Page 1

Summer 2012 Tracking UK Recruitment including a supplement on talent management


contents: executive summary special report: > > > >

talent management with Rudi Kindts sustaining talent development focus on talent management the candidate’s perspective

what does the tracker show? overview sectors - the current state of play across the regions

2 www.barclaymeade.com


executive summary “As a consequence of the UK entering into a double-dip recession, we must begin to consider the potential long-term impact on the recruitment market. We are already seeing in the current climate signs of permanent, significant changes to the way we are employed as a nation. The current pressure being put upon businesses was behind the recommendations in Adrian Beecroft’s Government commissioned report, which is widely supported throughout the industry. The report called for employers to be given greater freedom to create a more flexible workforce that would better support their trading performance and the wider economy. But what would this mean for candidates, with employers given more freedom to hire and fire; would candidates see moving jobs as too much of a risk?

However, the challenges they face in doing this is overcoming a worsening skills shortage as the UK’s younger generation fails to deliver the skills and experience that companies require. Far too many young people are completing irrelevant, non-vocational university courses, which are failing to prepare them for the workplace. Until the vocational learning and training cycle has completed a full phase over the next six years or so, it will be difficult to fully address this problem and we will have to rely on the older generation to do their best to address the widening skills gap. Suggestions that the Government should force older workers to retire to provide greater job opportunities for young people are not feasible as it would only make the problem of a skills shortage worse.

In the current marketplace, opportunities in sectors such as construction and financial services remain subdued. However, there are still strong pockets of growth out there, especially in areas where high skilled candidates are in demand, such as the automotive and oil and gas sectors. No matter what the economic climate, securing the very best talent will always remain high on employers’ agendas, especially in forward-thinking companies in developing SME markets.

The focus should instead be on easing red tape for businesses, including relaxing employment legislation, which would help stimulate hiring activity if supported by greater periods of sustained economic prosperity. Business confidence remains key to the future of the UK recruitment landscape and so we must hope that pockets of industrial growth can spread more widely across the sectors during the next two quarters; a period which will be crucial in determining the longterm economic prospects for the UK.

More generally, the UK jobs market remains very fluid and changeable at short notice. While recruitment freezes have again become more common, they are often only introduced as temporary measures, lasting for much shorter periods than three to five years ago. Encouragingly, we are seeing an increase in recruitment for permanent and fixed-term contract positions, as employers avoid hiring temporary staff as a cost-saving measure.

Finally, following on from the marketing supplement featured in the Tracking UK Recruitment report last quarter, we have focussed this time on the HR industry. Interviewing senior management and HR professionals in medium to large organisations we learn about the term ‘talent management’ and what it means today.”

Nigel Lynn DIrector, Barclay Meade

www.barclaymeade.com 3


special report: talent management Rudi Kindts gives us an insight into the talent management industry.

According to recent surveys amongst Chief Executives, the ‘talent agenda’ has again risen to the top of their concerns. Fifteen years on from McKinsey’s ‘War for Talent’, numerous research studies have confirmed that people do have a major influence on the successful performance of organisations. Not a lot has changed in the debate though and often the same old questions are being asked, such as ‘how to identify and assess talent?’, ‘what is the best way to retain talent?’ ‘how to develop the leaders of the future?’ and ‘how to create greater inclusivity in our organisation?’ There are several reasons why these questions keep popping up. One of the reasons is complacency. A loose chat over a cup of coffee is not what I would call a rigorous candidate selection process. In too many cases, the pendulum has swung too far from the more scientific approach to the so-called ‘nononsense’ approach, which leads to an ever increasing cost of mis-hiring. A lack of innovation in the recruitment area often leads to depleted pools of potential hires. HR professionals can learn from brand marketeers about how to create, trial and repeat with an identified employer brand, and from trade marketeers about how to engage with candidates through various channels and available touch points; the use of social media being one of several.

