That’s according to the latest monthly Recruitment Trends Snapshot report from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo). The data, provided by growth analytics platform cube19, tracks monthly hiring activity. Live permanent roles were down by almost 20% compared to February and contract vacancies were down almost 12%. Year on year the figures were 12% and 5% Respectively.
Daily tracking shows extent of dip
However, this latest report has also tracked daily hiring activity throughout the month of March. This showed new permanent job vacancies in the last week of March were down by around 50% compared with the same week last year while contract vacancies were down by around 40%.
In the last week of March, interviews were down by just over 50% compared with the same week last year, which given the work from home and social distancing measures put in place, is a sign that hiring managers are utilising technology to ensure that some interviews can still take place.
Hiring down but not out
John Gaughan, Managing Director of Finlay James, a technology recruitment firm which is a member of APSCo says that he has had “a number of clients make offers that have been accepted with April start dates and remote on boarding – these include SaaS tech sales roles and technology leadership positions. “
Commenting on the data, Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo comments:
“While many firms have slowed down hiring, they have not yet pressed stop and we are hearing from members that although this is undoubtedly a really tough period, there is definitely hiring still going on. There are obvious sectors such as life sciences, technology, healthcare and logistics registering live roles but also our members have reported activity in areas such as finance, HR and digital marketing.
Tracking of live roles throughout March for APSCo by business intelligence provider Vacancysoft has also has also showed that 35% of all live roles during the month were for IT professionals followed by marketing at 11%.
Joe McGuire, Director at cube19 comments
“Given the circumstances one would be forgiven for feeling like the market had almost come to a standstill. Far from it, there is still reasonable business being written in the recruitment industry. Whilst certain sectors have been hit much harder than others, it’s noticeable that perm jobs have been significantly more affected than contract with the year on year comparisons showing a decline of 12% and 5% respectively. The daily leading indicators – jobs & interviews – would indicate a tough month ahead although many recruitment businesses are showing great agility by refocusing attention into complementary industries that aren’t as impacted. The jobs added statistic as we move through April is going to be the one to watch.”