UK firms scrambling to recruit new talent


Nearly half of British employers expect to hire new workers in the coming months, while a fifth are planning to recruit in bulk, adding more than 100 new people to their workforce, making the start of 2007 a buoyant time for recruitment, a new survey has suggested.

The survey from online recruiter found that more than four out of 10 employers had hired new workers in the past three months.

"This momentum is expected to carry into the New Year with 45 percent of hiring managers planning to recruit new employees. Thirty-one percent anticipate no change in their headcount while 12 percent expect decreases," said managing director Dave Smith.

Sales, information technology, accounting, finance, customer service and healthcare were the most popular jobs being hired for.

Yet a third of the employers polled also said they had openings for which they could not find qualified candidates.

As the UK labour market continued to tighten, employers were likely to have to become more aggressive in their efforts to recruit and retain their top talent, argued the recruiter.

More than four out of five employers said they would need to increase salaries for existing employees if they wanted to retain them.

More than half said they would raise compensation levels by up to 3 per cent while more than a quarter plan a 4 per cent hike or more.

Three out of 10 plan to rehire retirees from other companies or provide incentives for workers approaching retirement age to stay with the company longer. Woman and disabled workers were also more likely to be targeted than in the past.

Nearly one-in-four employers were very or extremely willing to provide more flexible work arrangements for employees such as job sharing and alternate schedules, it added.

And there were also signs of disgruntlement among many workers. One-in-four workers reported feeling they were overlooked for a promotion last year.

For many a perceived lack of upper mobility within their organisation was a key factor in jumping ship, meaning that 45 per cent of employers said they planned to provide more promotions and career advancement opportunities in the New Year.

The shortage of suitable candidates will also mean more employers being willing to recruit workers who do not have experience in their particular industry or field but do have transferable skills.