April 2023 market overview: commerce and industry

Author Stephanie McCleery
May 24, 2023

Across the UK’s commerce and industry sectors, we’ve pulled together a review of the live data we have captured in April 2023 – including London, Home Counties, West Midlands and South West England. 

Companies are focused on direct sourcing by utilising internal talent acquisition teams  

April seemed to come and go in a flash. HR recruitment felt like it paused in time whilst Easter bank holiday and school holidays ruled the diary.  

Scheduling interviews, reaching people and getting things moving was slow as many people took annual leave. This seems reflective in the activity across the commerce and industry sectors within HR recruitment.  

Throughout April, there were many vacancies across leisure, tourism, manufacturing and technology. These markets seemed to be leading recruitment in the HR space through Frazer Jones and taking more of the market share.  

We noticed that processes were slowed down – most likely due to the public and school holidays. Yet, there is still an element of caution in the market. There has been a strong focus on newly hired internal talent acquisition teams with hiring direct.  

“There has been a strong focus on newly hired internal talent acquisition teams with hiring direct.” 

The candidate market has been getting busier but this is sometimes counterproductive as businesses that haven’t had robust processes have become inundated with applications and not always with the skills required.  

If we compare year-on-year, the vacancies this April were lower than 2022. But as mentioned above, we expected this with so many businesses who are direct sourcing and not hiring in the way they did last year. During quieter times for businesses, talent acquisition teams have the capacity to be able to hire every role directly.  

Consultancies are sought out by candidates to represent them  

As a specialist HR recruiter, we are fortunate enough to access top talent in our network that is not always actively looking to make a move. However, our contacts are interested to hear more about interesting opportunities.  

“Candidates have turned to consultancies to ensure a human point of contact.” 

In April, many businesses reached out to us to tap into that market they haven’t been able to reach directly – or they just don’t have the network to do so. Interestingly, a number of candidates we have been speaking to have felt disappointed applying for roles directly and hearing nothing back for the majority, so therefore have turned to consultancies to represent them – which ensures a human point of contact.  

Mid to senior level roles have been filled at a greater level across the board  

This month, 48% of roles have been recruited at the mid, senior and executive levels of the market and some exceptional talent has been secured in very exciting businesses. The entry level market has made up 38% of roles and 14% at the early experienced level.  

“The more senior the role, the harder it is to tap into that network.” 

This is what we would expect as talent at these levels is typically quite transactional and much easier to find for internal talent teams in a strong market. The more senior the role, the harder it is to tap into that network. 

We have started to see a rise in learning and development roles as well as shared service/HR operations. Talent acquisition has remained steady and generalist has taken the market share, so no surprises month on month.  

April was a bit of a “wait and see” month for some businesses, ensuring that the next hire is really needed – and the right one. Now that financial year budgets have been released, a direct source model has been the sensible option for most businesses. 

With more bank holidays on the way, it is still business as usual and businesses are still looking at hiring plans for the rest of the year.     

Complete our form below to discuss your hiring needs or career.  

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