Umbrella Company Employees and other pros with the most sought-after skills are being snapped up for new contracting and permanent opportunities as hirers face a bidding war for an emerging skills shortage.

This is one of the implications of recent comments by ARC chairman Adrian Marlowe and new research by recruitment software provider Bullhorn, which sampled the views of 195 recruitment professionals for its 2014 UK Recruitment Trends Report.

Mr Marlowe said that recruitment agencies were experiencing increased demand for placements as the economy continues on its upward trajectory; however, despite the apparent availability of new job opportunities and the candidates to fill them, he warned that “this does not mean it is all plain sailing for hirers”.

Mr Marlowe continued: “Our enquiries have established that there is serious competition for the best candidates, and hirers who delay in making a decision to employ could lose out if they delay too long. Candidates do not simply target one hirer for employment, and the best ones are being snapped up. Employers should therefore be encouraged to act swiftly.”

Conceding that online jobs boards and social media have opened new routes to employment, Mr Marlowe insisted that candidates and hirers alike benefit more from experienced recruitment consultancies. These are better equipped to cut delays and select the right candidate by delivering a more secure, personalised and rapid route to placement.

Mr Marlowe’s warning coincides with the latest research from Bullhorn, which reveals that 79% of the recruitment professionals polled – down very slightly from last year’s 81% – cited a lack of quality candidates with the requisite skills as their greatest challenge to making placements.

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