4 www.barclaymeade.com

The same lack of innovation applies to employee development. Knowledge transfer has rightly been moved from the classroom to fancy online learning systems, leading to increased efficiencies. On the other hand, companies are shying away from the cost that comes with transformational development such as coaching/mentoring, the design of tailormade, first-hand experience and programmes that stretch participants through wider exposure (e.g. international, across sectors, across functions etc.). One thing is sure; change and increased complexity are here to stay and should form the focal point of any development intervention. The talent management arena has become a showroom of best practices and flavour of the month that are often disconnected with the real needs of the business. In a worst case scenario, leaders can’t be bothered to apply them effectively because of a lack of user-friendliness; in some cases the processes are boringly complex. There is the other scenario; when leaders comply and ritualize the process, turning talent management into a ‘tick the box’ exercise.


In most cases, the main reason talent management approaches fail is not related to the quality of the processes, tools and practices being introduced. Instead, it lies in the lack of leadership behaviours that have proven to determine the successful outcome of any talent strategy implementation.” Four conditions spring to mind: 1) Discipline: Leaders in the business invest time and effort in bringing talent development to life. This includes thorough selection interviewing, productive performance conversations, thoughtful potential assessments, effective coaching and exciting on-thejob development plans. 2) Accountability: Leaders in the business are happy to be held accountable for the level of competence and commitment of their people, their development and retention. This responsibility is not delegated to the HR function. 3) Ownership: The development of talent, the creation of a pipeline of quality future leaders and the exchange of views around emerging talent issues form part of the business agenda and feature repeatedly on the agenda of key business meetings. 4) Transparency: The debate ‘about people’, is complemented by meaningful and adult conversations ‘with people’ about development issues, work/life ambitions and (realistic) career aspirations. In doing so, talent management becomes an exciting and dynamic event, rather than a bureaucratic ‘black box’ exercise taking place behind closed doors.

www.barclaymeade.com 5


Recently, more strategic talent issues are emerging, in line with changing demographics

6 www.barclaymeade.com


So far, I have covered what I would call the basics. Getting those right, in particular the leadership behaviours as outlined previously, will take talent management a long way. Recently, more strategic talent issues are emerging, in line with changing demographics (e.g. multi-generational workforce, millennials), evolving ways of working (e.g. connectivity in a matrix organisation, virtual organisation), increased pressures at work (e.g. well-being), further globalisation (e.g. international workforce), to name a few.

The most personalised interaction is the relationship between leaders and their people. That’s why ultimately, the leaders in the business carry the end responsibility for success or failure of any talent strategy. The old saying still stands: ‘People join companies, they leave bosses.’ CEOs are moving talent management to the top of their agenda again and will hopefully go beyond paying lip service to what they claim is one of the key contributors to their companies’ current and future success. - Esher, June 17, 2012.

The old saying still stands: ‘People join companies, they leave bosses.’ There is one certainty for the future; the world and hence the business world will continue to change and will become ever more complex. Consequently, talent management needs to respond to this reality by becoming more agile and responsive. This requires the careful management of a challenging paradox. On the one hand, it is paramount to increase efficiencies through simplification and standardisation. On the other hand though, practice should allow to personalise as much as possible.

www.barclaymeade.com 7


sustaining talent development Rory Fidgeon and Bill Davies from JCA Occupational Psychologists look at sustaining talent development through emotional intelligence.

In this article, we will discuss seven recommendations for making talent management and development sustainable through the application of emotional intelligence (EI). Our definition of EI stresses the importance of focusing on both skills ‘and’ attitude. If talent management equally focused on attracting or building the right attitude as well as the right skills, participants would be more likely to approach development with an interested, open and positive mind-set rather than with suspicion or indifference. If this were the case, then all talent development would stand much more of a chance of delivering results. Focus on managing attitude just as much as skill People who are closed minded, lack awareness and feel defensive are not ready to change. Without managing attitude, organisations risk wasting a lot of time, money and effort when investing in development activities. At best, they may deliver transitory developmental benefits and at worst, the feedback will be viewed with indifference, suspicion or anger. Allow sufficient time Changing attitudes and habits can take time, but the pay off is worthwhile. It may be more difficult to sell to budget holders, who are drawn to the quicker fix options, but it is inevitably a false economy if the old behaviour or problem soon returns.

