employment issues - where are the jobs etc? is this a tough market?

(23 Posts)
TheCatThatDanced Tue 25-Jun-19 13:30:45

I've posted re this before. I'm an experienced Legal Secretary/EA/PA with approx 8 years experience but now working on contracts as EA/PA for past 2 years mostly for government departments but also for private companies.

Have had 1 legal secretary interview where I got down to the last 2 candidates and narrowed missed out - 12 month contract.

Have been told by recruitment agencies (legal) that the market is very tough right now - mostly due to Brexit - firms scared to hire, employees scared to move jobs.

Is this everyone else's experience?

OP’s posts: |
HundredMilesAnHour Tue 25-Jun-19 13:43:04

Yes, the job market is horrendous right now. I'm in Financial Services and my job was cut just before Christmas. In over 20 years, I have never seen the market anywhere near this bad. This is the longest I have ever been out of work and there are no signs of any job for me on the horizon while Brexit uncertainty hangs over us.

A recruiter told me he receives over 500 c.v.'s within the first 48 hours of a job being advertised. It's ridiculous. I have been advised that the only possible way to get a job (in my area) in this current climate is by networking (which is how I've moved jobs in the past) but my network is also suffering with many companies cutting jobs and existing staff sitting tight. No-one is hiring. There are so very few open roles around and employers are being particularly picky ridiculous about candidates.

Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 20:02:17

I applied for a dozen NHS admin jobs and got interviews for all of them! Many are part-time though. The NHS is such a huge employer. You could probably find a medical secretary role with your experience but the pay is low.

I’m in a deprived coastal city where the main jobs are the NHS, civil service and council.

I volunteer in a school and the head teacher remarked to me that it was hard to find qualified teachers. Same for healthcare professionals in the NHS.

Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 20:03:35

Where are you based OP?

m0therofdragons Tue 25-Jun-19 21:11:58

I'm currently recruiting and the applications are appalling. Covering statements just 4 sentences long. I've had 27 applications and one was decent but chose a higher paid job.

BritInUS1 Tue 25-Jun-19 21:15:01

I'm currently trying to employ an experienced administrator who is fluent in English and German and the applicants are awful

Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 21:24:38


“UK firms struggle to find staff as unemployment falls to lows not seen since the mid-1970s.”


HundredMilesAnHour Tue 25-Jun-19 21:34:38

@Basketofkittens wow! A totally different world to the one I'm experiencing which is very few job vacancies and gazillions of extremely well qualified candidates all going for the same few roles. I'm reasonably senior so I know that's part of the problem as there are so few roles and no movement of people already in them. I've applied for jobs at the next level or two down (paying half my previous salary) but I'm rejected for being overqualified or too expensive. I've looked at changing industries but understandably employers want someone with industry experience. Argh!

Basketofkittens Tue 25-Jun-19 21:38:37

Strange isn’t it! The statistics say one thing but personal experiences are another.

There are plenty of jobs under 20k where I live but not much else. Clerical and retail/hospitality mainly. Then you have teaching/healthcare which you need professional qualifications.

I’m not in London at the moment so I wonder what PA/EA/senior administrative jobs are doing there. In 2016 there seemed plenty of roles paying 35K+ but I wonder how many applied for each one?

FelineUK Wed 26-Jun-19 09:06:28

I’m in same boat, years of experience at PA/EA work and applying for jobs, through agencies, I could do in my sleep yet despite being registered with half a dozen agencies no one ever calls me about those roles that I see advertised. It makes me wonder if they even exist or are just carrots being dangled to accumulate CVs. I always send an appropriate covering letter stating how I fit the role so doing everything right. So frustrating and disheartening. Currently in London however also looking to relocate to the north west (DH transfer). Any ideas what we should do?

NoBaggyPants Wed 26-Jun-19 09:17:35

Employment stats are a big old lie. They include the thousands of people on zero/ very low hour contracts, so whilst they're officially employed, in reality they're really jobseekers. I'm not aware that an official statistic exists, but if you looked at the figure for those only in full time work, it would be much lower.

So yes, thinks are very tough at the moment. Best of luck for finding something soon.

NoBaggyPants Wed 26-Jun-19 09:22:22

As an example, a retailer is opening a new store in my town, and they're recruiting for 48 positions. How many of them are full time? Four. The rest are zero hours or sub sixteen hours. The headline figure looks great, the reality is grim.

TheCatThatDanced Wed 26-Jun-19 10:35:02

FelineUK - agreed - I'm a Legal EA/PA/Sec in London so can do usual EA work but retrained in legal EA/PA work about 10 years ago.

