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Data prepared for the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and business advisers KPMG revealed that “Permanent candidate availability in the UK worsened further in January” whilst “Skill shortages continued to place upward pressures on permanent pay.”

The newly published analysis, Report on Jobs: North, is part of an ongoing series produced by financial information services experts, Markit and based on survey responses from recruitment and employment consultancies.  It has found salaries across the UK have risen for the thirty-second month whilst candidate shortages in the North spanned a broad range of sectors.

Those where permanent staff skills were found to be in short supply included accountants, engineers, HR, marketing and sales executives, Java and other IT developers, as well as blue collar contractors. A sharp drop in the rate of people seeking permanent roles was also recorded.

Competition for talent hotting up

The overall picture suggests that HR professionals, business owners and managers in many sectors could find competition for available talent further hotting up. The need to gain an edge in the recruitment market may be seen as a commercial imperative.

One way to make your business stand out is to offer an employee benefits package, an added-value enticement that also demonstrates that you value and look after your staff. These can be highly cost effective, the “bulk buy” nature of group risk schemes yielding impressively affordable per capita premiums. That in turn means the perceived value can be much higher than actual cost.

Employee benefit packages can also be highly flexible, offered universally, tiered according to experience or seniority, or targeted at key persons. They can embrace one or a combination of enticements, such as company medical insurance, group income protection, company dental insurance, group critical illness cover, health cash plans and group life insurance.

As well as making you more attractive as an employer and helping you reward staff, employee benefits can also be used as an absence management tool. For example, many company health insurance schemes include access to expert wellbeing advice and programmes, whilst swift access to diagnostic services and treatments can help speed the return to work of those who suffer injury or illness.

If you would like to discuss introducing a bespoke employee benefits package to your business, or updating an existing scheme, please call our group risk specialists on 01254 504910.