8 www.barclaymeade.com

Be interactive and work in groups One form of experiential learning is to make it interactive. Working in groups provides a wonderful source of feedback from others and the opportunity to try out new techniques with people. Focus on feelings and the self A useful technique is to discuss how uncomfortable people feel talking about themselves. Also notice the depth of the conversation; it is all too easy to discuss other people, the past, the future or task issues and avoid talking about current feelings about oneself. Seek to change habits Most of what we do is unconscious, automatic and habitual behaviour. If change is to be sustainable it must, therefore, become habitual. Making a change is one thing but maintaining the change is far more difficult; all too often people will revert back to old behaviours when under pressure or the initial motivation for change has gone. One reason for this is that the person does not really want to change. Being in touch with our feelings will help us know what we really want, rather than pretending to ourselves, following other people’s expectations of us, doing the ‘right’ thing or keeping others happy.


Apply multiple sources of feedback Feedback is the source to self-awareness and knowledge and allows us to make informed and realistic choices on our behaviour. There are many forms by which we can gain feedback, all of which are valuable. Some will work better for some people than others, so it is usually more effective to include several approaches. Make learning experiential All too often people know what they should do but don’t do it in practice. The reason is that what we learn as knowledge happens in a different part of the brain from experiential learning. Learning from experience involves the whole body and engages our emotions, which is processed in the limbic brain where we create new attitudinal patterns.

www.barclaymeade.com 9 www.barclaymeade.com 9


case study we have recently measured the impact of an EI programme with a group of 150 managers The proportion of managers achieving high levels of EI before and 3 months after the intervention are shown below. Our research confirms sustained improvements in performance and include: • Self Regard: Before 43% After 68% (25% increase) • Regard for Others: Before 58% After 82% (24% increase) • Emotional Resilience: Before 64% After 84% (20% increase) • Personal Power (self-efficacy): Before 45% After 81% (36 % increase) • Goal Directedness: Before 42% After 67% (25% increase) • Flexibility: Before 65% After 86% (21% increase) In the same study, there was testimony evidence for improved retention, improved relationships and, critically, improved impact on customers as well as general performance.

References Hunter, J.E. (1984). Validity and utility of alternate predictors of job performance. Psychological Bulletin, 96, 72–98. Jenkins, D. & Maddocks, J. (2005). Prison officers, emotional labour and the intelligent management of emotions. SDR. BPS Conference. Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. LeDoux, J. (2003). The emotional brain. Phoenix. A Division of Orion. Maddocks, J. (2005). Research studies on the ‘ie’ – Technical manual. JCA. Maddocks, J. (2007). A three-month pre- and post-study applying the human element to developing emotional intelligence. Ezine. www.emotionalintelligence.co.uk Maddocks, J. & Sparrow, T. (1998). The Individual Effectiveness Questionnaire. JCA.

10 www.barclaymeade.com


www.barclaymeade.com 11 www.barclaymeade.com 11


focus on talent management In order to understand what the term ‘talent management’ means in the current marketplace, how companies best identify talent and how programs to develop it are measured, we interviewed the HR directors of 20 medium and large organisations. The first question we asked, was to describe what the term means to them? “Identification, development and effective deployment of employees who are likely to make a significant difference to the performance of an organisation.” “Developing and orchestrating the potential and identified capability contained within a workforce.” “A structured plan to evaluate the levels of talent available to an organisation, both internally and externally, and to be able to maximise that talent in ways that continually improve business performance.” For most, it was a process which comprises of identifying the very best internal and external candidates, developing their potential and ensuring the right drivers are put in place to ensure talent is valued, and therefore retained, within an organisation. When questioned on how companies can best identify and develop talent, the HR directors felt a collaboration of ‘sourcing, attracting, recruiting and onboarding’ was the most important factor, but that a combination of different tactics was the best solution.

12 www.barclaymeade.com

Primarily, providing promotion and transitioning, as well as training and development opportunities were identified as the forefront of any programme. However, managing and defining competitive salaries remains a key consideration for both internal and external candidates and must be offered in partnership with other benefits in order to distinguish an organisation from its competitors. Interestingly, for most of the HR directors ‘talent management’ had become an overused phrase, with more than three quarters (76.2%) feeling that it was repeated too much within their organisation or industry. There was an opinion in some quarters that it seems to be applied to only the “special ones”, and that in fact talent should be seen as potential to add significant value to an organisation not just select individuals.


