The latest IHS Markit Report on Jobs for Scotland shows the rate of expansion for permanent job placements in May was the strongest in 43 months and outpaced the rate at UK level.
“According to the latest IHS Markit Report on Jobs for Scotland, permanent staff appointments increased substantially during May,” said the report.
“Scottish recruitment agencies also reported a sharp rise in temp staff billings.
“Vacancies for both permanent and temporary job roles increased markedly, however the availability of staff to fulfil these openings continued to deteriorate sharply.
“Concurrently, permanent salaries and hourly pay rates rose further.”
The report warned that overall candidate availability continued to deteriorate during the latest survey period.
Permanent staff supply declined “at an historically steep pace” while short-term candidate availability fell at the fastest pace since June 2015.
The IHS Markit report is based on a monthly survey of around 100 recruitment and employment consultants.
Recruitment & Employment Confederation director of policy Tom Hadley said: “Despite growth in demand for staff this month, we have seen another severe drop in staff availability.
“Whilst it is encouraging to see a rise in staff appointments for permanent and temporary staff, indicating that employers are feeling confident in making hiring decisions, a lack of candidates remains a major challenge for recruiters — particularly in areas like nursing, engineering, manufacturing and IT.
“Staff shortages are becoming business critical in many of these key sectors.
“Because of the lack of candidate availability we are seeing employers paying higher salaries to attract the right people.
“This is only part of the solution, with employers also having to think about providing a more flexible working environment and progression opportunities.
“With skills needs and candidate expectations continuing to evolve, employers are having to radically re-imagine their hiring procedures.
“Government can help by ramping up the UK skills base and ensuring a balanced and evidence-based immigration system.”