Top Recruitment Sectors for growth in 2015

So here we are nearly two years after I wrote Top 5 Recruitment Sectors to be in for next 5-10 years and unemployment was still rising across most of Europe and the UK economy flat-lining how things have changed for us.

Today the Eurozone is stagnating but the UK has enjoyed a solid eighteen months of growth.

Top 5 Sectors for the Next 5-10 Years Update

My views on the Top 5 Recruitment Sectors for the next 5-10 years remain unchanged and there is increasing evidence to reaffirm that these sectors remain the ones that will see the fastest grow:

  • Information Technology
  • Engineering
  • Energy, Oil and Gas
  • Healthcare
  • Emerging Technology application

Information Technology continues unabated and this year our blog: The Top 5 IT skills right now! highlighted the key growth areas. Engineering is now also recognised as a key grow area for the UK economy.

Energy demand has abated somewhat since 2013 mainly, due to a slow down in global growth, but this sector remains a volatile sector highly dependent on the oil price. Currently there is a lull but is anyone willing to bet on it staying this low across the medium to long term. So watch this space. What we are witnessing in this sector is a switch to renewables and this is a key growth sector for agencies here.

Finally emerging technology application is starting to impact all sectors and with the talk of 5G Mobile networks allowing people to download 10 HD movies in 10 seconds being launched in the next five years the grow in Hi-Tec applications is set to explode. Only this week the UK Government have given the go ahead for driver-less –cars in five cities across Britain. So watch this space.

Top 5 Sectors for 2015

So what about 2015, will they be all the same?

No 5 – Information Technology

Certainly I see no reduction in demand for Information Technology. In the past month as part of a Managing Client Meetings coaching day we visited an IT Software Development company in South Wales. The business is part of global network of development centres from the US, Switzerland, India and the UK. It was interesting and heartening to hear that the UK remains extremely competitive and what may surprise many is that the differential in development costs between the UK and India is non-existent. In fact when all things are considered the UK is the most cost-effective place for software development certainly for this client. This is not untypical and with IT still attracting large numbers of graduates, the future for the industry looks healthy but not without issues.

The continued drive towards mobilisation of business via smartphones and tablets, the push for businesses to harness the benefits of ‘big-data’ the continue trend to placing everything in the cloud and the drive for virtualization are making skills in all these skill-sets hard, if not impossible, to source in most regions.

Demand for 2015 looks strong.

No 4 – Marketing and Sales

With businesses looking to expand market share, drive into new sectors or leverage the explosion of niche digital markets, 2015 looks to be the year high calibre sales and marketing professionals totally disappear. In the IT services, digital marketing and recruitment spaces my clients inform me that this is already the situation. Rec-2-Rec companies have struggled for a while to find real hard hitters who can deliver good consistent billings. Only Recruitment businesses, which operate with autocratic management regimes seem unable to hold on to their top billers. The abundance of recruitment sectors, which are now experiencing good growth means even average billers are now earning healthy incomes and not to wish to move.

So MD’s if you are losing staff take a look at yourselves first! Your issues may be closer to home than you think.

In sectors as diverse as construction, digital marketing, IT services and capital equipment top billers are not looking to move and businesses are increasingly turning to the ‘grow-your-own’ strategy. At Recruitment Training Group and Selling Success we are experiencing a 300% increase in the clients engaging us to design, build and deliver Graduate/New Sales Training Academies. Even if you don’t use ourselves this is a must for businesses seeking to deliver sustained sales growth over the next 2-3 years. Call us if you want to chat (07552 555858).

No 3 Construction

The phenomenal growth this sector has seen over the last eighteen months means its hardly surprising that we are seeing a slight decline in its progression. Like Information Technology I see this as a healthy sector to be in during 2015 as the demand for new houses continues unabated.

This year has seen huge shortages develop as reported by David Noble of Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, “An encouraging 15 months of sustained employment growth – the longest since 2006-2008 – is revealing a major skills shortage in the sector.”

Irrespective of who wins next years general election there is a massive shortfall in the level of houses we are building currently compared to the demand. The shortfall is currently projected to be 40-50,000 completed dwellings in 2015 with an overall construction sector projected growth rate of 5.3%. With several key capital projects announced recently by the government and the investment being made in roads the sector looks set for a period of sustained growth.

