The survey, which measures employers' recruitment intentions, found that confidence grew throughout the first quarter of 2012, and that employers intend to hire more staff in both the short and long term, with a particular emphasis on taking on more permanent workers.
The survey found:
- 72% of respondents said they planned to increase the number of permanent employees over the next three months
- 69% expect to increase permanent hires over the next year
- 34% plan to increase agency worker numbers in the next quarter (with 44% saying they plan to keep numbers the same)
- 29% say they will increase agency workers over the next 12 months (with 55% saying they will maintain their current numbers)
Significantly, the report also highlighted a very high level of satisfaction
among employers with the service they receive from recruitment agencies - with
91 percent rating themselves as satisfied.
REC director of research, Roger Tweedy, said: "The overall figures from quarter one are really positive. Looking forward, employers tell us they plan to make more job offers over both the short and medium term - particularly for permanent roles.
"Our measure of employer confidence has reached a record high point. But the growth in confidence was less than last month so it will be important to track whether increasing employer confidence is a continuing trend or whether it's peaking."