Half of employers expect candidate shortage for permanent roles

51 per cent of employers anticipate a shortage of candidates to fill permanent jobs, according to the latest JobsOutlook report from the REC.

Employers with more than 250 staff are particularly concerned about the lack of talent available, with 63 per cent expecting a shortage.

22 per cent plan to take on more permanent staff in the medium term (four to twelve months), with only 1 per cent planning to decrease their headcount.

The report also reveals:

  • Six in 10 (59 per cent) have increased their headcount in the last year.
  • A third (34 per cent) believe that UK economic conditions are improving, whilst 29 per cent think they are getting worse.
  • Almost eight in 10 (78 per cent) are operating with ‘none’ or ‘a little’ spare capacity, and would need to take on staff to meet an increase in demand.

Confidence

In the three months to February, the REC reports that more employers believed that economic conditions were improving (34%) than deteriorating (29%). London remained notably more concerned over the economy: 32% believed conditions to be worsening. Only 18% of employers in London thought economic conditions were improving, down 7 points on the previous rolling quarter. One third (33%) of all respondents expected confidence in making hiring/investment decisions to get better, compared to 36% last month.

Permanent Recruitment

Short Term Outlook – In the next 3 months, do you think the number of permanent workers in your organisation will increase or decrease?

One in five (20%) hirers planned to increase their number of permanent employees over the next quarter, although 18% of the total suggested that this would only increase slightly. In the Midlands, 5% suggested that they would increase numbers significantly – twice the national average. Seven in ten (72%) of all UK employers planned to hold existing permanent worker headcount.

Medium Term Outlook – In the next 4 –12 months, do you think the number of permanent workers in your organisation will increase or decrease?

One fifth of hirers (22%) planned to increase permanent headcount in the medium term, and two thirds (66%) planned to hold numbers. A greater than average proportion of hirers in the Midlands and London planned to increase numbers, at 26% and 28% respectively. Notably, 5% of Midlands employers suggested that they would increase headcount significantly (compared to the 2% UK average).

Temporary Recruitment

Short Term Outlook – In the next 3 months, do you think the number of temporary agency workers in your organisation will increase or decrease?

Over the quarter, just 9% of employers who hire agency workers stated that they would be increasing headcount over the next three months. Conversely, 8% of all UK respondents suggested that they would be reducing headcount. The regional exception was the Midlands, where 15% of employers plan to reduce headcount.

Medium Term Outlook – In the next 4 –12 months, do you think the number of temporary agency workers in your organisation will increase or decrease?

17% of respondents suggested that they would increase agency worker headcount in the medium term, the same as the previous rolling quarter. Across the quarter there was a notable variation between the public and private sectors, with just 8% of public and 19% of private sector employers planning increases.

For more on this report or to download a copy please click here >> JobsOutlook