So not only did they feel it was being used too frequently but also that it was being misused on some levels. However, despite the term being first introduced back in the 1990’s, HR directors felt ‘talent’ was still the right word to be using – with 71.4% in agreement. However, one individual suggested this is due to the fact that there are currently are no alternatives. There was less of a consensus on how best to measure ROI within talent management programs. A few of the HR directors we interviewed identified a measure against the number of appointments and promotions of internal candidates compared to those recruited externally. Although for the majority of HR directors the view was that is very hard to measure ROI accurately, and any judgement was based loosely on subjective, qualitative data. For example, the perceived value they added to a department or whether the individual envisaged a future in the company and whether they felt valued. It is clear that measuring ROI within a talent management programme is a challenge and that many HR directors admit their current process falls short. In the current economic climate the need to identify and retain talent to maximise the potential of an organisation is increasingly important. The recruitment industry must look at helping companies to find the best talent. Organisations must also continue to develop an effective model for defining and measuring talent, to ensure they retain their very best employees and maximise business performance.

www.barclaymeade.com 13


the candidate’s perspective To provide an alternative view, we interviewed four candidates working in Procurement, HR and Finance and asked them what they thought of ‘talent management’.

What in your opinion does the term ‘talent management’ mean?

1. Guidance for able employees 2. The business to provide the recruitment team with numbers as well as the makeup of skills required both in short and long term, having a structured system in place to not only attract talent but also to keep them within the organisation. This whilst making them feel they will have the opportunities to grow 3. Pairing great people’s current skills and desires with opportunities to excel & feel rewarded 4. Managing talent

14 www.barclaymeade.com


Do you consider talent management to be an important factor in your decision to join an organisation?

1. Yes, it’s important for organisation to have a plan 2. Yes, the opportunity to not only offer jobs to professionals, but to have the chance to offer careers. Working within a company that has a structured path for career development 3. Yes, because you will not stand still, your career will be dynamic 4. Yes, this shows how employees future is to be progressed

How do you think companies should go about attracting and retaining the best talent?

1. Offer diverse and more free range roles; more autonomy 2. It is crucial that the centre of excellence for talent within an organisation makes time to listen and take on board the needs of the business. To understand not only the talent they require, but also to understand both the long term and short term plans for particular areas. Certainly the best way to retain talent is to make the best feel appreciated. Offer a structured and stable path for career development 3. Listen to the genuine goals and aspirations in regular reviews. The person who joined with a certain CV and aims will mature and change. Matching this fluidity with opportunities (including secondments and sabbaticals) will retain the best 4. Clear lines of promotion

www.barclaymeade.com 15


If your employer has a talent management programme how has it impacted on your career development? 1. N/a 2. I have already been promoted and moved into more challenging roles twice. This hasn’t just been down to what I have done within my roles, but also the leaders making sure they have an in-depth understanding of what I enjoy to do and what motivates me on a daily basis 3. Positive opportunity to move to our London office and work with global clients 4. No programme in my company

16 www.barclaymeade.com


Do you see talent management as an integral part of your career development?

1. Not so far 2. Absolutely. Being involved in attracting, retaining and creating talent pipelines also gives me additional confidence that the organisation goes out of its way to make its employees feel respected and sought after 3. Yes 4. Yes as it shows how valued I am as an employee and will show if my talents will go to a waste at this company or used better elsewhere

What are you/what will you be doing to ensure you get the best out of the organisation you work for?

1. Looking for opportunities; making connections 2. Keeping in contact with all parts of the business. Understanding the needs of the business, future opportunities and projects in the pipeline and also understanding where and how my department plans to evolve. Certainly communication is the key 3. I have regular sessions, in which I am open and honest about my life goals, so that they can understand me as person as well as a worker 4. Work honestly

From your experience have employers put enough emphasis on your personal development? 1. No 2. Yes 3. No 4. No

To summarise, three of four interviewed consider talent management to be an important factor in their decision process when joining a new organisation. There is a clear consistency in the definition, with focus on individual skills and personal opportunities. Those with a talent management programme in place have experienced only positive associations which in turn is suggested to retain and develop top talent.

www.barclaymeade.com 17


what does the tracker show? Barclay Meade interviewed 300 owners and directors of UK medium and large organisations across four key sectors; financial services, manufacturing, business services and distribution, about their current recruitment plans and the future makeup of their workforce. The research was conducted during Q2 of 2012; the first quarter since it was confirmed that the UK economy had fallen back into a double-dip recession. As a result, the UK tracker paints a disparate picture, with stagnating levels of recruitment and falling business confidence tempered by some pockets of positivity around the UK.

