Hire and fire mentality grips HR

HR
departments face the challenge of hiring new staff while simultaneously
laying-off existing employees, according to research from the Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

While
53 per cent of companies expect to be hiring more staff this year, nearly a
quarter are planning redundancies, according to the CIPD’s first quarterly HR
Trends and Indicators survey of 2,000 employees in all sectors and regions of
the UK.

Manufacturing
companies are the most likely to make redundancies, with a third expecting to
cut staff numbers by 5 per cent or more. The strongest recruitment drives are
in public administration and finance.

John
Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD, said: "The expectation of
strengthening economic recovery in 2004 is clearly making many organisations
more optimistic about job prospects.

"These
figures remain consistent with the CIPD’s current expectation that total UK
employment levels will  rise by around a
quarter of a million this year. However, manufacturing is a major exception,
though job losses in the sector are consistent with recovery as employers
restructure to boost competitiveness," he said.

The
main reasons given for making redundancies included reorganising work methods
(31 per cent) and competitiveness, efficiency and cost reduction (21 per cent).

By
Lindsay Clark

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