in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Update April 3rd 2014

Job Market Update – April 3rd

April 2014 – summed up in a few sentences:

* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum vacancies up on March but still lower than an average month
* Conveyancing up
* Crime down
* Litigation up
* Further increase in vacancies attracting no, poor quality or few applications.
* Market outlook – still buoyant.


Current live vacancies: 549
New permanent vacancies added in March 2014: 52
New candidates registering: 122
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies in March: 3.5
Increase/Decrease in new vacancies from previous month: +67%
Increase/Decrease in new candidates from previous month: -24%

KPMG Job Market Report for past 4 weeks:

* Faster rise in permanent placements but growth of temp billings eases
* Salaries for permanent staff increase at sharpest rate since October 2007
* Candidate availability declines at stronger pace
(this is very similar to our findings)

Comment from KPMG Partner:
“Britain appears to be suffering from a clash of confidence. With permanent appointments rising at the strongest rate for almost four years, employers appear determined
to show they are secure enough to make long-term commitments. Candidates, on the other hand, are less certain, preferring to stay put than advance their careers in a new environment.
Temporary placements are falling and with starting salaries rising at their highest rate for almost seven years, all the indications are that any concerns over job security may be unwarranted. Those in the North are recruiting hardest and fastest, and even the slowest area – in London – is seeing a marked increase. The hope now must be that employees and employers rethink their approach and the clash of confidence is replaced by a meeting of minds.”

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.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and regularly writes 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