Looking back on 2016, the first half of the year was slow but steady, with clients still cautious about the market meaning the trend continued towards hiring contractors. There was noticeable growth in the last six months of 2016 when hiring seemed to escalate, especially entry-level permanent positions. We would attribute this to companies wishing to grow their teams whilst being cost conscious and hiring inexperienced candidates that they can internally train.

Salaries have risen at the entry-level end of the market due to the increased demand for candidates. The top talent has been in the enviable position of having a lot of choices as companies compete to attract the cream of the crop.

Similarly, at the other end of the spectrum, senior EA candidates have been steadily driving an increase in salaries, as once again companies compete to secure the top talent.

Quality candidates are being snapped up and are often faced with multiple offers, so speed in the recruitment process is the key to success. In addition, clarity around the job specification is vital from the outset as changes later on can unnecessarily prolong the recruitment process.

Due to increasing demands on senior executives within businesses, the need for highly skilled and adaptable EAs has increased dramatically. The signs are that this trend is set to continue thus placing a strain on the supply of quality staff.  We have already started to see trends towards clients hiring junior candidates which they can develop within individual teams in response to this shortage.

Candidates have become more focused on workplace benefits, not solely salary, with flexible working arrangements being increasingly valued.

We predict a rise in permanent recruitment throughout 2017. In addition to this, with companies and candidates seeing the benefit of the ‘try before you buy’ method we anticipate a rise of temporary to permanent offers in 2017.

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