Employers’ hiring expectations continue to build, REC JobsOutlook reveals
Ahead of the latest ONS unemployment figures, a mood of confidence is returning to the jobs market with increasing numbers of employers saying they will be looking to grow or maintain both their temporary and permanent workforces over the next year.
The REC’s June JobsOutlook reveals that one in three employers - one of the highest levels over the past year - are planning to grow their temporary workforce in the longer term at the same time as official data from the Office for National Statistics showed that 50,000 more temporary workers were employed in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 2009.
The increase in demand for temporary agency workers over the short-term has also been maintained with employers looking to make use of flexible resourcing as economic uncertainty continues. Short-term demand for permanent staff seems also to be building with a net positive balance of nine per cent - significantly higher than last months figure.
The survey suggests that most employers are not predicting a real uptick in permanent staffing until the autumn at the earliest.
Commenting on the JobsOutlook findings, Roger Tweedy, the REC's Director of Research, said:
“There are increasingly positive signs of a gradual upturn in employers’ hiring intentions, probably linked to greater post-election stability and a feeling that a Conservative Government is likely to be best for future job creation. Recruiters should also take heart from the fact that greater fluidity seems to be returning to the jobs market with recent survey data from Gfk NOP suggesting that up to six million workers are now planning to move jobs.
“These positive signs will be offset to some extent by what is happening in the public sector where the impact of the recession is only now starting to hit. Unemployment is likely to increase over the next 12 months as significant cuts in public expenditure are implemented: however our analysis* suggests that demand for temporary agency workers, interim management and executive search is likely to grow to enable the significant change programmes being planned for the sector.”
Charles Elderton, Director of Chadwick Nott Legal Recruitment, part of the Impellam Group, which is a member of the IRU steering committee, commented:
"The increasing number of permanent and contract vacancies is lifting the confidence of candidates to now consider new opportunities and register with recruitment agencies. There's lots of activity and many interviews happening but closing the deal is still a real challenge.
“A recent upturn in employees being counter-offered by their current employer and being 'bought back' after resignation, along with being required to work their full notice period are sure signs of a strengthening candidate market."
The survey also showed a six per cent drop to 35 per cent in the number of employers planning a headcount freeze while there was a slight rise in those who were looking to make redundancies or introduce reduced hours.
JobsOutlook is based on a monthly survey of employers with results based on a sample of 200 on a three month rolling basis. To subscribe to JobsOutlook, contact Tracey McManus, email@example.com.
* Hire Power, REC, 2010.