Three-quarters of firms to hire in 2015

Wednesday 29 July 2015

The majority of UK employers intend to take on new staff in the coming months as business continues to pick up, new figures indicate.

Data published in the new JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) shows that 74 per cent of employers intend to take on staff in the next three months.

The figure represents an improvement on recent months (62 per cent in May and 63 per cent in June), and indicates that employers have more confidence after a period of uncertainty during the run-up to the General Election.

The report also suggests improving levels of confidence, with 80 per cent of respondents saying that economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better.

As a result, almost half (46 per cent) expect hiring and investment to improve, with others pointing towards a gradual shift in sentiment.

Employers across the UK are also intending to take on staff in the medium term, with 71 per cent of companies claiming this, while four in ten (41%) have increased pay for staff in the last year, and none have reduced pay.

Nearly all respondents (99%) said that contractors who operate through a limited company are paid the same or more than they would be as a permanent worker.

Other findings revealed that 14 per cent of employers expect to see shortages in candidates for professional and managerial roles in the coming months, while 11 per cent say the same about construction roles and a further 11 per cent have that sentiment towards technical and engineering roles.

When questioned, 96 per cent of businesses said they have either little or no surplus capacity to accommodate any further increase in demand.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said the data shows that almost all businesses are operating at capacity and want to take on more staff to meet demand, but the reality is that "chronic skills shortages" are making this difficult.

“For workers the outlook is good. Starting salaries continue to rise as employers compete for talent, and permanent and temporary opportunities are available to those with the required skills and capability," he added.

With candidates in short supply, Mr Green said employers need to think hard about how they attract skilled staff, while in the longer term businesses, government and educators must work together to help alleviate the skills shortages and equip people with the skills that employers need.

By Victoria McDonnell

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