Long-term hiring prospects improving

Posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 by

Business confidence has taken some severe knocks recently with order books squeezed and bank lending to SMEs remaining stubbornly low but the latest figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation suggest that things have levelled off and that hiring prospects are now improving. Jobs Outlook data published last week reveals that employers are more confident about long-term hiring. REC findings show that 42% of employers are expecting to hire over the next twelve months, while 48% are planning to maintain their current levels of employment – a 1% rise on the previous month. Roger Tweedy, REC Director of Research, said: ‘The underlying trend this month is one of improvement in employers’ optimism about their future hiring intentions. Though the overall scores have only fluctuated slightly over the past month, the last three months of data show that there are definite signs that confidence is returning.’ Figures for the short-term suggest that 49% are expecting to recruit in the next three months, a fall of 5% on September, while 41% anticipate no change in their numbers. ‘Employers will continue to err on the side of caution on how they shape their workforces in both the short and long-term,’ Tweedy added. ‘However, the ongoing feedback from recruitment professionals confirms that businesses in many sectors are still looking to attract workers with the right talent despite the difficult economic climate. This explains the slight upturn in hiring intentions and confirms that job opportunities are still out there.’