Recruitment drive continues despite economic conditions

UK
firms are becoming more cautious and are recruiting to replace rather than to
grow, the latest research has found.

A
survey of more than 800 organisations across Britain shows that business became
more wary of recruitment towards the end of last year compared to predictions
in late September.

Despite
this, The Reed Recruitment Index reveals that over 80 per cent of UK firms
still plan to actively recruit staff, despite the economic conditions.

Around
52 per cent of firms are recruiting to replace, compared to 43 per cent in the
last quarter of 2001, with another 32 per cent recruiting for growth – down
slightly from 39 per cent last year.

The
index shows the number of companies planning to downsize is unchanged from the
previous period at 10 per cent.

James
Reed, chief executive of Reed, claimed the figures pointed to a pause in
recruitment rather than a radical decline:

“Global
economic uncertainty made 2001 difficult for many British businesses. However,
our recruitment index shows a significant number of organisations are gearing
up for growth this year,” he said.

The
type of skills wanted by industry is also changing, with demand for sales and
customer service staff seeing the largest rise over the last quarter.

Companies
have also been struggling to recruit experienced technical, engineering,
administrative and secretarial personnel.

By Ross Wigham

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