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Regions Market Update – May 2020

Our Regional business has seen critical permanent hires remain live in the market. Permanent positions have continued via virtual interviewing albeit with many more interview stages than we would normally expect to see.  HR Director / Head of HR, Reward and HR Services positions seem to be impacted the least with the interim offering seeing the most activity in recruitment-based projects and payroll. The transportation and construction businesses are starting to gear up again for a return, particularly across the Midlands region. There seems to be a huge appetite to clear the backlog and get the supply chain ‘moving again’.


Looking forward clients are looking at different working patterns as there is some concern about a release in lockdown from a working point of view. Many in HR want to remain working from home and are reviewing the business motivations around returning to the office – this is particularly prevalent in the Financial Services industry. For those businesses with Head Offices in Central London we are starting to hear an increase in appetite to move more of their work force to their second hubs in Birmingham, Reading or Manchester or to have them field based, both driving down office cost whilst bolstering regional talent.

Amy Morris - Partner

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The Commerce and Industry team at Oakleaf seem to have experienced a tale of two halves.

Whilst the market awaits the outcome of plans to release the lockdown, we saw the highest market activity that we have seen since mid-March

Specialist skills are increasing in demand as we have seen a 57% increase in reward roles, 36% increase in In-House recruitment roles and 25% increase in the number of Learning & Development roles.

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