2024 Consilium Salary Guides - now available!

2024 Consilium Salary Guides – now available! 

Much anticipated, the annual Salary Guides compiled by Consilium Recruit are now available and free to all employers and jobseekers alike! 

Among the most comprehensive available and providing the up to date guidance on recruitment trends coupled with latest salary and benefit awards, our guides covering four separate market sectors and available to order free if you follow this link ( https://www.consiliumrecruit.com/consilium-salary-guides)

Market Overview

2024 is set to remain uncertain in terms of business planning for UK organisations and particularly in view of the upcoming general election scheduled for the second half of the year, widely tipped to usher in a new Government!

What this means for business is largely unknown with the main political parties (at time of writing) only just starting to mobilise with their campaigning strategies, although inflation does appear to be now falling with interest rates also set to follow which should provide some respite for hard-pressed companies making investment decisions and planning for the future.

Beyond the UK, international conflict is predicted to escalate rather than subside this year coupled with government elections in several major industrial economies (USA and France for starters).  This  added to a multitude of economic headwinds and trading conditions that are set to make 2024 one of the most challenging for companies both in the UK and overseas to navigate for some time.

From a recruitment and human capital perspective, skill-shortages, particularly within the Manufacturing & Engineering arena will continue to be a problem.  With unemployment remaining historically low at around 4.2% coupled with regulatory confusion surrounding immigration rules for skilled workers, it is not expected to improve any time soon.

What we are witnessing is a continuation of the battle for talent between competing employers with resulting upward pressure on Comp & Bens demands.  This is often combined with enhanced welfare benefits including an acceptance of increasingly agile working arrangements as organisations seek to gain competitive advantage over rival employers.

What is certain is that the world of work post-Covid continues to change rapidly with old practices being replaced by new priorities.  So, what does this mean for the jobs market and the expected trends that employers should seek to understand and embrace to get ahead in the race for talent:

Employer Branding

With candidates often having a choice of options then Employer branding is more important than ever to attract the talent that is available.  Branding may be a catch-all term but importantly includes a company’s reputation as well as its mission, purpose and culture.  This means that employers must become an attractive proposition to join with the more information job seekers have about a company, then the more likely they are to have a positive impression and pursue the opportunity. This is viewed as an obvious way in which to build trust via brutally transparent and honest communication.

Hence, a strong and consistent employer brand can have a hugely positive influence on a company and its ability to hire and ultimately retain skilled staff.  Accordingly, many organisations are increasingly devising creative recruitment strategies and employer brand communications to showcase the organisation in the best light.

Of course, it goes without saying that companies that follow a timely, efficient, and even agile recruitment process will tend to prosper over firms that are too regimented and even cumbersome in their approach.

Pay Transparency

Pay transparency is on the rise and gaining traction in the field of recruitment, partially thanks to legislative pushes like the Pay Transparency Directive by the European Parliament.  Under this (adopted in April 2023), EU companies are required to share information on salaries and take action if the gender pay gap at their company is larger than 5%.

This clearly affects larger organisations with a European footprint who now have to inform job seekers either about the starting salary for a position or provide a pay range - shared either in the job ad or ahead of the job interview.

Although companies will have up to three years to implement the required changes, this is a topic expected to be high on the agenda of Recruiters and HR professionals in 2024.

Already, existing employees and even applicants are more bullish then ever when it comes to pay transparency so can expect to be supported by this legislation along with similar initiatives worldwide.   

This trend will likely influence the hiring process for larger organisations, making job talks more open and pushing companies to share details of the pay they’re offering.  This will allow applicants to make better-informed choices which in turn may impact their candidate experience.

In short, this initiative isn’t just about following the rules but about creating a job market that’s deemed fair and equal for everyone which in turn earns the trust of the existing as well as future workforce.

Rise of AI and Automation

The advance of AI in all of our lives cannot be ignored having already taken a hold within the digital world with numerous advances across so many industry applications with automation particularly being a key feature of so many advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors already.

Accordingly, there are five main areas where AI is already having a significant impact in industry.

Predictive Maintenance - By taking historic data from maintenance logs, predictions of how a machine will behave under a future payload can reduce downtime significantly.

Predictive Quality - Predicting and reducing failures can yield significant cost savings.

Scrap Reduction – Use of metrics to predict behaviour across product specifications to minimise scrap and maximize product quality.

Increasing Yield - Predicting if and when a machine or process will fail to meet given specifications.

Demand & Inventory Forecasting – the ability to forecast the demand and movement of critical parts, thus resulting in significant inventory savings.

From a recruitment perspective, AI applications have existed for some time and continue to evolve in helping to automate aspects of the selection process.  But there is no seismic shift as predicted for the past decade as ultimately will never be able to replace that human element and importance of engagement required to form and derive the best outcomes from working relationships.

Recruitment as a process will always be labour and time intensive meaning AI and Automation will continue to play a role but not replace the personal and value-added elements that can be the difference between success in attracting the very best talent for employers.

Hybrid is the new normal

Despite a wide range of working models trialled by employers following the pandemic, ranging from fully remote through to a dedicated on-site presence, the ‘hybrid model consisting of typically 3 days in the workplace appears to be most aped model for organisations able to adapt.        

For certain roles within manufacturing organisations this is limited due to the nature of the work or security arrangements, but for others, a shift towards remote, hybrid or flexible working is firmly established and very much sought after by a large portion or job seekers.

However, 2024 is expected to witness the start of a shift from a candidate-driven market to an employer-driven market.  This is despite continuation of the skills-shortage affecting large swathes of Manufacturing & Engineering.  It is expected to become less severe with a settling of demand across these sectors in line with more subdued market conditions.    

Widespread labour shortages meant that employers had to accept that candidates were driving the market and were able to ask for more including remuneration as well as improved working conditions.  It may be that employer’s expectations over flexible working may begin to tighten now as displayed by the Great Return revolution as some employers attempt to shift back towards to pre-Covid working patterns.  Our belief is that where possible, the hybrid model is very much here to stay after being adopted by the majority of employers.

Transformation of Recruiters into business leaders

A trend that is already underway within more specialist fields.  Recruiters are no longer just sourcing and placing talent but instead are functioning more readily as strategic partners with a deep understanding of the broader business landscape while providing a valuable insight into market dynamics, competitive positioning, and industry-specific challenges.

This is the added value support that can be derived from working with a credible and specialist recruitment consultancy like Consilium Recruit and so able to interpret data to predict talent trends, provide advice on workforce planning, provide specific salary & benefit comparisons, plus contribute to a businesses’ overall growth strategy.

Fortunately, smart businesses are working harder than ever to ensure talent is attracted and developed by taking into consideration market forces as well as the quality of retention strategies that their target candidates will be enjoying.  Additionally, candidate experience during the hiring process is of paramount importance; with long gaps in feedback, a disorganised assessment process, the impression of arbitrary layers of stakeholder engagement – all serve to dent the confidence of a candidate to join a new business.  This costs nothing but can easily make the difference between competing employers!

Looking forward, while no one quite knows what will happen in 2024, the trends outlined here are likely to shape the year ahead.

So how can we help you?

Consilium Recruit is an award winning authority in advanced Manufacturing & Engineering sector recruitment.  Our strength lies in helping companies to stand out and attract the best possible talent.

From salary & benefit benchmarking exercises, helping firms build specialist teams, talent pooling, company branding & promotion exercises, and even providing guidance on importing overseas talent.  We have supported numerous start-up as well as established group companies to outperform their competitors when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent possible.

To request your free Salary Guide(s), please visit https://www.consiliumrecruit.com/consilium-salary-guides

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Russell Tuck

4th March

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