Sector focus: Customer services

Customer service sector focus

Every month we’ll be taking an in-depth look at a particular sector and letting you know how it’s doing. From employment figures and salaries to the latest trends and stories that rocked that industry.

This month we’re giving you a snapshot on the customer services industry.

Customer services job market

Things are looking good for the customer services industry at the moment, as according to our barometer, there’s been a steady 13% rise year on year in the number of customer service jobs being advertised.
This year especially there’s been a clear rise in the number of jobs being advertised, with a 4.9% increase in Q1 of this year when compared to the same quarter last year. This increase was sustained and grew during Q2 of this year, with a 12% increase on 2012’s Q2 figures.

However, it’s not all good news and one trend which happens every year is a small drop in the number of vacancies in the second quarter. Between Q1 and Q2 of 2013, there was a 4% decline in the number of job postings, although this is a massive improvement from the 11% decrease that happened between Q1 and Q2 of 2012.

And it’s not just vacancies that suffer, but also the number of job applications being sent to employers, and these tend to be in much higher figures. For example, between Q1 and Q2 of 2012 there was a massive 22% decline in the number of applications, which led to a 7% drop in the number of applications for each job advertised.

However, things picked up this year, and although there was still a drop in the number of applicants between Q1 and Q2 of 2013, it was by a smaller amount of 18%.

One of the explanations behind both the vacancy and application drop in the second quarters is that many companies hire new staff at the start of the year, particularly if they’re a new business, so by Q2 many companies don’t need to hire, and if they do it’s in smaller numbers.

However the drop in applications in Q2 can actually be seen as good news for both employers and their candidates. For candidates it’s less competition for each job they apply for, and employers have fewer applications to filter through, making it less likely that they’ll let a good CV accidentally slip into the rejection pile.

Popular places for customer service jobs

For the second year in a row, the South East advertised the most customer service jobs in both Q1 and Q2 this year. Although the difference between Q2 in 2012 and the same time period in 2013 has seen the number of job vacancies rise by 5% from 5760 postings to 6089.

However, just like the rest of our barometer figures for customer service jobs, there was a drop in the number of applications between Q1 and Q2 in both 2012 and 2013.

Following a similar pattern, Northern Ireland has advertised the least amount of customer service jobs for the last two years, (apart from Q1 of 2012 when it was London). Again, there was a small decrease in the number of jobs being advertised in the second quarter.

Want to know more about what’s happening in the customer services industry? Check out part 2 when we discuss the big news in the sector.

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