UK employers gain confidence to start recruitment of new staff

UK employers hiring intentions rise

UK businesses are slowly gaining confidence in hiring new staff this year and the majority of employers (79 per cent) don’t plan any job losses. This is according to the Barclays Job Creation Survey 2013 which found that while the proportion of larger employers that plan to create jobs this year has fallen to 65 per cent from 72 per cent in 2012, mid-sized businesses hiring intentions are up to 71 per cent from 65 per cent. The majority of those employers who do intend to hire remain cautious however, with 73 per cent planning to have sales growth lead to job creation as opposed to job creation creating sales (2012: 77 per cent).

Commented Ian Stuart, Managing Director, Barclays Corporate Banking: “Mid-sized businesses have continued to weather the economic storm, and still have room to flourish and grow, which explains their willingness to hire. Comparatively, the UK’s largest companies might not have reduced headcount in recent years in the expectation that the economic conditions would improve. As their people are often multi-skilled they can be moved to other areas within the business, so there’s less of a need to create new jobs.”

There are significant differences in recruitment intentions for 2013 between sizes of companies:

  • Only 48 per cent of small businesses are creating jobs this year – the least likely out of the companies surveyed (2012: 51 per cent).
  • 50 per cent of the largest businesses are planning to hire, a significant reduction in hiring intention, compared to previous years (2012: 70 per cent, 2011: 85 per cent).
  • Overall 56 per cent of all companies plan to create new jobs this year, which is little changed from last year (2012: 58 per cent).

The vast majority of companies (83 per cent) believe that Government efforts to remove barriers to job creation are having no impact on their business, although this is a slight improvement on last year (2012: 88 per cent).

The Barclays Job Creation Survey 2013, which was undertaken in January-February 2013 by Critical Research, and surveyed over 700 UK businesses of all sizes, also reveals that 57 per cent of all businesses state they do not want to hire ex-public sector workers, an impression that has remained constant over the past two years (2012: 58 per cent, 2011: 57 per cent).

Ian Stuart added: “The survey shows that the UK’s largest companies are the most interested in taking on public sector workers, as they have skills which can be transferred, yet unfortunately they are less likely to be recruiting this year. This continues to leave ex-public sector workers in a challenging position, as the on-going rebalancing of the economy means many have to seek opportunities in the private sector.”

By Sara Bean