Vanilla Recruitment Current Jobs Market

Eloise’s December 2020 News – Festive Staffing, Current Jobs Market, Direct Hire vs Agency and Christmas

Hello and welcome to December,

Wow, what a year! I hope you are all well and in a good position going into December? It’s such a key month in the year; there’s always lots to finish off, stats and reviews to do, the Christmas rush to contend with and the impact of the cold and dark early evenings and the Christmas holidays to factor in. And this year on top of all that we’ve had a second lockdown and the latest tier 3 announcements! Definitely, a unique December to finish off what’s been a unique year!

Depending on the type of business you’re in (if you’re still able to open your doors that is), it could usually be ‘silly season’, or a bit of a wind-down. For many businesses through no fault of their own, it may be a quieter month to take stock of all 2020 has thrown at us.

Regardless of what type of month it is for you, I wish you all health and positivity and the hope that the New Year will bring brighter prospects for all of us.

Festive Staffing

Current Jobs MarketIf it is ‘silly season’ for you or perhaps you have a lot of staff holiday issues to work with, don’t forget we are here to help you. We have a brilliant team of temporary workers covering all types of roles backed up by our fabulous in-house Vanilla team coordinating everything.

Whether it’s last-minute staff illness, planned in holidays or increased workloads, get in touch and we can help alleviate your problems. We can get a temporary worker into a business the same day, and we can also work with you on longer-term placements and future planned in recruitment.

Our consultant, Jodie Clements will work with you to skills match your needs in order to help you maintain your business standards.

We can facilitate placements from just 1 day of work, up to whatever length of time you need. We have people we can get to support you from across Market Harborough, Kettering, Corby, Lutterworth, Leicester, Northampton and anywhere in between. Get in touch to have a chat about how we can help and support you both now and in the future.

Moving swiftly into 2020

If your business is a little quieter in December, it may be a great time for us to meet up (most probably virtually) and have a look through your recruitment strategy for the year ahead. Next year is sure to be different from any previous years with the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit hitting the UK. But, business will carry on in some form on and many of you will have staffing needs and hopefully new jobs you need to fill.

We can help you plan for this in the most efficient and cost-effective way to meet your business goals. If you will be looking for permanent job recruitment, temporary staff, contract placements or a combination, we will work with you on a plan.

Drop me, or your regular Vanilla consultant, a line to book in a consultation or an informal chat through your plans.

Remember, we have specialist teams working on:

What’s happening in the recruitment and jobs market?

A major concern recently was the second lockdown, and the effect it would have on the market, however, I am pleased to say that the momentum that had built through September and October has continued and confidence in the job vacancies and activity is continuing to rise.

In the latest KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs, Vice Chair at KPMG, James Stewart has commented that:

“While it’s encouraging to see a further recovery in hiring activity and that growth in permanent staff appointments was the strongest for almost two years, it’s concerning to see another rapid rise in total candidate availability.

With increasing unease over what will happen in the coming months with the pandemic and Brexit the uncertainty for UK business is not going to dissipate anytime soon.

The Government has got challenging times ahead to continue to offer adequate support to business, opportunities for jobs seekers to upskill while helping instil confidence in the UK workforce”

Hiring activity rises sharply

The recent KPMG and REC report reflects what we have been experiencing in the Vanilla office, permanent placement growth was the strongest for nearly two years, while temporary recruitment billings expanded at the quickest rate since the end of 2018. The upturns were widely linked to the reopening of the UK economy and the recommencement of projects following the easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures but thankfully didn’t change as we went into a second lockdown.  This was a welcome change of attitude to the first lockdown where the recruitment market seemed to be wiped out in a matter of days.

Supply of workers continues to expand rapidly

Total candidate availability continued to rise at a substantial pace in November, despite the rate of growth easing from August’s near-record high. Underlying data showed that both permanent and temporary staff supply rose at softer, but still historically sharp, rates. Higher candidate numbers were widely linked to ongoing redundancies.

Starting pay remains on a downward trend

Starting salaries awarded to permanent workers continued to fall in November. Meanwhile, temp wages fell only modestly. In both cases, rising candidate numbers, subdued demand for workers and greater pressure on clients’ budgets were linked to reduced pay.