No 2 Financial Services

Whatever your views on bankers and financiers and lets face it we all have pretty strong ones; a vibrant financial services sector is key to sustained growth for the UK economy.

Last month a study released by the CBI and PwC indicated that the finance sector had returned to pre-recession levels. As reported in the Financial Times in October 2014, Kevin Burrowes, UK financial services leader at PwC, highlighted an rising focus on new products and services and ‘technology-enabled growth’.

2015 has seen the return to healthier profit of many of our financial institutions. Our banks have performed well in recent years and they were noticeably absent from the European Banking Authority s list of failing banks recently.

Recruitment companies in the financial services sector are all talking big numbers for 2015 and I believe there is renewed optimism in this sector.

Sectors Worth Mentioning

Of all the sectors not mentioned here the one that could make a real surge in 2015 and upset this prediction is Healthcare. The shortages in this sector are well headlined. Doctors, Nurses and ancillary staff are all in short supply. Overall spending in this sector is either the same or growing not just within the NHS but private sector too. The demand for health workers with frontline skills remains high and once again we have insufficient numbers of people training to be doctors, nurses and clinicians entering the workplace.

In fact all the talk is for more support needed for the Care Sector alone. There is one factor which could change all this and that is government spending. The current provision of care by the NHS and local authorities is failing and the costs are spiralling. This is an issue that the next government will need to address over the next 2-3 years for the sector to remain viable. My contacts within the Dept. of Health and NHS England all tell me a big change is coming irrespective of which party comes into government after next May. My reason for omitting it from the 2015 Top 5 is that I see the changes will come too late to have an impact in recruitment sector for 2015 but expect to be discussing this again next year when we look forward to 2016.

No 1 Engineering

The sector I see most likely to grow the fastest in 2015 is engineering. The estimated annual shortfall of engineering skills in the UK is currently running at over 81,000 people. In addition according to recent studies those of us over the age of 50, who will be looking to retire in the next 10-20 years represent 20% of the UK workforce so this problem is only going to get worse.

A recent study by the Institution of Engineering and technology discovered organisations employing engineering skills reported:

  • Six out of 10 engineering employers fear that a growing shortage of engineers will threaten their business in the UK, research has found.
  • 76 per cent of employers reported problems with recruiting senior engineers with five to 10 years’ experience
  • 43 per cent of employers were not taking any specific action to improve workplace diversity
  • It’s estimated that the UK requires 87,000 engineers every year for the next 10 years to meet projected demand.

Only last month the entrepreneur and industrialist Sir James Dyson also highlighted the skills gap in this sector and all the data around future demand.

The CBI has also reported that STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – skills shortages are widespread, with 43 per cent of employers currently having difficulty recruiting staff. That rises to 52 per cent of employers expecting difficulty in the next three years.

The Royal Academy of Engineering has also published a study saying Britain’s industry will need 100,000 new graduates in STEM subjects and a further 60,000 technicians and apprentices every year until 2020, merely to maintain current employment numbers. At present Britain produces only 12,000 engineering graduates a year. The UK also has the lowest number of female engineers in the whole of Europe at 6% of the workforce.

The evidence is overwhelming and when you get into the detail the demand is increasing too. By way of an example the Institution for Engineering and Technology indicated that 41% of the firms they surveyed planned to recruit in 2015 up 5% on the previous year.

With recent figures showing that the UK manufacturing sector is growing at its fastest rate for many years the demand shows now signs of abating just yet.

Governments Failing

Whilst I am pleased to see the opportunities for our clients to grow their businesses and delighted by the many thousands of views my annual blog receives on this topic every year, I can’t help fearing that our government is failing both our young people and us.

I am not in favour of a ‘centrally-controlled’ UK economy where the places are controlled but surely the existing system is neither working for students, parents or employers. There appears no correlation between the number of university places to study a subject and the projected number of individuals we as an economy require.

Surely we need to run more ‘STEM’ type degrees and fewer ‘Media Studies’, ‘Film Studies’, ‘Sports Science’ degree places. I am not saying that these degrees are worthless because they are not. It is just that UK Plc requires fewer of them than we are producing graduates in.

