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Executive Comment

Insights on the market from the Vacancysoft CEO, James Chaplin

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Biotech recruitment in Germany overtakes the UK

Biotech recruitment in Germany overtakes the UK

If the worst kept secret in politics is that Kier Starmer will be the next Prime Minister, (the latest odds give him an 87% chance of being so) then upon taking power, he will have to make a decision about which Tory policies to continue, and which, to discard. No set of policies are more divisive than those to do with Brexit, hence spotlighting Biotechnology which is now starting to be negatively impacted, following the pandemic period ending and the industry globally returning to equilibrium, as this is an area that Starmer may need to change UK policy on, in order to revitalize.

Fintech bounces back as VC funding increases

Fintech bounces back as VC funding increases

After a torrid 2023, the signs are positive for Fintech as VC funding into the sector accelerates. According to a recent report by Dealroom and HSBC, in Q1 of 2024, there were 73 rounds completed in Q1 of this year, totalling $1.4BN, making it the leading sector for investment, this year so far.

Why are Employee Relations specialists suddenly in Demand?

Why are Employee Relations specialists suddenly in Demand?

For the first time in over three years, this March, there were more vacancies for employee relations specialists than training/learning across the private sector in the UK. While this was just one month, the signs are that in April, it is set to repeat, at which point this could indicate corporations are shifting their priorities when it comes to their staff.

Beware the false dawn

Beware the false dawn

As we approach the end of April, the general consensus is that the market is on the up, that Q1 was a busy quarter and there is positive sentiment, looking ahead. When you compare Q1 2024 to Q4 2023, it is not surprising for sentiment to be as such, after all, there was an 18% increase in vacancies quarter on quarter!

Banking Recruitment in London hits 10 month high

Banking Recruitment in London hits 10 month high

Financial Services is one of the largest industries within the UK, and contributes 8.3% to economic output. Overall the Financial Services industry employs over 1m people in the UK, and also runs significant trade surpluses, as a result, what happens in Banking is of direct relevance to the entire economy, and London in particular is of significance.

Is retail about to surge?

Is retail about to surge?

With the clocks changing and the days getting longer, there becomes a tangible shift in the mood of the nation. Typically that translates into a pick-up in activity for retailers. Indeed, Since 2021, the only time that Q2 performed worse than Q1 was last year, equally, that did coincide with the sharp downturn in the economy caused by quantitative tightening, which instantly acted to squeeze the economy.

Property picks up as interest rates fall

Property picks up as interest rates fall

After all, following 2023, the real estate industry is showing signs of picking up as interest rates fall. Residential Property, in part due to the chronic shortage of new houses being built, is already seeing prices rise. With commercial property, there is a deeper question about what kind of work space businesses want, in this new pandemic period. Insofar that nationwide, occupancy is still below pre-pandemic levels, some areas are doing better than others.

Anti-Money Laundering Vacancies hit 12 month high

Anti-Money Laundering Vacancies hit 12 month high

As Russia re-elected Putin this weekend, the impact on the UK is being seen in more ways than one. Already, Grant Schapps is talking about the need for further defence spending as we move from a post-war to a pre-war world. Meanwhile, the avenues for money to be funnelled into London are slowly closing, and the determination to minimize access is clear. The decision to double the economic crime levy for very large companies from April, to £500,000 per institution is a reflection of that.

Are retailers moving HQ jobs from London for good?

Are retailers moving HQ jobs from London for good?

For retail and consumer goods and services, 2023 has proven to be a challenging year. The impact of the changes to VAT has meant that as tourism has returned, the luxury goods sector has flatlined, despite London having more tourists than ever. At the same time, quantitative tightening has resulted in challenges to household liquidity, which has meant there has been downward pressure on disposable incomes.

The Energy Boom is coming

The Energy Boom is coming

This week, it was reported that the economic downturn in Q4 had meant the UK is in recession. Hardly the news Sunak needed on the eve of two by-elections. Hunt was quick off the mark talking about the fact that overall the economic indicators are positive looking ahead, which is fair comment, equally the fact salary inflation remains high, has led to suggestions that any hope of interest rates coming down in the first half of the year are fanciful.

Surge in Tech sector as London picks up speed

Surge in Tech sector as London picks up speed

It’s official. The green shoots of recovery in the technology industry are emerging. This past week vacancies hit levels only seen previously a handful of times in the past year. After a challenging 2023, where VC/PE funding became significantly harder to obtain (TMT deals fell 24% on the year before, to the lowest levels in five years) looking ahead, the signs are positive and London in particular is picking the pace.

Are we entering a new boom era for Scottish Energy?

Are we entering a new boom era for Scottish Energy?

Since the war in Ukraine began, the exposure the UK has regarding energy has become ever more clear. The move to renewable energy sources is admirable, equally the challenge has been the seasonality leading to surges and shortfalls, where the steps the Government have taken to resolve this are starting to manifest, with jobs in Energy in Scotland now hitting record levels.