Employers were asked about their permanent workforce and plans for the short and medium term. Eighty-one per cent said they intended to take on new permanent staff within three months and almost eighty per cent in the next four to twelve months. These figures represent a record high that is significantly above the twenty-five per cent recorded at the beginning of the year. They appear to be in response to a rise in customer activity.
In addition, fifty-one per cent of employers plan to use more agency workers within three months, and forty-three per cent in the next four to twelve months. It's good news for candidates looking for jobs in Birmingham and elsewhere.
Despite the positive outlook, concerns have been expressed regarding the widening skills gap. Those involved in sales recruitment, as well as those looking to fill engineering and technical roles, are considered particularly vulnerable, with 25% forecasting shortages over the next year.
Kevin Green, CEO at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), agrees that these results, the best since 2009, reflect the impact of the economic recovery on the jobs market. He also suggests that those recruiting for jobs in Birmingham and in other parts of the country will need to bear in mind the shift towards a more candidate-led jobs market and tailor their hiring processes accordingly. In terms of the skills shortage, Green warns that the government, recruiters and employers must work together to address issues before the problem intensifies further, putting the recovery in jeopardy.
However, Kate Shoesmith, Head of Policy at the REC, points out that even with the shortage in skills, almost ninety per cent of employers say they are happy with the standard of candidates being passed their way.