Key quarterly economic, political and social issues: • Inflation and interest rates - The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell to 2.8% in May; the lowest figure since December 2009 and close to the Bank of England’s target of 2%. Interest rates remained at their historic low of 0.5% • High unemployment - Unemployment actually fell in early 2012, by 51,000 to 2.61 million in April. But the Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant count rose slightly to 1.6 million • Eurozone turmoil and UK quantitative easing - Shortly after the EU approved a bailout for Spain’s economy, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee announced it was increasing its Qualitative Easing (QE) programme by £50 billion, raising the total sum to £375 billion

18 www.barclaymeade.com


overview of recruitment in the UK In contrast to the encouraging signs from the first three months of 2012, Barclay Meade’s Tracking UK Recruitment Report from Q2 shows a significant dip in hiring activity among UK medium and large organisations. What is your current attitude to recruitment? 60 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012

50 40 30 20 10 0 %

We have implemented a recruitment freeze

We are currently recruiting at below pre-recession levels

We are currently recruiting at similar levels to before the recession

We are currently recruiting at above pre - recession levels

The number of firms with a freeze on hiring jumped to 22%; well up on the Q1 figure of 13% and also on the year-on-year figure of 14.3%. Following news from the ONS that the hoped-for economic recovery has stalled, businesses have reduced their hiring activity under the grip of a double-dip recession. Drop in confidence - Unsurprisingly, there have been marked drops in confidence and optimism. A mere 20% of respondents said that they felt more confident about recruiting compared to this point last quarter. And only 41% described themselves as cautiously optimistic about economic recovery, compared to 65% in Q1 and 58% at this point in 2011.

Despite the gloom, there remains encouraging signs of positivity. Two-thirds of all recruitment activity nationwide is to replace staff which is evidence that staff turnover remains high. This is an indication that people are still willing to move jobs. Hiring to support business growth - Encouragingly, 59% of business owners say that their hiring is to support business growth. This figure has dropped from 65% in Q1, but demonstrates the belief that when the economy eventually recovers, businesses will be confident of achieving prosperity. Of the four sectors surveyed, business services appears to finding recruitment least problematic, with only 15% of firms enforcing a freeze and 23% saying that they were currently recruiting at similar levels to before the recession in 2008. Across the sectors, the focus for employers is on administrative, graduate or entry level and middle management roles, with recruitment spread evenly among these three levels. Demand for skilled workers - There is a high demand for skilled workers, with almost a third of all respondents saying that they plan to recruit these workers. But at the same time there is frustration at the lack of availability, with 49% of those surveyed saying that a skill shortage among candidates was the major barrier to recruitment for their business. 42% also said that candidates were often better on paper than in practice. Relaxed employment legislation - It is therefore of no surprise that more than half of respondents support the controversial proposals in Adrian Beecroft’s report into reforming Britain’s employment laws, which recommended that employers are given greater freedom to dismiss workers. Only 23% of businesses surveyed disagreed with the proposals.

www.barclaymeade.com 19


sectors - the current state of play Financial services Financial services companies have clearly been suffering during the economic downturn and the statistics on recruitment support this. Only 9% of firms in financial services are recruiting above pre-recession levels, lower than in manufacturing, business services or distribution. And the sector also has the jointhighest level of companies recruiting fewer staff than they were before the onset of the recession in 2008. What is your current attitude to recruitment? 70 60 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012

50 40 30 20 10 0 %

We have implemented a recruitment freeze

We are currently recruiting at below pre-recession levels

We are currently recruiting at similar levels to before the recession

We are currently recruiting at above pre - recession levels

There is a sense that employers are looking to instil stability in what has become a volatile market, as evidenced by the fact that 24% of financial services recruitment is for long-term cover, as opposed to the national average of 15%. The next few months may see a sector drive to recruit administrative staff with 41% of financial services respondents saying that they would do this in the next quarter.

