Hiring intentions rise in many sectors

CIPD/Adecco survey shows increase in hiring intentions on last quarter.

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UK employers are reporting their strongest hiring intentions in a year, although sectors such as hospitality are more pessimistic, according to a new report.

The latest Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development/Adecco Labour Market Outlook shows the difference between the proportion of employers expecting to add jobs and those planning to cut positions rose to +11 this quarter – its highest in a year. This compares to –1 in the previous quarter.

Recruitment during the first quarter

Over half (56%) of the 2,000 employers surveyed indicated they are looking to recruit in the first quarter of 2021, up from 53% in the previous quarter and 49% six months ago. This is down from 66% during the same quarter last year.

Sectors that are indicating strong hiring intentions include healthcare (80%), finance and insurance (65%), education (65%) and information and communications (67%). However, this optimism does not extend to sectors that continue to be affected by the social distancing measures, such as hospitality (36%).

Redundancies falling

The share of organisations planning to make redundancies in the first quarter fell from 30% to 20%, compared with the last quarter. In the private sector, companies signalled more willingness to maintain their workforce, with the number of employers saying they are planning redundancies dropping from 34% to 20%. Around a quarter (27%) of companies surveyed in the hospitality sector indicated they are prepared to reduce their headcount further in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) says recruitment could play a key factor in the UK’s economic recovery, with recruiters boosting productivity by £7.7bn a year. REC is calling on government to work with the it on the plan for jobs. A REC poll has found that two in three businesses said that working with a recruitment agency had helped them increase the diversity of new hires. However, only 30% said that increasing workforce diversity was a focus.

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