Legal Job Market Update dated 4th February
Comments on the current market from Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment:
“Since Christmas we have seen a resumption of the recruitment demand that has not really slowed down since the market picked up in 2012. Firms are still recruiting, candidates are out looking for permanent posts and locum assignments have been the busiest for January we have ever seen. The Law Society Gazette has seen an increase in job postings since the New Year and so have we. Locum demand is up (although you would expect this as it really drops off over Christmas), permanent vacancies have been posted in increasing numbers, but interestingly we have also seen a number of redundancies occurring in law firms around Christmas in the Midlands and North West. Family law and support staff seem to have been two main areas for this.”
February 2015 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments up
* Conveyancing vacancies still busy, Commercial Property vacancies busy
* Wills & Probate vacancies down
* Commercial and Civil Litigation vacancies – still very few
* Family vacancies – down
* Commercial Property Solicitors difficult to source. Experienced conveyancers difficult to find for permanent roles. Locums currently readily available in all fields.
* Market outlook – increasing.
Recently agreed hourly rates and salaries:
* South Coast – Conveyancing Locum – £30 per hour
* London (not central) – Property Solicitor – £35k.
* London (not central) – Conveyancing Locum – £30 per hour
* Wiltshire – Conveyancing Locum – £35 per hour
* North West – Commercial Property P/T – £33k
* Thames Valley – Locum Legal Cashier – £40 per hour
* Anglia – Conveyancing Locum – £28 per hour
* Home Counties – Family Locum – £25 per hour
Current live vacancies: 536
New permanent vacancies added last month: 60
New candidates registering: 121
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies last month: 3.1
Increase/Decrease in new vacancies from previous month: +25%
Increase/Decrease in new candidates from previous month: +133%
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment publishes the number of new vacancies, new candidates and indicate the increase or decrease from the previous month. We aim to assist the legal profession by showing the market from our perspective. Traditionally our clients have been high street law firms and smaller niche commercial practices.
The average job strength gives a good indication of the market because:
1. A Poor Job Strength on vacancies indicates a struggling market. When trade is bad, employers seek options for increasing turnover which usually also involves contacting recruitment agencies in the hope that they have candidates with their own following and not looking for a salary.
2. A Strong Job Strength on vacancies indicates a buoyant market, particularly if it is in connection with an increase in numbers of new vacancies.
Vacancies are each graded 1-5, with 5 being a very strong vacancy and 1 being a very weak vacancy.
Key points from the Markit/CIPS UK services survey for February 2015 are as follows:
* Activity and new business both register stronger rises in January
* Employment rises at near-survey record pace
* Prices pressures dissipate
The UK service sector started 2015 in a strong fashion as activity and new business both increased at accelerated and above survey average rates. Companies were suitably encouraged by these trends to hire additional staff at the joint second-fastest rate in the survey history, using their additional capacity to try and clear backlogs and prepare for further business expansion in the coming months.
Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and regularly writes for the Ten-Percent website and the Legal Recruitment blog, an award-winning selection of articles and features on legal recruitment and the legal profession. You can contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit one of our websites.
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