Supporting roles buck downward trend as firms admit to shortages

Two-fifths of employers intend to increase the number of secretarial and support staff in 2009, a report has revealed.

The annual Market Report and Salary Survey by office support staff recruitment firm Crone Corkill found that 39% of employers were looking to increase their number of business support professionals in the coming year, while more than half would keep permanent hiring at current levels.

A fifth of firms reported a shortage of receptionists and top-level executive assistants, and 15% admitted they planned to increase overseas recruitment in 2009 to help fill vacancies.

Tracy Durrant, managing director of Crone Corkill, said that although there was expected to be a downturn in temporary hiring overall, it wouldn’t be as bad as expected.

“Maternity leave, for example, is often a big driver of temporary demand, and with maternity and paternity leave rights also becoming more generous, we would expect longer temporary contracts to be a continuing trend throughout 2009,” said Durrant.

Upcoming legislation, including the Agency Workers Directive, Working Time Regulations and flexible working rights, would also minimise the impact, Durrant added.

Almost 15% of the 250 firms surveyed said a lack of language ability was a key inhibitor to recruitment.

Comments are closed.