Cause for optimism

Statistics can be interpreted as we would wish them to be read, in particular if the person commissioning the report has a vested interest in the outcome.  Cynicism aside (and I am something of a glass half full kind of person) I was encouraged by the optimism (albeit cautious) evidenced by a recent survey from  For some time I have sensed that we have been in pre-election limbo whereby nothing at all seemed to be happening, not only in terms of hiring but generally in terms of business investment.   However the CareerBuilder survey suggests that an improving global economy has seen an unexpected upturn in the hiring plans of UK Private Sector employers.

By no means does this survey evidence a return to boom from bust.  39% of UK employers reported they plan to hire full-time workers in the next 12 months.  26% plan to add part-time workers whilst 21% expect to employ contract or temporary workers.  Another significant finding from the survey, despite unemployment at its highest level in over 14 years, 28% of companies surveyed reported having vacancies for which they cannot source suitably qualified talent.  62% believe there is a national skills shortage and experience tells us the gap between Employers needs and candidates skills is widening.  This can only be resolved by increasing investment in training and changing the recruitment decision away from experience to focus on attitude, the focus of many a posting on this blog.

So where are the jobs coming?  Unsurprisingly this survey highlights companies moving away from cost cutting to focus on those areas most closely associated with revenue growth first.  Typically Sales (46% of those surveyed who expressed an intent to hire expect to hire in sales in the next 12 months).  Next comes Customer Service, IT, Administration, Accounting and Marketing.

Employment is known to be a lagging indicator.  Unemployment will continue to rise even as the economy returns to growth.  Nobody is whooping and hollering over these numbers and I certainly doubt we will see anything other than at best a slow and steady climb out of the depths for employment in the private sector in the next 12 months.  The picture in the public sector remains uncertain, perhaps the only certainty is the inevitability of job cuts.  If private sector employers can open their eyes and rid themselves of industry bias, perhaps those leaving the public sector can fill that gap in the labour market the private sector knows exists?

For more information on this report visit


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Filed under Hiring, Job Creation, Opportunity, Recruitment

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