Demand for professional talent in Scotland experienced a year-on-year drop in May, but there was an improvement for some sectors including construction, according to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
Data, provided by recruitment software company Innovantage, found that professional job availability dropped by 11 per cent from May last year.
The construction sector saw a 27 per cent year-on-year uplift in contractor vacancies, while demand for professionals in marketing and advertising grew by 22 per cent, APSCo found.
Diane Turnbull, membership relations manager for Scotland at the professional recruitment body, said: “Following a number of months of growth in Scotland, demand for professional talent in the region has declined by 11 per cent year on year.
“It is clear that uncertainty surrounding the impending EU referendum has begun to weigh down on business sentiment, as employers adopt a more hesitant ‘wait and see’ approach to hiring. However this is a trend being experienced across the UK, and is certainly not exclusive to Scotland alone.
“The significant rise in demand for professional contractors in the construction sector is a positive sign of growth,” she said, citing JLL and Glenigan’s commercial construction index indicating that activity in the sector reached £1.9 billion altogether in the first quarter.
Turnbull added: “This heightened demand will undoubtedly continue as investment into renewable energy in the region increases. Demand for professional talent in the marketing and advertising sector also continues to grow, expanding steadily over the last six months.”
The results of the survey come after Manpower said earlier this month that job prospects in Scotland fell amid uncertainty around the EU referendum.
The recruiter found in its latest employment outlook survey that a net +3 per cent of employers planned to take on more staff over the coming quarter, down from +6 per cent in the previous quarter. The commercial sector was the hardest hit, with a notable fall in call-centre and sales roles.
Additionally the agency also said it had noticed “a slowdown in the temporary market, as employers target students directly for short-term work ahead of the summer holiday period rather than using recruitment agencies”.