20 www.barclaymeade.com


Despite media criticism and heavy scrutiny of the financial services industry, there remains a bullish level of positivity in the sector. Only 25% of respondents had neutral feelings about the economic outlook for the remainder of 2012 with 11%, almost double the national average, saying that they were very optimistic about the prospects for the next six months. The number of businesses saying that the trouble in the Eurozone will have the biggest effect on their plans to recruit has halved since Q1. Only 24% see the crisis as a major issue, against 49% of respondents who felt the same three months ago.

Manufacturing The number of manufacturing firms with a recruitment freeze in place almost trebled from 10% in Q1 to 27% in Q2 of 2012. This is comfortably above the national average of 22% but is countered by a high proportion of companies, 19%, who are currently recruiting at above pre-recession levels.

Figures from the ONS show industrial production rose sharply between April and May, despite two additional bank holidays. Manufacturing output rose by 1.2% after a 0.8% drop in April, giving hope that the economy may return to growth in Q2 following the contraction in GDP in the first three months of 2012. Interestingly, the cutting of public sector jobs is the biggest factor for manufacturing firms when it comes to what will affect their recruitment plans for the rest of 2012, with 20% of respondents saying that the cuts will affect their business. As with many other sectors, almost half (48%) of manufacturing employers say that a skill shortage among candidates is a significant barrier to recruiting the staff needed to ensure that their businesses thrive and prosper.

What is your current attitude to recruitment? 60 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012

50 40 30 20 10 0 %

We have implemented a recruitment freeze

We are currently recruiting at below pre-recession levels

We are currently recruiting at similar levels to before the recession

We are currently recruiting at above pre - recession levels

So despite the clamp-down on recruitment in the sector, there appears to be some confidence in manufacturing too. More than one in five (22%) are confident about recruiting and almost two-thirds (64%) of this recruitment is to support business growth.

www.barclaymeade.com 21


Business services Of the four sectors surveyed, business services shows the most signs of real positivity. Only 15% of firms have implemented a recruitment freeze in Q1, the lowest of all the sectors, with 23% saying that they are now recruiting above pre-recession levels. What is your current attitude to recruitment? 60 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012

50 40 30 20 10 0 %

We have implemented a recruitment freeze

We are currently recruiting at below pre-recession levels

We are currently recruiting at similar levels to before the recession

We are currently recruiting at above pre - recession levels

Almost three-quarters (72%) of firms say that recruitment is to support the growth of their business and nearly one in five (19%) are more confident recruiting now than they were during the last quarter. From administrative positions right up to board level, proposed recruitment activity for business services firms is above the UK average. Plus, only 25% of employers said that they were not recruiting at all; the lowest figure among the four sectors. The biggest constraint on this recruitment positivity falls outside of the business services sector’s control. Two in five firms cite the stagnating economy as the issue which will hamper recruitment for the next six months. The sector also comes highest for frustration at the lack of skilled candidates where 63% of respondents in this sector believe this is a barrier to recruitment; well above the UK average of 49%.

Distribution Hard times for the distribution sector continue as the number of firms with a recruitment freeze has risen further and the figure now stands at 28%, rising significantly from 10% in Q1. Even without an official freeze, 48% of respondents said that they were not currently recruiting into the business. There is shrinking confidence in the economic outlook for the next six months as only 4% said that they were very confident. To support this, 8%, double the national average, said that they were very pessimistic about prospects for the remainder of 2012. Distribution has the lowest levels of any sector in recruiting for management positions, with 41% of companies attributing the cost of hiring as the major reason for this. Other significant factors influencing recruitment in the sector include the Eurozone fall-out, growth stagnation and fuel price inflation; all of which are impacting on distribution firms more than in any other sector. Distribution firms want legislative change to make recruitment and dismissal of workers less problematic, with three in five (63%) supporting Adrian Beecroft’s recommendations. What is your current attitude to recruitment? 60 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012

50 40 30 20 10 0 %

22 www.barclaymeade.com

We have implemented a recruitment freeze

We are currently recruiting at below pre-recession levels

We are currently recruiting at similar levels to before the recession

We are currently recruiting at above pre - recession levels


across the regions Scotland As with many other parts of the United Kingdom, Scotland continues to see an increase in the number of businesses currently with a recruitment freeze in place. The figure north of the border now stands at 24%, up from 14% in Q1 of 2012. However, at the other end of the spectrum there is significant confidence and optimism among some firms, with 27% of Scottish businesses reporting that they are more confident about recruiting then they were last quarter.