I have two children studying degrees and this has been a key discussion for us as a family. What I have told them is it is ultimately their decision, but it is a £50,000 decision so think carefully.

So parents if you are interested to know here is 2014’s Top 20 Degrees most likely to leave you on jobseekers!.

If this topic resonates with you then please leave a comment and share it with your connections and friends via Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook.

We would like to take this opportunity of wishing you a happy, successful and prosperous 2015.

Top 5 Recruitment Sectors to be in for next 5-10 years

Top 5 Recruitment Sectors to be in for next 5-10 years

With unemployment typically running at 8-11% across the developed economies of the world it seems bizarre to be talking about skills shortages but that is the reality of the world today.

In last weeks blog ‘Can we win the Global Talent War’ I mentioned the five:

  • Information Technology
  • Engineering
  • Energy, Oil and Gas
  • Healthcare
  • Emerging Technology application

This week I go into detail about why these sectors are the ones to be in.

Information Technology

At CeBIT in Hannover Germany last week, Neelie Kroes told delegate’s that the EUs competitiveness is under threat unless we can fill the gap in the regions IT Skills Shortages. The EU have launched a ‘grand coalition’ to address the regions issues.cebit

 

In addition in last weeks article on the CeBIT event the BBC reported:

The (EU) commission’s own figures suggested that there will be 900,000 vacancies for IT-related roles by 2015. There are currently about 26 million people unemployed across Europe. The number of “digital jobs” – jobs based around IT – is growing by about 100,000 every year, yet the number of skilled IT graduates is failing to keep pace.

IT is the fashion industry of business. Whilst financial practices change slowly and evolve at a gentle pace rather than being abolished, IT in business is obsolete inside five years and the people who design, build and maintain our complex IT architecture find their skills similarly redundant too.

In my 24 years in IT recruitment I was asked many times ‘how should I guarantee my employment? For many years I have responded in the same way, as there is no company that can guarantee continuous employment for all its employees forever.

‘If you wish to remain in employment you must take ownership of your own career and ensure you remain current with all the latest technologies in your core sector.’

IT is constantly changing and consequently it renews itself every 5-10 years.

Likewise so do its workers if they wish to remain employed.

As a result of these shortages many of my agency clients, despite the recession, see an increasing need for their services and all have growing sales lines. I see no end to this for the foreseeable future unless the need by business to adopt the latest technology diminishes radically.

Engineering

Last year a study Jobs and growth: the importance of engineering skills to the economy by the Royal Academy of Engineering found that British industry needs 100,000 new graduates in Science, technology, engineering and mathematics until 2020. In total that’s 830,000 professionals and 450,000 technicians.

They found nuclear new build and automotive manufacture as key areas and are predicting a 15% premium compared to UK averages salaries. Those that follow my ‘Greenshoots’ Newsfeeds and tweets will know that automotive has been a key growth area with Nissan, Land Rover Jaguar, BMW and many others all announcing a growth in jobs. With the HS2 Project due to kick off too, this will create further growth in this sector.

In January Sir James Dyson, the inventor, warned of a deficit of 60,000 engineering graduates this year and argued: “The government must do more to attract the brightest and best into engineering and science so that we can compete internationally. “Twenty-six per cent of engineering graduates do not go into engineering or technical professions,” he told the Radio Times. “More worrying is that 85 per cent of all engineering and science postgraduates in our universities come from outside the UK. Yet nine in 10 leave the UK after they finish their studies.”

Clearly all these reports on the engineering sector are collectively projecting skills gaps well into the 2020’s. This too is a key area to grow in.

Energy, Oil & Gas

In a way Energy, Oil & Gas are a subset of Engineering but need to be considered a sector in their own right. The global economy is demanding increased energy production and this drive is forcing greater and greater demand for the engineers to source, design and build the oil, gas and energy extraction and generating complexes. Besides traditional sectors of oil and gas exploration and production, the quest for renewables seems to be gathering a pace here in the UK.

