Online recruitment falls but demand for HR jobs holds steady

Online recruitment dipped across most sectors last month but demand for HR jobs remained the same, new data has revealed.

The Monster Employment Index – a monthly analysis of job opportunities collated from jobs boards and corporate career sites – saw a fall in the number of job vacancies advertised online by five points to a reading of 121 in April.

However, the index, where 100 is the baseline, found that online recruitment remained steady in HR at 78 – the same reading as March – and HR continues to lead all sectors in annual terms.

Most industries experienced a decline in online recruitment activity, but research and development and healthcare/social work managed to buck the trend by registering increases of four and 10 points, bringing their respective readings to 109 and 345.

Worryingly, hospitality and tourism registered no change month-on-month, yet rises in online job opportunities in the sector are typically seen at this time of year as employers boost staff levels to prepare for busier spring and summer months.

Other consumer-driven sectors including arts, entertainment, sports and leisure and sales declined, but demand was still substantially higher than in April 2009, the index showed.

Julian Acquari, managing director at Monster UK and Ireland, cautioned that the state of economic recovery in the UK remained fragile, but added that conditions across the country and across sectors were not “uniform”.

He said: “Unemployment actually fell in London more than in any other region during the three months up to February, and we are seeing online recruitment in London trend relatively favourably.

“Elsewhere, retail sales were seen increasing from [last year’s] levels in April, something that is set to continue throughout May, likely driving hiring trends in the sales sector.”

The results come after the monthly Report on Jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and professional services firm KPMG. It found that permanent staff appointments in April remained strong, despite easing on the previous month, where they grew at their fastest rate in nearly 13 years.

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