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Is it all doom & gloom for UK recruitment? 28/03/2011

We may have begun a new year, but the cloud of economic uncertainty hanging over the recruitment industry from the last quarter still lingers. Matt Scott provides insights from the Barclay Meade labour market statistics.

Is it all doom & gloom for UK recruitment?

Click to jump to section

  1. Setbacks in 2010
  2. Public/private sector restructuring
  3. Employee engagement - key trend for 2011
  4. Still a way to go
  5. Download Barclay Meade's recruitment insight
  6. Downloadable document

Setbacks in 2010

During quarter four of 2010, the UK business community has faced many obstacles with December’s cold snap, the impending VAT hike, and the Government’s austerity drive culminating in an air of uncertainty over the UK’s recovery post recession.

Public/private sector restructuring

With the coalition Government pushing forward its austerity drive, the public and private sector workforce is in a position of restructuring as certain sectors experience periods of growth and others suffer contraction.

We know that the construction industry was hit hard moving into the last three months of the year, with the severe weather affecting output and there are fears of heavy job losses in construction in 2011. However, the uplift in the manufacturing industry is counterbalancing the losses felt in construction and we expect the weak value of the pound will help exporters move the economy forward.

Employee engagement - key trend for 2011

As a result of this restructuring, there has been increased demand for skilled workers across the jobs market, in addition to the continued demand for sales and marketing professionals who are crucial to improving the commercial value of an organisation.

With the best candidates increasingly in short supply but high demand, sourcing the right employees and then retaining them will be a problem that many businesses will encounter in 2011. Organisations should consider if they are implementing effective employee engagement programmes that offer opportunities for development, reward and recognition to ensure that the best talent is retained and business performance is optimised. Despite this uncertainty, the report shows a good level of optimism among companies in the current climate, in terms of both business performance and recruitment.

Still a way to go

Despite the level of confidence shown in the final quarter of 2010, we wait to see how spending cuts, the VAT hike and the rise in national insurance contributions affect the recruitment strategies of businesses moving forward.

For now businesses should focus on reducing the time it takes to hire the right personnel, with the aim of reducing costs and ultimately increasing staff retention levels. The recruitment sector will need to aid organisations in this process, using experience and expertise to deliver results for clients.

Download Barclay Meade's recruitment insight

Please click below to download the full report.

Downloadable document

Barclay-Meade-tracking-recruitment.pdf (1024kb Pdf)

Matt Scott, HR operations manager, Barclay Meade

Matt Scott, HR operations manager, Barclay Meade

Matt is HR operations manager at Barclay Meade.