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Business owners see increase in hires but cuts to reduce national debt will have a destabilising effect on recruitment

Report tracks recruitment strategies showing employers fear economic challenges, but for now are back recruiting at pre-recession levels

Despite the majority of employers (47 per cent) seeing recruitment levels return to similar or even higher volumes than before the recession, public sector cuts and the January VAT rise are already having a negative impact on recruitment strategies for employers at medium and large organisations in the UK, a new industry tracker has revealed today.

The report, by professional staffing recruitment consultancy Barclay Meade - part of the AIM-listed recruitment business Matchtech Group PLC is the first in a series of quarterly trackers aiming to provide insight into the effects of the current economic climate on the recruitment strategies of medium and large organisations in the UK. This first report reveals that while employers are remaining cautionary over fears of a double dip, recruitment levels are commonly considered to be making a considerable recovery.

For the report, Barclay Meade: Tracking UK Recruitment, owners and directors of medium and large organisations across the UK were interviewed about their current recruitment plans and the landscape of their future workforce.[1] The study revealed:
Almost a third of employers (30%) stated they are still operating under a recruitment freeze
Nearly a quarter (24%) are recruiting at below pre-recession levels
24 per cent of respondents cited that they believe the cuts in public sector expenditure will have the most negative impact on their recruitment strategies
22 per cent believe the VAT hike will also hamper their recruitment strategies
One in 10 (10%) employers are experiencing difficulty identifying the right recruitment agency to partner with

More encouragingly, however:
47% of business owners said they are presently recruiting at similar or even higher levels than before the recession
Companies with a turnover between 1m - 5m which are more likely to see growth with 9% experiencing recruitment levels higher than before the recession
Only 11% of firms with a turnover of 20m or more are still implementing a recruitment freeze
The knowledge held by the recruiter of a clients sector is an important quality for 55% of clients

The findings of the tracker are supported by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs released in October. The report, which showed that the number of job vacancies grew last month, but at the slowest rate in almost a year, highlights a recovery in the market which is unearthed in the tracker, but also portrays a steady recovery which is underpinned by caution.

Barclay Meade managing director Nigel Lynn says: Our Tracking UK Recruitment report has brought to light the extent to which employers of medium and large organisations across the UK fear stagnation of growth, and that the public sector cuts we now know are certain from the Comprehensive Spending Review, will indeed have an impact on the levels and volume of staff they will be able to hire over the next year. Indeed, the fragility of growth will provide another stumbling block for UK firms in the coming months.

Employers are looking to make key hires as commercial investments and part of their growth plans. The correct strategic hires, and their integration into the business, will be paramount to success. Working with a recruitment consultant and executive search company to research and fulfil these roles and improve candidate traction will be more important than ever to clients over the next year if they are to arm themselves with the correct talent for the challenges and opportunities presented in the current climate.

The recruitment industry must be prepared to add value, ensure an understanding client and candidate cultural fit, and focus on providing the best service. The sector will also need to be flexible with candidates and research even harder both on and offline to make sure the highest level of talent is mapped.

Barclay Meade is one of the UKs leading professional staffing recruitment agencies, specialising in accountancy, financial services, human resources, procurement, supply chain and logistics, sales, marketing and communications and executive search.

With offices in London, Southampton, St Albans and Aberdeen, Barclay Meade specialises in providing sector expertise and knowledge in interim, temporary, contract, permanent and executive recruitment.


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