in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report January 14th 2015

Job Market Update  – January 15th 2015

Comments on the current market from Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment:
“January is a difficult month to give a job market update for. Basically, from the start of December, most new work drops off as everyone goes christmas shopping, attends parties and slows down. In my 15 years of experience in recruitment I have known so many pre-Christmas job interviews to go ahead but produce absolutely nothing. Partners are not in the right frame of mind to recruit, candidates are not able to make decisions and after Christmas everyone changes their mind and the whole thing falls through! For the first time in 14 years we took a considerable number of vacancies in the first week back in January. This has been exceptional. Usually workloads do not pick up until the end of January and then drop off again as partners and solicitors head to the ski slopes. As a result I predict that the legal job market will stay strong for the foreseeable future.”

We have not included the usual Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment statistics in this newsletter as December is so slow, but key points from the KPMG and REC Job Market survey for December 2014 are as follows:

Stronger growth of permanent placements
Temp billings increase at sharpest rate in three months
Strong pay growth underpinned by tight candidate availability

Commenting on the latest survey results, Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said:

“A strong year for the UK jobs market finished with a flourish as temporary roles saw an upswing in popularity. More than 1 in 3 recruiters suggest that employees looking for short-term roles are being increasingly spoilt for choice as organisations search for help in an effort to fulfil customer orders. Good news for candidates also extends into the pay packet. Once again, a shortage of skills in key areas has led to a rise in the starting salaries on offer. It could mean that 2015 becomes the year in which the candidate finally becomes king.”

Permanent placements rise at faster rate… Recruitment consultants signalled a further increase in permanent staff appointments during December. The rate of expansion was strong, having picked up from November’s 18-month low. However, the number of job vacancies available to people seeking permanent roles rose at the slowest pace since July 2013.
Temporary staff billings growth also accelerates Short-term staff appointments increased at a sharper rate in December. The latest rise in temp billings was the strongest in three months.
Pay growth remains marked Average starting salaries awarded to people placed in permanent jobs continued to rise, with the rate of growth little-changed from the strong pace recorded in November. Temp pay meanwhile increased at the sharpest rate in three months.
Candidate availability remains tight The availability of staff to fill permanent job roles continued to fall in December. Although easing to the slowest in eight months, the rate of deterioration remained marked. Temp availability decreased sharply, with the latest reduction faster than that recorded in November.

This review is undertaken by KPMG and the REC (a recruitment agency trade body) who contact 100s of recruitment agencies across the UK to undertake a monthly questionnaire. We are part of the panel and get exclusive access to the report.

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 or visit one of our websites.

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at