the fact that close to half of the candidate respondents named a bonus scheme as the best benefit they have ever received. In summary, it would seem that for those employers who are currently looking to review their employee proposition, offering flexible/remote working, along with benefits that will put money directly into the pockets of their staff, are likely to attract the most interest.

Graham Bruce, Director

Graham Bruce Corriculo Director

It’s always interesting to see how the thoughts of employers and employees differ, as well as where they align, and these survey results are a good example of that. It’s clear from the responses, that the importance of remote working to employees/jobseekers can’t be overstated, but importantly, employers do seem to be aware of this. It’s by far the benefit considered most by candidates when changing jobs, and over a third of both employers and employees consider it to be the best benefit that can be offered. A fifth of employers thought that holiday allowance would be the benefit that is most important to jobseekers, and yet, it didn’t feature at all in our candidates’ response. Perhaps the work/life balance that can be achieved though remote working, means that employees feel less need to take actual leave?

Our clients accurately predicted that “monetary” benefits are valued more highly by employees than formal training/tuition – perhaps no surprise during a time of significant cost-of-living pressure – and this can be seen again by the fact that close to half of the candidate respondents named a bonus scheme as the best benefit they have ever received. In summary, it would seem that for those employers who are currently looking to review their employee proposition, offering flexible/remote working, along with benefits that will put money directly into the pockets of their staff, are likely to attract the most interest.

Graham Bruce, Director


Finally, we asked our clients, “what do you consider to be the most innovative benefit/benefits that you offer?”


Many clients struggled when answering this question, with a lot recognising that the benefits they currently offer are relatively “standard”. Others, whilst recognising that they weren’t especially “innovative”, answered regarding initiatives around bonuses/profit share, discount platforms and enhanced holidays, but most of the companies did say that they’d be really interested in hearing what other companies said! So…

Reducing Hours Clock Face

A number of responses centred around reducing hours. One company has implemented a 9-day fortnight, another operates a half day only on a Friday, whilst another is hoping to move to a 4-day week.

Another concentration of answers was around benefits that have been introduced – often post-Covid – around well-being and mental health. Initiatives ranged from private counselling, through to a variety of apps, some focused more on mental health, others on physical health. One of the latter had a competitive element to it, which had proved really popular with the team.

Mental Health Logo
Car Icon

An increasing number of companies are offering electric vehicle schemes, normally with a salary sacrifice/tax efficient component.

However, the most innovative benefit that we were told about by one of our clients was an honesty fund that they set up, so that any employee, at any time and for any reason, could request a cash payment of up to £1,500 pounds – wholly anonymously (other than to the operators of the scheme) and without having to explain why – should they find themselves in need.

Money

Shanice Peart Corriculo Account Manager

In summary, it seems that whilst many companies surveyed have some exciting plans ahead with regard to adapting their benefits to ever-changing needs and wants, the current trend seems to be focused on flexible working, which does closely align with employee demand. I think this in turn, though, can have an impact on mental and physical health, so it’s good to see that many companies are focusing on this with the benefits they’re offering. All companies seem to be heading in the direction of the same end goal, just taking slightly different routes. Ultimately, a happier, more energised, and therefore more productive workforce will hopefully be the outcome.

Shanice Peart, Account Manager

Shanice Peart Corriculo Account Manager

In summary, it seems that whilst many companies surveyed have some exciting plans ahead with regard to adapting their benefits to ever-changing needs and wants, the current trend seems to be focused on flexible working, which does closely align with employee demand. I think this in turn, though, can have an impact on mental and physical health, so it’s good to see that many companies are focusing on this with the benefits they’re offering. All companies seem to be heading in the direction of the same end goal, just taking slightly different routes. Ultimately, a happier, more energised, and therefore more productive workforce will hopefully be the outcome.

Shanice Peart, Account Manager

Who are Corriculo?

At Corriculo we have a passion for doing recruitment differently. We strive to deliver long-lasting relationships between candidate and recruiter that make a continued difference. Our clients benefit from over 50 years’ combined recruitment experience, specialist sector knowledge and our extensive network of industry experts.

Our mission is that by doing recruitment differently, we provide authentic, innovative and transparent recruitment solutions for clients & candidates all over the UK for permanent and contract positions. Our values are a key part of why we do what we do and we are determined to demonstrate these in all aspects of our work.

Accountability: We promote a culture of ownership, where employees are empowered to take responsibility for their work and are held accountable for delivering on their commitments.

Sharing Knowledge: Knowledge is a valuable resource that can be leveraged to drive innovation and improve performance.

Continuous Improvement: We constantly seek new ways to improve our processes and approach, in order to produce a high quality service for clients and candidates alike.

Honesty & Integrity: By prioritizing a culture of trust and accountability, we continue to build a strong reputation for ethical behavior and trustworthiness, both internally and externally.

Welcome Alex Neal, our newest Marketing Assistant!

We are thrilled to introduce our latest addition to the team, Alex Neal, who joins us as a Marketing Assistant. With a strong background in digital marketing and a passion for creative content, Alex is poised to make a significant impact on our marketing efforts. We’re excited to have Alex on board and look forward to their fresh ideas and contributions to our marketing campaigns.

Milestone Achieved: Onboarding our 70th new client this year

We are proud to announce a significant milestone in our journey – we have successfully onboarded our 70th new client of the year! This achievement is a testament to our team’s dedication and the trust our clients place in our services. We couldn’t have reached this landmark without the hard work and commitment of each team member. Let’s continue to strive for excellence as we look forward to even more successes in the future. Thank you for your continued support!