‘Political and economic uncertainty’ is ranked as the top challenge faced by a third of businesses (36 per cent), according to a report by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). A further one in five (21 per cent) businesses say a ‘shortage of suitable candidates for jobs’ is their main challenge.
For the ninth consecutive month, the REC’s JobsOutlook survey shows a shortage of suitable candidates for permanent roles in the engineering and technical sector. Shortages for permanent roles in health & social care and hospitality are also highlighted in this month’s report.
The REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey of 601 employers also reveals:
- One in five (22 per cent) intend to increase their permanent staff headcount within the next three months. Hiring intentions are particularly strong in London, where 28 per cent plan to hire permanent staff in the short-term.
- A third (33 per cent) believe that UK economic conditions are improving, whilst 29 per cent think they are getting worse.
REC chief executive Kevin Green says:
“With record-high employment and businesses continuing to expand, there’s a lot about the UK jobs market to feel good about. Hiring in the capital is picking up speed as demand drives business forward.
“However, employers are eyeing the road ahead with trepidation. There are signs that individuals are becoming less inclined to move jobs, meaning that filling vacancies is becoming even more difficult for hirers.
“Evidence that fewer EU nationals are moving to the UK to work is another concern. Sectors like healthcare and hospitality are heavily dependent on EU workers to provide the services the public needs.
“All of this amounts to more pressure on business. The government can take positive steps to ease the strain by delaying the immigration skills charge planned for April and tax changes to IR35 in the public sector. Rushed policy changes will only serve to cause more confusion at a time when businesses are craving certainty.”