UK companies are growing increasingly confident about their ability to find and recruit their staff – that’s according to the findings of a newly published Business Census 2017 report.
The annual survey of 1,300 firms, carried out by the business data website Company Check during November and December, revealed the number of firms which see recruitment as their biggest challenge has fallen by more than half in two years, from 24% in 2015 to 9% for the year ahead.
More than half (54%) said they expected to hire new staff during 2017 as 74% said they were expecting their business to grow in the coming year.
Katie Deverill, operations manager Company Check, said:
“The Business Census lets us ‘take the temperature’ of UK companies to understand the big challenges they’re going to be facing and focusing on during the next 12 months. As we do it every year we get to see trends over time and it’s clear from the data that recruitment is becoming less arduous with each year that passes – the recruitment industry has surely played its part in that.”
Recruitment was more of a challenge in Wales than anywhere else, with 14% naming it their biggest concern. That figure fell to just 7% in London.
Construction was the sector struggling most with it, at 14%, above manufacturing (11%), food and drink (10%) and retail (6%). Professional services was also 6%.
The Business Census questioned people working across the UK, with participants taken from professional services (21%), construction (16%), manufacturing (11%), technology (9%), retail (8%) and finance (4%) among others.
Nationally, concerns about political events almost doubled compared to 2016, with it being named the biggest challenge ahead by one in three (30%), an increase of 90% on the year before.
The economy topped the list of concerns for all businesses for 2017, at 35% – up from 31% the year before.