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Construction….. It’s a funny old game!

So here we are at the end of 2014 Q1 - everywhere you turn and everyone you speak to in recruitment or construction speak of profits, growth and optimistic outlooks.  Of course if like me you worked indirectly or directly in the construction industry when the recession hit in 2008, you woke up every morning crying into your Coco Pops wishing you had followed your childhood dream to become a footballer, pilot or fashion designer.  We all remember the tough times, the pain and the uncertainty.  We all lost friends and good work colleagues when companies big and small cut costs or “re structured”.  In addition to this, and especially for skilled construction workers rates also plummeted to almost unliveable standards.  The backbone of the construction industry fought with numerous other candidates for one job that quite often offered not only a short term contract, with little security but also a pay reduction leaving most successful candidates worrying how they would make ends meet.  The recession ultimately meant that clients reduced or froze rates/salaries, the market became very client led and we lost a lot of good workers in that time.

So let’s bring ourselves back to the sunshine after the rain. If you believe the government’s PR machine saying that anyone working in any way related to the construction industry is consuming lobsters and caviar on a daily basis while washing it down with expensive champagne – we are not quite there yet and I say that flippantly but the outlook is significantly better than it was, and there is a genuinely good reason to be upbeat.  At Anderselite we are seeing great year on year growth in both permanent and contract recruitment which only confirms that.  The market has changed, rates/salaries are rising and companies are willing to start investing once again. However, very significantly many of the workers that helped build this countries growth up until 2008 have now left the industry.  So new, more favourable challenges face recruiters and good employers alike. Finding the right candidates with not only the right skillset, knowledge and experience but also ensuring the team fit is perfect.  Now is the time for recruitment to stop being the word associated with pests and stalkers and time to work with companies to discover not only the easy to find, out of work candidate’s but the passive ones - people previously too scared to change jobs but who have proved their worth, an asset not easily found to a new or expanding business.

Then of course the changes in CIS legislation - wow!  So for most there will not be much change, but to the lower paid worker this could be massive. Gone are the days of working CIS at £7 per hour through an agency.  This means effectively that a reputable agency now has to pay PAYE and all the associated benefits, or approximately £7.90 through an umbrella companies such CDI Contractor Services Limited.  So what now? Anderselite will fully comply with the changes but will others follow suit?  If they do this probably means a market rise in the cost of agency labourers by approximately £1 per hour.  Will the main contractors - commercial and residential, pay the increase - and what about sub-contractors? 

Either way the construction industry - a New Year, new financial challenges, new recruitment challenges - you’ve got to love it!

Better than being a footballer though….Probably not!

Contributed by Aaron Skillin

Tagged In: Construction
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