The latest UK Job Market Report from reveals that advertised salaries climbed in November to reach the highest year-on-year increase since the 2008 downturn; however, a shortage of permanent candidates is likely to make recruitment a real challenge in 2015.

Advertised starting salaries in November 2013 averaged £32,651; one year on, they’ve climbed to £34,549 on average, a rise of 5.8%. In contrast, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) grew by just 1%, falling slightly from 1.3% in October. As salaries hit a post-recession high, candidate availability hit a post-recession low: in November 2014, the number of candidates per vacancy fell by 0.89, the lowest since the 2008 downturn.

The latter figure confirms findings in the latest JobsOutlook survey from the REC, which found that although 93% of the UK businesses polled had little or no spare capacity with existing staffing levels and many were planning to hire, they face increasing difficulty in recruiting candidates as applicants dwindle in number.

Noting that seasonal work had contributed to the surge in advertised vacancies in November, Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter said: “Some uptick in advertised vacancies during the lead-up to the festive period was expected; however, seasonal labour does not account for year-on-year record annual growth in average advertised salaries.”

Read against the REC JobsOutlook survey, the figures on permanent candidate availability suggest that hirers will continue to turn to Umbrella Company employees and other flexible professionals from the UK’s contracting community to help them to respond rapidly to fluctuating business demand and to complete business-critical projects.

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