An in depth report on employment growth and opportunity shows a far more confident business community looking to hire over the next 12 months, with employees also thinking about shifting jobs and making career changes.
With 66 per cent of business organizations stating that they plan to increase employee pay next year, this could not come at a better time with an estimated 55 per cent of employees unhappy with their current salaries. Additionally, out of the 30 per cent of employees surveyed who had actually asked for a pay increase, only half were successful.
With growing business confidence across the UK, 68 per cent of businesses surveyed across all sectors said they expect increased business activity in the coming 12 months. This is reflected in hiring intentions, with 74 per cent planning to recruit new staff in this coming year.
Further, 84 per cent of those employers are looking to hire new employees on a permanent basis. Additionally, there will be an increased demand for temporary staff as well with 49 per cent of employers planning to hire temporary staff, and nearly half (48 per cent) doing so to cover peaks in demand. A further 15 per cent are recruiting ‘temps’ due to the difficulty in finding permanent staff. Covering for specific skills deficits (20 per cent) and long-term leave cover (18 per cent) are considered key reasons for taking on temporary staff.
Across the UK, finding skilled employees appears to be one of the biggest challenges among recruiters. With 79 per cent of organizations saying that there is a shortage of suitable candidates and 31 per cent of organizations saying they do not think they have the talent to achieve their current business objectives.
There is an interesting shift in perspective, however, because the most coveted skills today are the demand for operational and technical skills, whereas management and leadership were the most prized skills last year. The report notes that this indicates business confidence and plans for growth. Additionally, 97 per cent of employees feel they have the skills to do their jobs, and nearly half (47 per cent) see no opportunity for career development. The report also suggests that businesses may be missing an opportunity to implement career development plans for their employees.
Some businesses are embarking on is recruiting apprentices (29 per cent), increasing recruitment and marketing activities (22 per cent) and transferring staff to skill short areas, while also permitting study leaves (both at 20 per cent). Additionally, the report indicates that employees do increasingly expect work-life balance options and each generation has preferences but it does attract skilled workers and is an important part of the appeal of working for a company. The report suggests it is good for business and will increasingly be good for employers and employees.
Work life balance does factor in for employees (23 per cent) and less so for employers (18 per cent) but may also shift somewhat with each new generation. For baby boomers, 27 per cent value a work-life balance, followed by job security (20 per cent) and location (20 per cent). While younger generations favor career profession with 42 per cent citing this as their most important factor when considering a new job.
Businesses in the UK also reflect growing employee confidence with 59 per cent planning to change jobs in the next 12 months and three quarters (75 per cent) looking to move on in the next two years. The report notes that forward thinking companies are beginning to plan ahead for future recruitment needs.
The report, which is over 200 pages long, details that finance and banking are key areas for growth going forward followed by construction and engineering, human resources, insurance, IT, legal, marketing, office support/administration, procurement and supply chains.