To put the scale of this into context the Lloyds Banking group recently found that oil and gas firms could create up to 34,000 jobs over the next two years. Stuart

While, area director of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking north of Scotland, said “The 100 companies we surveyed have committed to creating 5,000 jobs, which, if replicated across the industry, would see tens of thousands of jobs created over the next two years.”

Again if you track my ‘Greenshoots – 1000 new jobs created in North Sea’ news feeds in recent weeks you will see them all littered with Oil, Gas and renewable energy projects that have been announced. Only last week Aker Solutions announced a new contract from BP which will see 500 additional jobs on top of the company’s 1,500 already announced here in the UK.

Healthcare

NHS NursesThe drivers behind the demand for healthcare professionals is our globally aging population which poses considerable threat to the world economy over the next 20 to 50 years.

 

As we reported in this weeks March Greenshoots the Nottingham office of Home Instead Senior Care found this week care is not an attractive profession for many and they have been struggling to recruit 40 care workers company. Nevertheless the demand for skills in this sector is set to boom and there appears no end in sight.

The only issue is can we attract the people to work in this highly demanding sector.

 

Emerging Technology Applications

 

As technology advances the application of this to every business is going to create and generate new jobs and skills for which there is a very small supply base.

It is debateable whether these will be IT or engineering jobs. Certainly there will be many in these sectors but technology and mobile technology particularly is starting to pervade the whole of our lives from in-car systems, to domestic climate control systems to intelligent hi-fi to the whole tablet, smartphone industry, which now enables retailers, suppliers and businesses generally to create totally new ways of delivering services to us.

telehealth-remote-kit-btFrom Tele-health that enables patients to be treated for many illnesses at home to iPhone apps that enable us to purchase things on the move, business is changing and the skills and people required to keep businesses ahead of their competitors are going to be highly sort after.

 

Only recently a Computerworld survey indicated that 60% of IT executives plan to hire app developers in 2013.

I’m sure other vibrant sectors will materialise as we emerge out of our worldwide recession and the skills shortages discussed in my blog Third World War begins Now – Recruitment Agencies Mercenaries or Allies? start to bite.

It defies logic that with Europe facing a skill shortage of 23 million by 2020 and China and incredible 140m by 2030, recruitment agencies will not have a key role to play.

Graduates

If you have children considering university then clearly these are the sectors to go for but Graduates in Cap and Gownwith the average student debt tipped to reach £50,000 by 2015 when the new student fees hit, you can understand why fresh graduates will look globally rather than in the UK when seeking careers.

Personally I remain convinced that UK Plc. does not have this policy right so watch this space.

 

 

 

 

Can You win the Global Talent War

 

 

If you read my blog ‘Third World War begins Now – Recruitment Agencies Mercenaries or Allies?’ then you will know that over the next 5-15 years the world is a facing seismic escalation in the ‘War-on-Talent’. The 140 million shortfall in skilled workers that China alone will face by 2030 is testament to the scale of the issue.

 

So what do we do, sit and wait till it happens?

 

I hope not.

 

Retirement – There are a few home truths we are all going to have to accept and one in the UK is, in a society where we are living longer we cannot expect the younger generations to pay for our retirement. Consequently we will all need to work longer.

 

In 1946 when the NHS came into being in the UK the life expectancy of a man was 67 and the retirement age 65. Today the age at which people can draw their pension is only now rising from 65 to 70 but life expectancy is now into the eighties with the most common age of death for a man to be 85 and a woman 89. Ah but I hear you say ‘I have paid National Insurance all my life, I have paid for my retirement.’

 

Actually that’s not true. The reality is we have paid for our parent’s retirement. The reality is our children are responsible for paying for ours and sadly there are not as many of our children as there are of us.

 

For this reason I personally am expecting to be undertaking some form of employment into my early 70s. The difference being I do not expect to be doing a 37-hour week. That said my life expectancy is likely to be into my 90s given the rate at which it is growing.

 

The trend is happening now. Last year Saga Group published a quarterly report in Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 18.11.27December that indicated that the number of over 65s in employment had risen by 124,000 in the past year. It would appear I’m not alone.

 

The nature of employment is going to change and society and we need to become more flexible.