With the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the economic uncertainty that brings, you might think the recruitment market would have ground to a standstill. But the exact opposite is happening.

Direct hiring versus agencies – what is right for your business?

Current Jobs Market VRWe all know that businesses can recruit for themselves, now more than ever the spotlight is on budgets and ensuring that when recruiting, each new member of your team is adding value to your Company and ultimately the bottom line. The candidate pool is currently larger than ever and although that may sound like a benefit, it does mean that unfortunately, the best talent may not be the ones applying for your role.

Now, most agencies will provide you with a list of why to use an agency over direct hiring, a list of features on time-saving, cost-saving, efficiencies and speed. Yes, they are important, and it’s true that at Vanilla we have a database with over 15,000 candidates on it and have access to the leading job boards, but this alone is NOT enough. Very few agencies share with you the true benefits and many of them do not highlight the hidden work that goes into the process that really makes a great recruitment company (like ours) stand out, not only from direct hiring but also compared against many other agencies.

Read the full article I’ve written in our recent blog by clicking here.

Full 2020 Recruitment Report

I am currently compiling a full report on the impact of COVID-19 on the recruitment market which will cover salaries, productivity, vacancy numbers, attitudes to the workplace and how leadership has to change. I’m hoping that it will be really useful information for most of you, so if you would like a copy of the report, which will be available in January 2021 please send me an email at [email protected]

Brexit and Jobs – The future of the UK jobs market after leaving the EU

After Brexit, EU nationals wishing to start work in the UK will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain (ETLTR), and applications from 2021 will be approved based on a skills-based immigration system.

The government Brexit immigration document states this will be based on ‘a single system that welcomes talent, hard work, and the skills we need as a country’.

This will make it harder for EU nationals to get jobs in the UK based on more stringent immigration criteria.

EU workers will likely have to pay increased fees to work in the UK, potentially costing them over £1,000, making the UK job market after Brexit less appealing for EU workers.

This also affects employers. 50% of business leaders in a survey said they would be put off employing someone from the EU after immigration laws change.

And this has already had an effect, as according to the CIPD, one in ten businesses say the number of EU nationals they’ve recruited since the Brexit vote has decreased.

EU workers already in the UK will need to apply to the EU settlement scheme, but will likely be unaffected when it comes to Brexit and jobs.

Next Live Webinar

Our next Webinar is live and available to book. Employment Law Update 2020 with Keeley Baigent of KsabLAW. Time to catch up on this years’ notable legislative developments and case law decisions that may have been missed while juggling the implications of COVID-19 – covering the areas of contract, vicarious liability, unfair dismissal and discrimination. You may even want to listen with a mince pie!

It’s happening virtually on Wednesday 9th December at 2pm until 3pm.

Join the HRHuddle and BGC groups

The HR Huddle Facebook group is for HR professionals, and the Business Growth Community group is for Business Owners / Leaders and Directors who want to be part of a trusted, private peer to peer learning, support and thought leadership network. By being part of either group you will have access to like-minded business professionals, thought leaders and people looking to grow their organisations. You will also have access to specialists in employment law, HR, marketing, sales and finance.

The groups are used to regularly share useful content and industry news and is a great forum for sharing ideas and best practice.

Join the HRHuddle Facebook group at

Join the Business Growth Community Facebook group at


It really is officially the run-up to Christmas. Mariah Carey is on the radio, Michael Buble is out of his cave, and we’ve already eaten more mince pies than we thought possible!

To help you through this time I’ve compiled a couple of helpful and informative blog posts from Vanilla all to do with Christmas. So grab another mince pie and take a few minutes out of your day to read the following:

How to keep your staff happy over the Christmas holidays –

Top 7 ways employers can help staff stay motivated at Christmas –

It’s always best to get ahead of the game and start planning early, but even if like every Christmas some things are left until the last minute then make sure to get in touch with us to chat. We will gladly look at your Christmas wish list and figure out some plans to help you with all your recruitment needs. Call Jodie on 01858 898058 or email [email protected]

That’s it for another month (and year)!

I wish you all a healthy and safe December and I hope you manage to get some downtime and special time with your families after this crazy year. Remember, if we can support you in any way please let us know. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and stay safe everyone.

I’ll be back in touch in 2021!


Bye bye 2020!

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We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our five specialisms – SalesMarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office