7 in 10 SMEs struggling with recruitment

  • Business Advice
7 in 10 SMEs struggling with recruitment
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

Seven in ten employers across the UK are still witnessing a shortage of all types of candidates for their roles, according to a survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)

Small employers are having even more problems as more than 80% of those with fewer than 50 staff told the REC that they struggled to find workers.

Despite a year of slower economic growth and lower overall hiring, this shows that the UK jobs market is still struggling to meet employers’ demand, the REC argues. The challenge facing policymakers and employers is, it went on, to stop these ongoing candidate shortages constraining the economy if economic growth returns this year.

REC Chief Executive, Neil Carberry, said: “Companies reporting persistent hiring difficulties comes as no surprise to us at the REC. Too few firms have appreciated that — despite slow growth — our jobs market has changed fundamentally. Only 9.5% of firms told us they were looking to temps, freelancers and contractors to help.”

The debate has to change if the economy is to reach its full potential and boost prosperity, public services and incomes, he continued, highlighting REC’s manifesto, Dynamic Labour Markets for Growth, which sets out some key steps that the REC says can be taken in the upcoming Budget.

Mr Carberry pointed out that there were 1.7 million active job postings in December 2023 and with a reported 10% surge in demand for staff across the economy, and the labour market restricted by shortages, this could lead to a 1.2% fall in expected GDP and productivity by 2027.

And that, he concluded, could cost the economy anywhere between £30 billion and £39 billion every year.

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