As the economy continues to drag itself out of the doldrums, things are starting to look a little brighter on the employment front. And, much to our delight, it’s our smallest of enterprises that are leading a new recruitment surge across Blighty. In its latest JobsOutlook report, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), has revealed that micro-businesses are fuelling further employment growth in the private sector.
It’s certainly hard not to feel buoyed by the results of the REC survey, which asked companies of their hiring intentions this year. It found that three quarters of employers (76%) plan to hire more permanent staff within the next quarter, with eight out of ten employers (81%) intending to increase their headcount in the next four to twelve months, a 22% increase from just three months ago.
And here’s where it gets really exciting. Last month there was a marked 29% rise in positive short-term hiring sentiment for permanent jobs amongst micro-businesses, with an additional 18% indicating this month an intention to hire in the next quarter. Given the sheer volume of micro-businesses in the UK – as mentioned above – this could potentially lead to a noticeable surge in demand.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and surging confidence among small employers can only be good news for jobseekers and the recovery,” said Kevin Green, chief executive of REC.
Meanwhile, agency work remains popular with 48% of micro-businesses saying that temps were important to help them ‘respond to growth’, compared to 25% who gave the same answer in March 2012. And 78% of employers believe that ‘short term access to key strategic skills’ via agency staff is important for their organisations.
Green added: “As scarcity of skills continues to be an issue in key sectors like IT, engineering and logistics, contractors, interim managers and agency workers are becoming more important than ever to help businesses quickly access the skills they need to stay competitive.”