– Nearly one-in-four UK employers plan to add headcount in the third quarter
– One-third of employers say they have slowed their hiring pace compared to 2007 due to the economy
– Despite the slower economy, more than one-third of UK employers say they have open positions for which they cannot find qualified talent
– 66 per cent of UK employers expect to raise salaries in the third quarter, a significant increase from the same time (45 per cent) last year
– One-in-four workers say they are actively looking for a new job, up from 16 per cent at the same time last year
– Four key trends for Q3: Employers still holding on to underperformers; Employers using softer market to strengthen staffs; Employers getting more competitive in recruiting and retention efforts; More workers becoming active and passive job seekers
The midyear job forecast from CareerBuilder.co.uk, a leading online job site in the United Kingdom indicates employers have slowed their hiring pace due to the current economic climate, but are still aggressively trying to find new, high quality talent. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive(R) and titled “Q3 2008 Job Forecast,” was carried out from May 22 through June 13, 2008 among hiring managers, HR professionals and workers in the United Kingdom.
Thirty-six per cent of UK employers reported they have slowed their hiring pace this year compared to 2007 due to uncertainties around the economy. Twelve per cent of employers expect the economy will begin to improve in the second half of 2008, helping to fuel new business initiatives and staff expansions. Twenty-seven per cent anticipate an improvement in the first half of 2009 while 16 per cent said the economy is likelier to turn around in the second half of 2009.
“The job market has slowed, but employers are still hiring – in fact nearly one-in-four employers plan to add full-time employees in the third quarter,” said Tony Roy, Manager Director of CareerBuilder.co.uk. “In a slower job market, employers shift focus and use the time to find the best possible talent available because it is more important than ever that employees perform and add value to the organisation. The most successful job seekers will be knowledgeable about their potential employers, customize their CVs for the position at hand and focus on their ability to deliver results.”
HIRING IN Q2 2008 AND Q3 2008
Thirty per cent of employers said their organisations increased the number of full-time, permanent employees in the second quarter. Fifty-seven per cent reported no change in staff levels from April through June, while 10 per cent reported a reduction in headcount and 4 per cent were undecided.
Looking forward, 24 per cent of employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in the third quarter, a 6 percent decline from the second quarter. At the same time, 11 per cent expect to decrease headcount, similar to the second quarter, while 56 per cent expect no change and 9 per cent are undecided. Twenty-three per cent of employers plan to add temporary staff in the second half of the year.
Fifteen per cent of hiring managers reported there were layoffs at their locations in the second quarter. Eighty-two per cent said layoffs did not occur while 3 per cent were unsure. Twelve per cent anticipate layoffs at their locations in the third quarter while 77 per cent expect no change and 12 per cent are unsure.
FOUR TRENDS FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2008
1) Despite the slowdown, employers are still holding on to underperforming employees Thirty-one per cent admitted they are retaining workers that they normally would not due to the lack of available talent.
2) Employers are becoming more competitive in recruiting and retaining skilled talent, as indicated by an increase in salaries
Thirty-five per cent of employers reported they currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates. Sixty-six per cent of hiring managers expect to provide an increase in salaries for full-time, permanent employees in the third quarter, significantly higher than the 45 per cent who planned to do so at the same time last year. Thirty-eight per cent expect the average raise will range between 1 and 3 per cent, 25 per cent expect an average raise of 4 to 10 per cent and 3 per cent expect salaries to increase by 11 per cent or more. Twenty-three per cent reported that they do not plan to change compensation levels, none are planning to decrease salaries and 11 per cent are unsure.
3) Employers are leveraging the softer job market to strengthen staffs
On the other hand, some employers are taking advantage of a slower hiring pace in the UK to enhance their own talent pool. Twenty-seven per cent of hiring managers said they are using this time to replace lower-performing employees with new, better talent.
4) More workers are becoming active and passive job seekers
Twenty-one per cent of workers said they are fearful of layoffs at their firms. The desire to find better opportunities and more stability is driving the search for new jobs. One-in-four workers reported they are actively looking for a new job. More than one-in-ten (12 per cent) say they are likely to leave their current job within the next six months and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) said within the next year. Twenty-six per cent of workers reported it took them two months or longer to find their last job; one-in-ten said it took more than 6 months. Among those not actively looking for a job, 78 per cent of workers said they would be open to a new job if they came across the right opportunity.
“Economic uncertainty may be driving more workers to look for new employment opportunities compared to a year ago,” said Roy. “While hiring has slowed, many companies still have talent gaps due to an inability to find qualified workers. Employers are implementing more competitive recruitment and retention strategies to appeal to these highly sought-after workers, focusing specifically on company stability, long-term career opportunities and competitive salaries.”
This survey was conducted online within the U.K. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.co.uk among 289 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions); and 656 U.K. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed) ages 18 and over between June 2 and June 13, 2008, respectively (percentages for some questions are based on a subset of Employers or Employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 289 and 656 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 5.76 percentage points and +/- 3.83 percentage points, respectively.