Employers taking more optimistic view on job creation

Employers are adopting a longer-term approach to recruitment and hiring as optimism about the future increases.

The latest JobsOutlook report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which covered May, found that 44 per cent of respondents have plans to boost their full-time workforces over the next three months. Over a half (52 per cent) said they intended to recruit more permanent staff within the next 12 months.

In another encouraging sign, the proportion of employers that have imposed a freeze on recruitment dropped to just 20 per cent, a long way down on the 43 per cent mark hit in late 2010.

Demand for agency and temporary workers remains high as firms look to add a degree of flexibility to their workforce plans. Some 22 per cent are intending to take on more agency workers over the next three months, with a similar percentage expecting to do the same during the next 12 months.

But some employers reported that they would be aiming to reduce their reliance on tempoprary employees, reflecting an increasing willingness on the part of some firms to move instead towards creating permanent positions.

Roger Tweedy, the REC's director of research, commented on the figures: "This is the first real confirmation that employers are feeling more confident and are taking a strategic long-term view of their employment planning.

"Creating more permanent jobs and the lifting of headcount freezes are solid indicators of this increasing confidence. This is encouraging news at what remains a difficult and volatile time for the UK jobs market."

However, Mr Tweedy added that it is still "a big ask" for the private sector to absorb the predicted sharp fallout in the public sector jobs market once the spending cuts really begin to bite.