Is it time for jobbing Umbrella Company Employees to start getting a bit more bullish about pay rates? According to new research from the recruitment firm Randstad, it most certainly is.

Randstad surveyed 7,000 working adults and found that pay and benefits, for the first time in three years, have overtaken job security as the primary concern; job security has slipped back to third place in the list of priorities. The change appears to reflect improvements in the UK jobs market.

Last year, 27% of respondents voted job security into top place as their leading concern; however, in 2013, this number has fallen to 16%. Meanwhile, while only 11% of the sample considered competitive pay rates and benefits to be their number one concern in 2102, the figure this year has surged to 18%.

Randstad’s UK CEO Mark Bull said: “2012 was a tough year for the job market with confidence falling even further than in 2011. That was reflected in people’s priorities – salary packages weren’t as important to potential employees as the financial health of a business. Over the course of the last 12 months, that’s changed dramatically and the UK’s workforce appears much more bullish. In 2011 and 2012 the number one priority for people was job security – now it’s salaries and benefits.”

He went on to say that employers will need to work harder this year to attract candidates who are noticeably less moderate about their pay expectations than they have been for years. This is a development that looks set to intensify as the skills shortage gets exacerbated by the UK’s restrictive immigration policy.

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