Recruitment attitudes: • There is stronger opposition to the Beecroft recommendations in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK. Almost a third (32%) said “no” to the proposals • With 70%, Scotland has the highest figure of any region for companies citing recruiting is to support business growth • More than one in five (22%) business owners say that they lack the time needed to manage the recruitment process

Scottish companies feel that they are isolated from wider business networks and markets. More than a third (35%) of firms says that their location is a barrier to recruitment and one in seven say that they find it difficult to identify a capable recruitment partner. More than anywhere else in the UK, rising fuel prices are cited as a factor which will influence businesses’ plans to recruit. 38% of Scottish firms surveyed say it will have the biggest impact on their hiring strategies.

What is your current attitude to recruitment? 60 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012

50 40 30 20 10 0 %

We have implemented a recruitment freeze

We are currently recruiting at below pre-recession levels

We are currently recruiting at similar levels to before the recession

We are currently recruiting at above pre - recession levels

www.barclaymeade.com 23


South East There was a real mixed bag of responses from business owners in the South East of England, with despondency and positivity in equal measure. The number who said that they were optimistic about the next six months was matched by an equal number who said they were very pessimistic. And while there are above average figures for filling admin, graduate and middle management positions (with particular emphasis on accountancy and finance roles), 29% of firms in the region have a recruitment freeze in place, well above the national average of 22%. What is your current attitude to recruitment? 60 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012

50 40 30 20 10 0 %

We have implemented a recruitment freeze

We are currently recruiting at below pre-recession levels

We are currently recruiting at similar levels to before the recession

We are currently recruiting at above pre - recession levels

Not much has changed since Q1 of 2012 where 74% of South East respondents say that they feel the same about recruitment now as they did then and only half are recruiting to support business growth. As for any notion that the Olympic Games are going to have a knock-on effect around the country, only 3% of companies in the South East expect the event to affect their recruitment plans for the rest of 2012.

24 www.barclaymeade.com

Recruitment attitudes: • Just 5% of firms in the region say that public sector cuts will influence their plans to recruit over the next six months • More than three in five (61%) support Adrian Beecroft’s proposals to make it easier to sack poorly-performing workers • Less than a third (32%) of South East companies have been disappointed with candidates who appear better on paper than they are in practice


Greater London While nowhere has entirely escaped the effects of the double-dip recession, Greater London appears to be recovering quicker than most regions. The UK average for companies recruiting at similar levels to the before the recession began in 2008 is just 47%, but in Greater London this figure stands at 63%. Two thirds of recruitment activity in the capital is to support business growth and there are above average figures for every employment level from reception desk to the boardroom. Despite this, confidence levels in Greater London are slightly lower than the national average, with just 34% saying that they are cautiously optimistic about economic recovery during the next six months. The region has high levels of recruitment for sales and marketing/communications, suggesting companies are exploring new opportunities to trade. Of all the regions in the UK, there is the least desire for legislative change in Greater London. Only 39% of companies here want to see employment laws relaxed, while the national average stands at 52%. What is your current attitude to recruitment? 70 60 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012

50 40 30 20 10 0 %

We have implemented a recruitment freeze

We are currently recruiting at below pre-recession levels

We are currently recruiting at similar levels to before the recession

We are currently recruiting at above pre - recession levels

Recruitment attitudes: • 45% of companies in the Greater London area are planning to recruit administrative staff in Q3 of 2012 • One in six companies (16%) expect the Olympic Games to have an impact on their business; unsurprisingly the highest level of any UK region • Firms in Greater London are mainly satisfied with the quality of applicants, with only a quarter (26%) saying that candidates are better on paper than in practice

