For those not in the know, JobsOutlook
is a survey taken of approximately six hundred employers across the UK detailing their hiring intentions.
According to the REC website "[The survey] features in-depth analysis and insight about the UK's labour market, including detailed responses from employers about workforce planning".
The survey is released monthly for the perusal of the REC members community.
Not a member? Not a problem. We've leafed through the survey and picked out what we think are the most important and timely points of interest.
1) Employer confidence in the UK economy is just a breath above the all-time record low. 15% of employers surveyed said they saw the UK economic situation improving as a whole while a whopping 44% said they expected the situation to worsen. However, even with this economic uncertainty, the survey showed that 25% of employers involved in hiring expected confidence in employer hiring and investments to get better versus 28% who expect it to worsen. In a nutshell, employers may have no confidence in the UK economy but they are still invested in growing their workforce.
2) 45% of employers surveyed expressed concern over being able to find skilled workers to fill their permanent hire roles. According to the survey, concern was noticeably higher in the public sector than the private with a 60% vs 42% split. Engineering, Construction, and Health & Social Care remain the three skill areas with the most shortages and thus causing the most concern.
3) 80% of employers have little or no surplus workforce capacity. Eight out of ten UK employers surveyed stated that they did not have enough surplus employees if/when demand for their services were to increase or if they faced a period of unexpected growth.
These points are just a glimpse of the entire report but as Ireland's leading recruitment agency we could not help but focus in on the points most relevant to us.
It's refreshing to see that in spite of the looming cloud that is the Brexit deadline in a few months that employers have confidence in growing their workforce but that is blighted by the stark reality of how lacking the UK is in skilled personnel in essential sectors. Not to mention that when employers have the happy circumstance of increased demand or unexpected growth they are in no way prepared to take on those responsibilities without the cost of new staff. Which then again is compounded by the skills shortage because what good is job demand if you don't have the skilled people to fill them?
It is a thorny, multi-faceted issue that is akin to being stuck in a never-ending loop.
How do we break that loop? Where does the responsibility for solving these problems lie? With us the recruiters? With employers? With the skills suppliers?
Hopefully, as 2019 progresses against the ticking timebomb of Brexit, all involved can band together and get these problems solved. You never know, the next couple of REC surveys might make for some interesting reading down the line.
We'd love to know your thoughts on the survey and the points we've raised.