What Can the UK’s Fastest Growing Roles Teach Us About the Jobs Market?

The costs, commitment and time involved in taking on more staff mean those who make hiring decisions always have one eye on the future. But while their immediate focus is usually dominated by workflow, budgets and staffing questions, looking beyond the short term can reveal valuable insights that help them make better hires now.

Indeed has a front-row seat on trends in the jobs market; our data gives us an unparalleled snapshot of who is hiring, whom they are looking for, and who the jobseekers are.

Following the first and second parts of this blog series, which explored the jobs which are currently the hardest to recruit for and the trends in demand for languages, this time we are looking at the jobs whose popularity has risen the most in the last year.

Despite the fragility of many sectors of the economy, the official employment data is clear – these are boom times for jobseekers. More people are in jobs than ever before, and unemployment is at its lowest level since 1974.

The consequence of this is that employers are feeling the pinch. Would-be recruiters have fewer potential employees to choose from amid the pool of unemployed people, while attracting staff from rival employers is becoming more costly as employers raise wages in a ‘battle for talent’.

The ratio of unemployed people per vacancy in the UK is the lowest it has ever been, meaning it is very much a jobseekers’ market at present – and is likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Against this backdrop, our team decided to pinpoint which jobs have seen demand climb fastest over the last year. While demand from employers is generally high across the whole jobs market, which are the most in-demand roles of all? Above all, we asked what do these jobs tell us about the state of the UK economy and jobs market right now, and will they retain this high demand in the future?

Growing up

The fastest growing job in the UK is currently ‘IT engineer’, which has seen a spike of 33.7% in its postings per million on Indeed over the last 12 months.

The full top 15 highlights the wide range of jobs most sought after at the moment. For every highly skilled role in the booming tech sector (IT engineer, mobile developer) there are also more basic jobs available, such as car wash attendant, salon assistant and farm worker.

Design roles also feature prominently, with ‘product designer’ postings increasing by nearly a third (31.8%) and ‘designer’ opportunities growing by more than a quarter (26.3%) over the past 12 months.

Will they retain this high demand in the future?

The fluid nature of supply-demand dynamics suggests the table is likely to look different by this time next year, especially as we are discussing growth in the number of job postings rather than demand outright.

The list also presents a significant opportunity for jobseekers, who can target these roles in the knowledge that there has never been a more favourable time to be hired.

No employer wants a vacancy to remain unfilled for long, but they will have to be imaginative in where they recruit from, especially given the current shallowness of the talent pool.

If EU workers are no longer the answer, homegrown talent or immigrants from elsewhere in the world will have to be targeted. There are also significant pools of untapped UK talent that we have discussed in an earlier blog, which may well prove fruitful for smart recruiters.

Employers will also be wary of paying over the odds. Money talks louder than anything else, but that does not mean that this is the only way to attract talent. Being prepared to be imaginative and adapt to workers’ needs, whether it is with greater structure or flexibility, or with a wider variety of perks, can make your company just as attractive to a potential recruit as a big pay packet.

At some point, too, Brexit will be resolved, allowing a clearer and more consistent vision of the future to emerge. When this happens, plans can more easily be put in place to address potential shortfalls in staff, and to attract the right recruits.

The jobs market is always prone to shifts, and in unpredictable times it can become even more volatile. Yet with a bit of patience and some applied intelligence, even employers looking to fill the most in-demand roles should be confident of having some success.