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Global employment survey

Global employment survey finds markets still dropping but showing signs of levelling out

A quarterly survey of hiring and firing trends covering over 4000 businesses in 32 key countries around the world has found job prospects for professionals and managers continuing to slow, although more organisations expect to recruit at this level in the coming three months.

The Global Snapshot from the international recruitment firm, Antal, asked 4217 companies in major markets such as western and eastern Europe, Africa, India, China and the USA whether they were currently hiring at professional and managerial level. It then asked whether they planned to do so in the coming quarter and whether they were currently letting staff go or were planning to do so in the next three months. Current hiring across the globe was down from 54% of respondents at the beginning of the year to 47% now. However the percentage of organisations intending to hire in the coming quarter had actually risen, albeit modestly, from 43% to 44%.

Western Europe

The highest current hiring levels amongst the larger economies were in France (53%), Belgium (48%) and Germany (48%). However hiring intentions in Germany had actually dropped significantly since the last survey at the beginning of the year from an extremely high 81%. The lowest level of hiring was in Switzerland at 20% of businesses surveyed, reflecting the economys reliance on the financial sector. The highest level of recruiting was in Malta where 72% of businesses were actively seeking new people at managerial/professional level, fuelled largely by the boom in the online gaming sector.

Eastern Europe and Eurasia

The highest recruiting levels in this region were in the Czech Republic (60%), Russia (58%) and Poland (52%), and in Russia this level had risen since the last survey at the start of 2009. Hungarys well-documented economic problems meant that it had the lowest level of hiring in the region with only 32% of businesses questioned actively seeking new managers or professionals.

Africa and the Middle East

Although demand for new staff had dropped from an exceptionally high level at the beginning of the year (74%), Egypt was still experiencing the highest level of recruitment in the region with 51% of respondents currently hiring new managers or professionals. Despite the evident end of the boom market in the Gulf, hiring levels in the UAE were still relatively robust at 47% and looked set to rise to 50% in the coming quarter.


After a substantial dip in hiring levels at the start of 2009, confidence seems to be returning, at least in part, to the Chinese jobs market with hiring levels up from 43% to 46% and organisations expecting to recruit at an even faster rate over the next few months. The percentage of organisations shedding staff at professional level has also dropped, from 32% in our last survey to 30% now. The picture in India is a similar one to that in China with the professional jobs market making a substantive recovery after a major loss of confidence at the start of 2009. Current hiring levels are up to 47% from 29% in the last report.

The Americas

Despite the general economic pain being felt across the USA, the survey suggests that with 43% of businesses questioned still recruiting, hiring levels for managers and professionals have not as yet been as badly affected as some commentators predicted. In Latin America hiring rates in Brazil have been reduced from the exceptionally high 85% reported in the survey to a more modest 53%. However the collapse in confidence that seemed indicated at the beginning of the year when only 16% of businesses expected to hire in the coming quarter has not come to fruition.


According the famous psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, individuals confronted by a major trauma or crisis move through five distinct phases as they try to come to terms with their world being turned upside down denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The results of the Global Snapshot and anecdotal evidence from our offices around the world tend to suggest that businesses of all shapes and sizes across the globe are beginning to enter phase five, something which could be very good news indeed, says Antals CEO, Tony Goodwin. The period of panic and unilluminated gloom does finally seem to be behind us. Recovery may still be a good way off, but it could be that we are now better prepared to pave the way to it than we have been for quite some time.
To borrow a quote from someone who was much, much better at phrasing this idea than me, This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.


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