West Midlands Confidence levels are high in the West Midlands, with one in twelve businesses saying that they are much more optimistic about recruiting now than in Q1 of 2012. Only 8% of businesses report that they are despondent about the likelihood of an economic revival over the next six months. The majority (79%) of employers are hiring to replace staff who have departed. This is opposed to short or long term cover or to support business growth, which suggests employees are still looking for new job opportunities. Clearly, the skill levels among applicants are failing to match demand. The region has the highest level of recruitment in the country for skilled workers, yet 58% of companies, the highest level of all regions, say that a candidate skill shortage is acting as a barrier to taking on new staff. Recruitment attitudes: • More than a quarter (26%) of businesses in the region feel fuel price rises will have the biggest impact on their recruitment plans over the next six months • Fewer than half (45%) of firms believe that the relaxation of employment laws would provide greater freedom for firms to recruit effectively

www.barclaymeade.com 25


North East Despite 57% of North East companies saying that they are now recruiting at similar levels to before the recession in 2008, confidence and optimism are far from abundant here. Only 11% of business owners are more confident about recruiting now than in Q1 of 2012, while just 35% say that they are the hopeful economy will improve over the next six months. Economic stagnation is seen as the biggest hindrance to recruitment where 51% of North East businesses say that their plans are affected by the issue, with geo-political instability also having an above-average influence in the region. Recruitment attitudes: • Almost half (49%) of respondents in the North East of England said that candidates are better on paper than they are in practice • Over two in five (41%) say that the cost of recruitment stands in the way of taking on new staff • North East firms are filling management positions at above the national rate with 41% planning to hire middle managers and 24% needing to fill senior management positions

North West There has been a sharp rise in recruitment freezes in the North West, up from 5% in Q1 to 24% in the three months to June. Still, with 25% of firms saying that they are more confident recruiting than at this time last quarter, and with the second-highest levels of economic optimism in the country, there are encouraging signs for the region. At 70%, the North West along with Scotland has the highest proportion of firms which are recruiting in order to support company growth plans.

26 www.barclaymeade.com

Recruitment attitudes: • Public sector cuts are a major influence on 24% of North West companies’ recruitment plans for the next six months • Not one North West company said that the Olympic Games in London will affect its recruitment plans for 2012 • 62% of companies support Adrian Beecroft’s recommendations on employment laws, which is the highest figure outside South West England

East Midlands While only 16% of East Midlands companies currently have a recruitment freeze in place, 30%, double the national average, say that they are recruiting less than before the recession started in 2008. This may be due to a lack of growth opportunities, as only 49% of respondents said that recruitment was to support expansion of their businesses. But with 27% of companies planning to take on senior management staff in the next quarter and with aboveaverage levels of human resources and administrative appointments, it may mean that companies are putting the foundations in place for increased future growth. Recruitment attitudes: • A lack of skilled candidates is a recruitment barrier for 54% of companies in the region, while the same number of firms say that candidates are better on paper than in practice • One in six (17%) of East Midlands firms say that they are less confident this quarter than they were in Q1 of 2012


South West A relatively high rate of recruitment freezes being implemented in the South West with 24% of the region’s firms, is negated by 34% of companies which are now recruiting more than before the start of the recession four years ago. However, confidence remains low among some parts of the region’s business landscape, with only 47% of companies recruiting to support the growth of their business, down from 73% in Q1, while 45% of firms are not recruiting at all. But nowhere in the country is there more positivity about prospects for the next six months, with 64% of respondents saying that they were positive about the economic outlook for the remainder of 2012. Recruitment attitudes: • There is stronger support for change to employment legislation in the South West than anywhere else in the country. 71% support the Beecroft recommendations and 74% want some kind of relaxation of the laws on recruitment • One in six firms (16%) in the South West, twice the national average, are planning to increase their recruitment of marketing and communications staff

www.barclaymeade.com 27


about Barclay Meade Barclay Meade is one of the UK’s leading professional staffing recruitment agencies, specialising in finance & accounting, financial services, human resources, procurement, supply chain and logistics, sales, marketing communications and e-commerce and executive search. With experts across all eight fields dealing with permanent and temporary recruitment solutions on a nationwide basis, Barclay Meade listens, questions and offers advice based on client aspirations. Barclay Meade has four regional offices based in the Solent, London, St Albans and Aberdeen. www.barclaymeade.com

t: 0843 208 1255 www.barclaymeade.com

Tracking UK Recruitment  

Quarterly report into UK recruitment trends. This quarter features a Talent Management supplement.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you