Am looking to train to be a paralegal or project manager (another thread) and maybe start my own business.

I could in theory live off DH's salary as he's a banker and I don't in theory need to work as he earns enough, but I want my own money and don't want to be beholden to him for money if I want e.g. to buy clothes etc. He was fine when I wasn't working but I've always seen myself as working rather than not? I also get bored at home after taking DC to school etc. And I don't like being just a SAHM.

I'm wondering if after Brexit/new Prime Minister etc if things will get better or am I looking to retrain?

OP’s posts: |
avalanching Wed 26-Jun-19 10:46:59

I've heard the opposite in that recruitment is difficult atm. There are a plethora of jobs in my field but not enough candidates, particularly at management level. It all depends on the field though I suppose.

HorridHenrysNits Wed 26-Jun-19 15:12:01

The market for traditional legal secretaries is contracting. Firms just don't use them to the same extent.

Yabbers Wed 26-Jun-19 15:18:03

I was on the job market for a fortnight and had 2 offers. Other colleagues of mine have found the same recently. Perhaps the market varies depending on industry and area. I'm in central Scotland so not exactly somewhere that is totally thriving.

TheCatThatDanced Wed 26-Jun-19 15:52:09

HorridHenrysNits - have been told the same - nowadays they contract their legal secretaries but it does depend on the firm. The firm I interviewed at and got down to last 2 candidates (i was one) said their own client base had increased and therefore they had recruited more staff including legal secs as most legal secs prefer a permanent job as opposed to a contract.

A silver circle firm where i interviewed about 2 years ago wanted to employ contractors and it was partly down to this that I didn't go further with that application as I didn't want to contract for a year at that time.

OP’s posts: |
DontPressSendTooSoon Wed 26-Jun-19 17:53:05

The market can really wax and wane for specific jobs/fields.

Two years ago i was looking for a new role and really struggled. It was common for recruiters to longlist to 10 for first interview stage and 4 for second stage. Massive glut of candidates on the market. I got to final stage 3 times over a period of four months and narrowly missed out on an offer and I'm usually quite good at getting offers so was surprised. I got so hacked off I thought I'd leave it for a bit and stay where I was.

Fast forward to 18 months later and the market was completely different. I was getting a lot of interviews, a lot of interest. Got an offer within 4 weeks!

So it just depends really on the supply and demand, things may be tough in some sectors now but it could be completely different in another few months.

FFSeverynameisused Wed 26-Jun-19 17:56:29

I am looking for a new role as I hate the company I currently work for, however all the roles that would interest me are:

* part time when I want full time
* fixed term when I need permanent
* less than half my current salary yet wanting more experience than I have

It really sucks. I know at least I have a job but this job is really affecting my mental health. I have bills to pay though.

HorridHenrysNits Wed 26-Jun-19 18:19:07

Oh there are definitely still some legal secretary roles. It's a shrinking sector not a dead one.

If it helps, one ex legal secretary I know took an administrative role at a barrister's chambers. She had been very active in organising things like meetings and was more at the PA end of a secretarial role, and so she used the organising skills. Worth considering?

Shinesweetfreedom Thu 27-Jun-19 00:57:16

I suppose a lot of it is the job you go for.
Indeed has many many jobs.But the majority I found were min wage or just above,zero hour jobs.And yes a zero hour job will take you off the employment numbers.Some are even for four hours a week.What is that about.

cathycassidy Thu 27-Jun-19 01:32:47

I have been unemployed for 7 months. I’ve even been rejected from voluntary internship roles.
I don’t have any technical skills, and have been looking for entry level admin or HR work. I considered entry level finance roles but they were either apprenticeships for school leavers or requesting for someone with a related degree.

When searching on indeed for my area, most of these entry level jobs still request 1-2 years of relevant experience (so not just ‘desirable’) yet offer a salary of 14-16k. I know I’m in no place to complain as an unemployed person but I can’t help but think it’s not really an entry level role and secondly if I had 1-2 years of relevant experience I’d be hoping to earn more than 14-16k.

I don’t live in a particularly cheap area either. Average house price roughly 400k

TheCatThatDanced Thu 27-Jun-19 13:38:17

HorridHenrysNits - that's actually not a bad idea re an admin job in a barristers chambers.

I've had dealings with barristers and worked with a solicitor who used to be a barrister so know the 'type'.

I do know that more and more solicitors type their own emails these days so a lot of other documents (like leases etc) are still typed by secretaries but quite a few solicitors do this work themselves too. So yes, it's more a diary management/travel role rather than a typing role.

Having said that you do get solicitors who want you to type for them.

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in