 

Unemployment – In many societies globally this is a cancer that is consuming our youth and one we in the UK need desperately to look at. There are jobs in our economies, which need doing, but for some reason the supply side of the economy is not producing the skills we need.  To a degree this is a task for governments and the education community to take the lead on with support and input from employers. Dialogs take place but what we need is action.

 

We are already being told the skills gaps today exist in:

 

  • Information Technology
  • Engineering
  • Oil and Gas
  • Healthcare
  • Emerging Technology application

 

All the reports indicate these gaps are widening in the short to medium term and no one seems to be offering a remedy for them.

 

We need to see greater incentives for students to pursue careers in these disciplines rather and other careers for which the demands do not exist. Its sad but ‘market-forces’ may take 3-4 years to start to impact students university trends but I’m sure as a reader you have your views on this and I’d be delighted to hear them

 

There is another change that is taking place too.

 

New Employment Structures – In November last year McKinsey published an article in theirScreen Shot 2013-03-13 at 18.09.35 quarterly review entitled ‘Preparing for a new era of work.’ The article offers a range of solutions and is a must read for all HR and Recruitment professionals.

 

Like my blog last week, it identifies the emerging skill shortages and the changing demographics as a major issue, which they believe, will force employers to look at ways of using their highly paid skilled professionals more effectively.

 

They highlight the trend over the past 30 years of where ‘transaction-based jobs’ that could be standardized or scripted have been automated or shifted to low paid workers. Now they highlight the ‘knowledge worker jobs’ such as managers, sales reps, engineers, lawyers, managers, teachers and doctors which they label ‘interaction jobs’ as being the major growth area and vital for companies and countries a like.

 

These ‘interaction jobs’ already accounts for a very high proportion of jobs in society, roughly a third in developed economies and a quarter in developing ones.

 

Due to skill shortages, which are already affecting these jobs, employers are looking at the ‘interaction work’ within their organisations and considering ways this work is undertaken.

 

McKinsey’s highlight three ways organisations may respond.

 

  • Break jobs Down
  • Go Virtual
  • Make work more flexible

 

In the first situation we can already see this happening. In the NHS the role of Consultants and Doctors are being broken down and elements that can be are being delegated to Nurses or new functions. For example, today Phlebotomists exist in most modern health centres. Twenty to thirty years ago it would have been the doctor who undertook this work.

 

As recruiters we can expect new roles to emerge and organization structures to evolve to reflect these changes. We will also need to be flexible in our responses as it is essential that we support our clients on this journey by helping them identify and source people for these new roles and use our skills and expertise to source applicants with the right competencies.

 

In many cases direct like for like replacements may not exist. We will need to think outside the box and become creative with our solutions. The opportunity for us to partner with clients on this journey will be there. As recruiters we must demonstrate we have the knowledge to support our clients if we wish to fulfill the role of partner rather than a mere commodity supplier.

 

Going virtual is already happening and with the advance of hi-speed broadband home working will become the norm for many. In the US estimates are that 25% of all jobs could be performed remotely. This has implications for ‘where we live’ and ‘what jobs we can apply for’.

 

Living in Cornwall and working for a city firm starts to become possible. The Millennial generation (Gen-Y) will demand this approach and employers will react if they wish to secure the best talent and we as recruiters need to ‘get with it’!

 

Finally making work more flexible will happen. As the McKinsey report says

 

By breaking some jobs into components and using technology to virtualize others, employers can engage labor far more efficiently. Some companies are already exploring a spectrum of mix-and-match work arrangements: traditional full-time workers in the office, part-time or temporary workers, and contingent, remote workers who can help meet spikes in demand. Companies that optimize such configurations and manage them effectively can begin engaging talent as needed, thereby lowering overhead costs and improving response times. The key to this talent-on-demand model is the availability of workers with specialized skills who are willing to work on a contingent basis.’

 

So you see as we approach retirement and seek reduced hours our ability to support organisations ‘flexible models’ becomes possible. Whether its two or three day working, eight to ten week project work, as we all move towards our old age we still have a significant part to contribute.

 

My sense is employers who adapt and optimize these models will be the ones who survive. Those that cling to outdated rigid operating models will die.

 

The question for HR and Recruitment Agencies alike however  remains

 

‘Is failure an option?’

 

Feel free to comment or tweet your responses.